A Proven Marketing Strategy and Plan for Financial Advisors


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A Proven Marketing Strategy and Plan for Financial Advisors

  1. 1. A Proven Marketing Strategy and Plan for Financial AdvisorsA How-To Guide to Creating and Implementing a Comprehensive Advisor Marketing Strategy & Plan Overview Presentation – April 2013 Authored and Published by The Entrepreneurial Advisor (David Finley) david.finley@theentrepreneurialadvisor.com
  2. 2. Growth DrivenThe essence of strategy is in activities – choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than rivals. Otherwise, a strategy is nothing more than a marketing slogan that will not withstand the competition. Michael E. Porter, 1986 2
  3. 3. Presentation Outline Growth Driven 1 2 3 4 5 About the Why a better A new strategy A framework Resources Author marketing and a better for execution strategy is way forward needed © 2013 David Finley. No part of this content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission. All personal opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to David Finley and are not those of an employer, commercial sponsor or third party. 3
  4. 4. Growth DrivenAbout the Author 4
  5. 5. Meet the AuthorOne of North America’s leading wealth management marketing and sales professionals Growth Driven David Marshall B. Finley 5
  6. 6. My Professional BioProfessional experience and highlights Growth Driven•  Over 20 years of practical experience in the full service brokerage industry as a financial advisor, manager and owner.•  My passion is marketing and business development for financial advisors, focused on helping them meaningfully grow their assets and revenue.•  I’ve generated over 125,000 qualified leads of highly desirable and hard to reach investors.•  I’ve implemented referral partnerships with American Express, The Globe and Mail and the University of Toronto (50+ since 1994).•  I was an early adopter and leader in content marketing for advisors, including; videos, webinars and eNewsletters. 1993 Investment Executive at ScotiaMcLeod 1995 Founder and President, Affinity Investments (Boutique Investment Dealer) Affinity Investments was sold to Canada Trust (TD Financial Group) in 1998. 2002 Founder and CEO, Clearsight Wealth Management Inc. (Boutique Investment Dealer) Clearsight Wealth Management was sold to Wellington West Capital Inc. in 2006. 2006 Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Advisor Services, Wellington West Capital Inc. 2012 - Senior Vice-President and Branch Manager, Raymond James Ltd.* 6*I’m currently the branch manager in the downtown Toronto office of Raymond James, known as ‘The 53rd’, for more information visit www.the53rd.com
  7. 7. About this PresentationA five step plan to building and implementing a proven marketing strategy and plan Growth Driven•  This presentation is designed to be an overview of content on The Entrepreneurial Advisor (www.theentrepreneurialadvisor.com).•  More specifically, over the next 3 months, I will delve into each topic in this presentation extensively, providing information, insight and tools to help you build an effective marketing strategy and plan. While there is a great deal written about marketing for financial advisors, I have yet to see a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan framework that’s intuitive and useful.•  I can be reached at david.finley@theentrepreneurialadvisor.com for any questions, feedback or comments you might have.Marketing Strategy and Plan FrameworkPlanning and Competitve Designing Brand Content and Reaching your TargetOrganization Strategy Identity Marketing Hub AudienceClarify your goals Define your client niche Find your big idea Create great content Find your target clientsIdentify your resources Define your value (why you) Utilize great design Partner for leverage Leverage the influencersBudget for ROI Determine your positioning Determine your collaterals Utilize your website/blog as Take an integrated approach your marketing hub 1 2 3 4 5 7
  8. 8. Growth DrivenWhy is a Better Marketing Strategy Needed? 8
  9. 9. Marketing is a PriorityMany Financial Advisors consider marketing a priority but lack the experience to execute effectively Growth Driven Marketing and Client Acquisition Areas where surveyed advisors seek to improve: Marketing and Client Acquisition 73% Time Management 57% Client Communications 50% Knowledge of HNW Issues 38% Staff Development/Retention 33% Strategic Planning 33% Mentoring/Coaching Staff 30% Client Education 30% Technology/Data Access 28% Knowledge of Retiree Issues 18% Knowledge of Investment Options 15% Wide Range of Services 15% Source: Advisor Benchmarking 2009: Annual Survey Results , Rydex Advisor Benchmarking, 2009. … Growth is critical to any businesses success, without it, you quietly and slowly fade away. 9
