Let’s talk about marketing strategies.
Our consulting firm, Herbers & Company, sits is a unique position in the industry. With the number of clients we serve, we are able to see what works and what doesn’t work in the behaviors and initiatives within advisory firms.
And, we’ve found when it comes to marketing, most owner advisors believe they need big marketing strategies to grow their businesses, and most marketing firms, naturally, are happy to reinforce that belief.
However, in our experience, somewhere in the neighborhood of 99% of marketing strategies don’t work for independent advisory businesses — meaning, they fail to get the results that the firm owners had hoped they would achieve.
Also, in our experience, there are two major reasons why marketing plans don’t work for most firms. The first reason is that most owner advisors use creating a marketing plan as an opportunity to talk about their services.
Why is this a problem? As interesting as most owner advisors and their firms are, most prospective clients are far more interested in how a financial advisor and their firm makes them feel. Sorry to say, but they don’t really care that much about you.
The second reason that most marketing plans don’t work for advisory firms is that most people confuse “creating” with marketing. (Again, many marketing firms sell this approach, because they get paid for creating things— websites, brochures, pitchbooks, etc. — and because firm owners usually get very excited about “cool” materials, too.
I know, creating things is fun, and creating cool, pretty materials about you and your business is even more fun. I get that. (And as long as you don’t expect your cool, pretty creations to actually attract more clients, knock yourself out.)
But if you’re interested in creating a marketing program that brings in new clients, be prepared to get bored, relatively quickly. Because, in general, successful marketing is very boring. That’s because when you find a program that works, there’s rarely any reason to change it. That is, you don’t need to “keep it cool” and new.
As an example, consider the Geico Gecko, which first appeared in 1999. That was 20 years ago and Geico Insurance is still using that campaign. The takeaway here is that once you find a marketing campaign that works, don’t get bored or greedy or creative—and mess it up.
Building a good marketing strategy is simply about finding something that works, and sticking with it. For financial advisory businesses, what ALWAYS works is better communication with prospects and clients. And, that’s what you should be constantly pursing.
Where to Start