Selecting a Marketing Partner
You probably know that you can’t do it all in your financial practice. (Or maybe you think you can, but you can’t do it all well.) Play to your strengths and devote yourself to that. Outsource the other business tasks. You’re not losing control; rather you are just allowing experts to help with some of the legwork.
Whether you have a dedicated member of your staff managing your marketing or do it yourself as time allows, finding a marketing partner can be a logical way to utilize professional strengths and knowledge and enable you to focus on serving your clients and building your business.
Before you can start, you need to define your marketing objectives for the year. Evaluate what resources can be tapped in-house versus what can be outsourced to a marketing partner.
It’s a big step to look outside of your tightly controlled network and trust an outside organization to assist with your marketing. But it can be done and executed very well.
How do you know when to take the leap? There’s probably been a time when you’ve thought about implementing a new marketing method, such as taking an active role on social media or conducting an educational seminar in the community. But you may not feel comfortable tweeting or writing original and informative content to post on Facebook. Or that seminar? How do you start researching, writing, and designing a presentation and getting compliance to approve it? Where do you hold the seminar and how do you even find the right people to attend? You have to weigh whether it is worth your time or internal resources to do it yourself. Many marketing partners cost pennies on the dollar compared to DIY. But you should consider these three principles:
- Cost: Self vs. Outsourced
- Time: Self vs. Outsourced
- Effectiveness: Self vs. Outsourced
How do you pick among the marketing partners available to you? Be sure to consider how long they have been serving the industry. Question the number of customers they have, how large the organization is, and their product penetration in the industry, and assess whether their products are innovative.
Is the marketing partner a “one hit wonder” or does it offer a portfolio of complementary products, such as lead generation, client retention, digital marketing, and practice management? Are its products FINRA reviewed, and does it have a relationship with your compliance department? And can it help cultivate and retain qualified prospects in the top markets, such as high-net-worth, highly compensated individuals, mass affluent, business owners, or segmented professionals like physicians, attorneys, or engineers?
It’s important to ask these questions and evaluate whether a marketing partner can do a better job than you. Also consider whether you can afford to outsource your marketing. Industry standards recommend spending between 2% and 6% of your annual revenue on your marketing for maximum results. And be sure to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and due diligence to determine whether the marketing partner can meet your business standards and objectives.
Remember, your marketing plan is a dynamic strategy, and it should be evaluated on an annual basis to assess what’s working, what’s not, and where any shifts need to occur to help you reach your business goals. A marketing partner worth its weight will be right beside you through this entire process, and helping you to succeed.