  10. 10. There is a Growth DilemmaMore than ever, several factors are simultaneously converging to make advisor marketing more difficult Growth Driven Hyper-competitive oversupply of advisors (80,000+), all attempting to pursue a relatively small cohort of high net worth clients. Unfolding structural shift in the industry; clients Declining direct client acquisition support from moving from accumulation to preservation and payout; distribution and manufacturing resulting in fewer assets in lower margin products. (ex. bank branch referrals). Increasing investor pushback and poor results Advisor Obtaining clients after they’ve reached high net to old prospecting methods forcing advisors to adopt new forms of marketing. Growth worth status requires greater skill, greater effort and significantly higher costs. Dilemma Wild market swings, scandals, negative media and a flat decade of performance causing Increasing regulatory and compliance requirements only to increase further in the years ahead, taxing more investors to rethink who should manage their money. time and resources on advisors. Clear and meaningful differentiation among advisors not readily apparent to most investors. 10
  11. 11. Results Haven’t Met ExpectationsA significant portion of marketing spend is not leveraged effectively or efficiently Growth Driven The advice channel in Canada spends $1 Billion* annually in marketing and client acquisition costs. Stop throwing money out the window. There’s a better way. *This includes an estimate of costs incurred by advisors, firms and direct support from industry suppliers and manufacturers. 11
  12. 12. Growth DrivenA New Strategy and a Better Way Forward 12
  13. 13. Build a Convergence-based Marketing StrategyLeveraging the best of the old with the best of the new Growth Driven The strategy outlined in this presentation is the convergence of two proven marketing tactics; referral networking and content marketing. It offers a systematic approach to generating word of mouth as a comprehensive marketing strategy. In a larger sense, it proposes a new and better way of doing business. Strategic Partners Articles / Blogs Social Networks In-person Events Referral Networking Content Marketing Referral NetworkingTraditional marketing models Authentic content that educates Content Marketinggenerally go out and hunt for or is seen as valuable to yourclients. They do it with t a rg e t a u d i e n ce a n d m o readvertising; they do it with cold COI Networking Video importantly the influencerscalling; they do it with trade The within that audience is the newshows, etc. currency of marketing. ConvergenceThe emphasis in this model ismoved from finding to being Marketing Yo u r n o - s t r i n g s - a t t a c h e d content allows you to breakfound. Working with a networkof referral channels, you leverage SEO (Google) Strategy Webinars down built-in sales resistance, build trust and demonstratethe “influencers” within these expertise in your field.groups who lead your targetaudience directly to you. Content is the most trusted form of marketing. Existing Clients Email Newsletters Community White Papers / Books 13 Local Media Case Studies
  14. 14. Leverage the Influence of Trusted Referral NetworksFocus your marketing on where your target clients congregate Growth DrivenThe greatest sources of affluent prospects are affluent clients and their professional advisors (collateral professionals such asaccountants and lawyers). No other sources come close. These two methods have been the drivers of new client growth fordecades. Other referral sources have also demonstrated success, including strategic partnerships, direct relationships with localjournalists/media and more recently online social networks and organic search rankings (Google). The key is that all have influencewith your target audience, through a direct recommendation, practice advocacy or online ranking. I strongly believe that you canbuild your entire marketing strategy around a set of formal referral networking tactics. Importance in Finding Primary Financial Advisor60% 54.2%50%40% 30.1%30%20% 13.5%10% 4.4% 3.5% 3.2% Accountants Referral Seminar or Read About Direct A Cold And from another Conference Them in the Mail Call Lawyers Client Press N=1,417 affluent individuals; Russ Alan Prince and David A. Geracioti, “Cultivating The Middle Class Millionarie”, 2005 Trusted Referral Networks Strategic Partners Social Networks COI Networking SEO Existing Clients Community Local Media (Accountants, etc.) (Google) Sponsorship 14
