Marketing plans, like New Year’s resolutions, tend to start with a hiss and a roar, only to peter out as other more pressing business imperatives take precedence. Is there a way of achieving a reset without losing your effort to date?
An effective marketing strategy will sit on a solid foundation, which normally consists of your business goals, a definition of your market, a clear expression of your messages, a content and channel plan, and some measuring yardsticks.
If at New Year you find yourself throwing up your hands and saying: “this isn’t working”, you need to be careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
So, before you start pulling down the entire marketing edifice and starting all over again, here are a few things to think about:
What isn’t working exactly?
Perhaps your overall goals and messages are right, but the channels are wrong. A common mistake is to be too scattergun in your marketing efforts. Perhaps, you need a more targeted approach.
Look at your messaging.
Is it distinctive? Is it consistent? Does it reflect your firm’s philosophy, and what sets you apart from other advisory firms? Strip back the detail. Ask yourself how you want the service you provide to make your clients and prospects feel.
How are you measuring your marketing efforts?
Just posting content is not going to be enough. You need to assess how people are engaging with your efforts. Is there a relationship between your number of LinkedIn followers and traffic to your website? Is your spending resulting in new business and higher revenues?
If one element of your plan has worked, ask yourself why. What was so special about that one event or mailout or newsletter or blog? Perhaps it touched a nerve. There is nothing wrong with paring everything else back and focusing on the higher value initiatives.
Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Even if it is outside your usual comfort zone, you shouldn't be reluctant to try out something new. It might be a community event sponsorship, or a paid advertisement, or a regular podcast. New initiatives like these can tap you into markets you might never have considered before. But don’t do it all at once. Try one thing at a time.
Call in outside help.
The answer to a dead-end marketing plan could be as simple as a website redesign. The content and the message and the measurement may be fine, but the framing may just need a facelift.
Consider that your business may have changed fundamentally.
This is a bigger issue, but one that's certainly worth posing. It's all too easy for firms to muddle along on the assumption that they are servicing one market, when the real market is somewhere else entirely.
Sketch all of this out on a piece of paper. Prompt yourself with questions: If I was starting again today, what would I change? Where is most of my marketing effort and spend going? Where can I make the biggest impact with the smallest effort?
Marketing is a mystery to most non-professionals. But like most specialties, it can be broken down into its core elements. A reset of your firm's marketing strategy for 2020 need not be a root and branch overhaul. If the foundations are sound, it may just involve a prune.
Regis Media specialise in providing effective marketing solutions to firms within the financial services sector. If you're interested in exploring ideas for future marketing strategies, then have a look at our website to find out more.