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2019: 4 resolutions and a prediction

Over the past few weeks, your thoughts will have no doubt turned to financial business planning for 2019. It’s time to put some resolutions in place.

Most planners we speak to are seeking growth over the coming 12 months. This might come from:

  • Offering new services or entering new markets
  • Engaging new (or higher value) clients
  • The recruitment of new planners

Whatever your growth targets effective marketing is crucial to your success. So, as we head into the first few days of the new year, here are four resolutions we suggest you consider adopting to increase your chances of success.

1. Decide which tasks to allocate internally and which to outsource

Now’s the perfect time to take a hard look in the mirror and ask whether you are the most appropriate person to be marketing your business.

Yes, you might enjoy it. You might be good at it. But, do you really have the time?

  • Is your blog out of date?
  • Are your newsletters not sent as often as you’d like?
  • Have you been meaning to review your directory profiles for months but not got around to it?

All these (and we can think of plenty more) are tell-tale signs that you don’t have the time to effectively execute your marketing plans.

Conversely, you might hate the idea of taking on responsibility for marketing your business. The thought of writing a blog or updating your website might bring you out in a cold sweat. Either way, the net result is the same; ineffective marketing which will curtail your growth.

If you’re reading this thinking; “that’s me”, now’s the time to resolve to make a change. Build a strategy (more of which in resolution four) then decide which elements to delegate to others in your business and which might need outsourcing externally.

Which takes us neatly on to resolution two.

2. See marketing as an investment and not a cost

If you view marketing as a cost, you’re doing it wrong.

Marketing should be considered an investment which, if you get it right, returns many times the initial investment. In our experience, it’s those planners whose marketing isn’t working, or who can’t track the return they are getting (whether good or bad) who see marketing as a cost.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t still target your resources carefully to maximise returns, you should. However, in 2019 please start thinking of the resources you allocate to marketing as an investment, not a cost.

3. Focus on the basics

You will only maximise your marketing investment by getting the basics right. There are two areas we see planners overlook time and time again.

Firstly, understanding your target market:

  • What keeps them awake at night?
  • What can you help them achieve?
  • Why might they decide not to engage you?

It’s crucial that before you build your marketing strategy you spend time understanding the people you want to work with. After all, if you don’t understand them how can you expect to effectively market to them?

Secondly, most planners rarely analyse the effectiveness of their onboarding process. Improving your conversion rate from 10 – 15% (low and ineffective) to say 20 – 30% (more realistic and becoming acceptable) might only take some simple tweaks yet will save huge time and resources in the long run.

However, relatively few planners collect the data necessary to monitor conversion rates, let alone resolve to do anything with the information! In 2019 please don’t be one of them; start collecting data, analyse it and then make changes to improve things, which leads us to resolution four…

4. Think strategically and follow the evidence

You encourage your clients to think strategically all the time. Just look at the past few weeks, stock markets have been volatile, but the message you preach to your clients (and rightly so) is to remember the plan. In other words; think strategically.

The same is true of your marketing.

But it’s easier said than done:

  • Get a poor enquiry from a directory; “they’re all rubbish and not worth the time and effort”, when in reality the return on investment from your directory spend will be significantly higher than for many other forms of marketing.
  • Someone suggests sending newsletters; “My clients don’t want to hear from me each month”, when evidence shows the opposite with relatively high open rates on monthly newsletters.

And so on.

Resolving to think more strategically and making decisions based on evidence, rather than myth or misconception can only improve your marketing.

Hopefully, these four resolutions will help keep your marketing on track in 2019, which brings us to our prediction…

If your marketing wasn’t as effective in 2018 as you hoped it would be, now’s the time to change something. Otherwise, we can predict with almost 100% certainty that; as the old saying goes, if you always do, what you’ve always done, you’ll always get, what you always got!

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