  15. 15. Content Marketing as the DriverEstablish your authority in your chosen area of expertise Growth DrivenThe most successful marketers today tend to be part marketer and part publisher. They generate an ongoing stream of high qualitycontent to demonstrate their expertise. Content marketing is the process of creating video, blogs, articles, ebooks, how-to-guides,social media updates, picture galleries, infographics, webinars or other forms of media about your practice. Ultimately, you’re buildinga leadership position for your practice as a trusted resource in specific topics.Selection Criteria of Affluent Individuals in Choosing Advisors Selection Criteria Weighted Total Demonstrate your Expertise Overall expertise of advisor 91.0 Care advisor takes to identify needs 89.0 In-person Events Investment management style 84.1 Trust in advisor 82.0 Video Discretion of advisor 81.1 Attentiveness of advisor 80.2 Advisor’s desire to establish long-term relationship 74.2 Articles / Blogs Reputation of advisor 65.2 Quality of proposals 55.1 Books / White Papers Quality of presentations 51.9 Quality of promotional materials 33.9 Case Studies Investment performance / track record 26.6 15Source: Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File, Cultivating the Affluent
  16. 16. The Winning CombinationIt’s the combination of the referral with the strength of quality content that drives growth Growth Driven REFERRAL NETWORKING + CONTENT MARKETING Effective Referrals from THE STRATEGY clients and colleagues Leveraging the Referrals best of the old from other with the best of service the new providers REFERRAL NETWORKING (COIs) Traditional New Marketing Strategic Marketing Partnerships ONLINE MARKETING Email In-person Newsletters seminars Cold calls Books Articles from financial and and advisors eBooks Blogs Ineffective 16
  17. 17. Growth DrivenA Framework to Execute 17
  18. 18. The Entrepreneurial Advisor Marketing FrameworkHaving a framework with an integrated structure is the critical starting point Growth Driven The Framework The Process The following framework is a proven best-practices 1 Clarify your goals approach to creating and implementing a Identify your resources Planning & Organization Budget for ROI comprehensive marketing strategy and plan. It will help you identify your niche, position your practice successfully within that niche and effectively engage your target audience with the endorsement and 2 Identify your client niche Define your value (Why you?) advocacy of trusted referrals. Competitive Strategy Determine your positioning This framework guides advisors through a step-by- step process. It is made up of 5 core steps with 3 3 Find your big idea deliverables per step. Over the course of the next 3 Utilize great design Brand Identity months, I’ll be highlighting each deliverable, Determine your collaterals providing further insight with examples to help you and Voice with your strategy and plan. 4 Create great content The information and commentary can be found on Content-Rich Partner for leverage my blog at www.theentrepreneurialadvisor.com. Website and Blog Utilize your website/blog as your marketing hub Finding your clients Leverage the influencers Take an integrated approach 5 Referral Networking Platform Local Community Media Involvement Strategic Social Partners Media Existing COI Clients Networking Search (SEO) 18
  19. 19. Step One è Planning and OrganizationWhere are you taking your business and why Growth Driven“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu I. Clarify your goals II. Identify your resources III. Budget for ROI What are your financial and leadership What resources do you need to help What are you willing to invest to goals to elevate your practice? execute your marketing plan? achieve your goals and objectives? •  What are your client goals this year? Do you •  You must first determine how much time and •  A conservative marketing budget should be 1 to need one client, or 100? energy you can commit to marketing. 5% of your annual gross production. •  Are you viewed as an expert in your field? •  You must then evaluate your internal resources, •  If you’re planning on growing aggressively, you Does the media come to you for insight? which include your team and firm capabilities. might need to consider upwards of 10 to 15%. •  If you hit your sales goals, how will that impact •  If you need to reach beyond your team and firm •  Alternatively, you can budget or invest to a your team? Do you need more administrative to execute effectively, you’ll need to consider specific goal or initiative. help, producers, or more business development external resources, such as marketing agencies support? and web development firms. 19
