If your inbox is anything like mine, no doubt it’s filled with the latest and greatest prospecting and marketing ideas. I could easily fill a 40-hour work week if all I did was take the time to read through all of the material various marketing companies send me each week. With that said, in this week’s blog, I thought we’d cut to the chase and look behind all the hype and talk candidly about the truth behind many of these great new marketing systems. While almost any method of marketing could work if you stick with it long enough, the question is, how well and at what cost?
Surprisingly, all of the various marketing programs and methods out there today can be sifted through pretty quickly if you’ll simply begin to think of them in two new categories: Mass Marketing vs. Strategic Marketing.
Mass marketing is essentially any marketing campaign or strategy you employ which relies on you spending a lot of time or money casting a wide net. This is done with the hope of catching the eye of those in your market who are so in need of what you have to offer that they will respond to a less-than-ideal form of advertising. Let’s face it, no high net-worth client would say their preferred method of meeting their new advisor would be through a cold mass marketing campaign. Most would prefer to be introduced to you through a trusted referral. Some examples of mass marketing strategies would be direct mail, yellow page ads, billboards, radio ads, free dinner seminars, etc.
The reason mass marketing strategies work at all is because at any given time, there is approximately 3 percent of the market that is actively looking for what it is you have to offer. For example, 3 percent of people are actively in the market, as we speak, for a new car, a new home or maybe even a new advisor. Mass marketing strategies rely on this 3 percent to give you a return on your investment. To be successful utilizing these strategies, you have to invest a significant amount of time and money upfront to see any response. Many advisors spend a lot of years and money competing with other advisors in their market over this small “need help now” market. But what about the other 97 percent?
In my own practice, I got fed up with fighting over the 3 percent of my market that every advisor in town was offering to wine and dine in hopes of winning their business. I decided I wanted to market my services to the 97 percent of prospects that most advisors ignore. Think about the last direct mail campaign you ran. You sent 5,000 mailers, 20 to 25 prospects responded in some way and you followed up with them for appointments. But what about the 4,975 that you sent a mailer to that didn’t respond? Did you follow up with them in any way, or did you just plow ahead with your next campaign? If you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t give a second thought to those prospects that didn’t respond. This means you’re wasting 97 percent of your marketing dollars. It was this frustrating and expensive marketing cycle that led me down the path of thinking, “How can I focus my time and resources instead on strategic marketing?”