Most advisors I meet want to know how to become better at marketing and what tactics and strategies are most certain to work. In short, they want to know what “good marketing” looks like and how to get it right for their firms.
The reason why advisory business owners frequently run into a wall with marketing, though, isn’t because they don’t know what to do. Rather, it’s because they don’t know the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan.
A strategy and a plan are two distinct parts of marketing. It’s important to have both, and here’s how to develop them so they work together.
Defining Strategy and Plan
“Good marketing” simply is the true story you tell about your business and yourself. It explains what you do well and who benefits from that expertise.
Identifying what you do well is your marketing strategy. If your firm spends its time on creating extremely easy-to-read financial plans that are used in all meetings, then your strategy should focus on the value of that approach and process to prospective clients.
Your marketing plan is focused on how you go about communicating that value in a specific way. This is where tactics — like writing a monthly blog and sending email communications — enter the equation.
Identifying Return on Investment
Before you can create and deploy an effective marketing plan based on the strategy, you must understand why most marketing strategies fail.
In the strategy phase of marketing, once you know your value and before you invest time and money into any tactics, there should be discussion about ROI expectations. In other words, if you spend $2,000 on marketing, what’s the number you hope to make back?
Even if a firm has a marketing plan, most advisors get tripped up by using the “spray and pray” method of marketing.