  20. 20. Step Two è Competitive StrategyYou are your biggest advantage Growth Driven“The art of marketing strategy is knowing how to take pieces from others’ success and creating your own.” – David Finley I. Own your niche II. Define your value III. Determine your positioning Who is your ideal client and where and Why you? What are the values that How are you positioned relative to how are they influenced? make you uniquely different? other top advisors? •  A niche enables you to stand out against the •  Be crystal clear that your value proposition •  Positioning is the battle to own a distinctive competition who are usually generalists. belongs to you and you only. place in your target market’s mind. •  It is easier to become the go-to choice and •  It’s best built around your persona and not a •  Define your competitive landscape (see authority within a niche market. product or firm. People buy from people. example on next slide) and stake your claim. •  Referral partners are easier to find because you •  Your value proposition must include your role, •  With a defined niche and a clear unique value can work with those who also work within your your skill sets (especially your top 3), proof proposition you must now determine your niche, leveraging their networks and resources (credentials, a book you author, etc.) and positioning strategy that creates a point of to build your practice. results you’ve delivered for clients. reference in the marketplace about you. 20
  21. 21. Determine Your PositioningFind the right market position and stake your claim Growth DrivenPositioning is about what makes you different and where you fit in the marketplace. Size of tree represents revenue Age of tree represents trend Premium Service Wealth Solutions Standard Service Investment Solutions 21 The positioning map above is for example purposes only. Advisors should consider the competitive landscape they wish to compete in and map accordingly.
  22. 22. Step Three è Designing Brand IdentityBranding isn’t about market share, it’s about mindshare Growth Driven“A brand image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personalityprofile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.” – Danie J. Boorstin I. The big idea II. Great design and creative III. Packaging your brand What’s your one big idea, the central Are you investing sufficiently in the What supporting tools and collaterals theme and essence of your brand? right creative and design? should you have to market your brand? •  You should have an idea or theme that captures •  The vast majority of advisors “go cheap” on •  Less is more. You should concentrate on who you are and what you stand for. creative and design. having the right collaterals for your audience. •  The right idea can be translated into your •  Great strategy and great ideas are often wasted •  They should reflect the quality of your practice overall marketing campaigns, including tag by a poor image. First impressions matter! and be updated on on a quarterly or semi- lines, logos, etc. annual basis. •  Creative and design goes beyond brochures •  Ensure that whatever your big idea may be, it and websites. It includes how you and your •  Look for collaterals that are “out of the box” must align with every aspect of your business, team dress, your office set-up and even the and not simply the standard fare you see from including your solutions and service experience. language and tone you use on the phone. most firms. If you can do a custom or premium website versus a template, do it. 22
  23. 23. The Big IdeaIdentify a single, big, unifying idea that inspires all stakeholders to get engaged Growth Driven Think Different – Arguably one of the best “big ideas” in history. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1998 he needed an idea, a campaign that reflected the philosophy he thought had to be reinforced within the company he once co-founded, but which was struggling at the time he came back … and the rest is history. “Apple isnt like other companies. It doesnt follow the rules. And the essence of the company isnt any more complicated than that. And so was born Think different.” - Ken Segall What is your big idea that best captures you and what you stand for? 23
  24. 24. Step Four è Content and Marketing HubProduce valuable content that attracts your audience and engages them Growth Driven“Content is marketing.” – David Finley I. Create relevant content II. Partner for leverage III. A website as marketing hub What is most relevant to your target Who can you leverage for both Is your current website a central hub audience? marketing and financial support? for your content and prospecting? •  Demonstrating your expertise through creating •  Don’t go it alone on your content development. •  Your website should be your primary hub of great content is the most important marketing Leverage third-parties as best you can. content “housing”. initiative you can do. •  Focus on both content production and financial •  Go with a premium or customized website •  Leverage multiple forms of content, from support. Whether it’s sponsorship of an event option if available from your firm. A template traditional books and newsletters to online with a speaker or economic considerations, site makes you look like everyone else. functionality such as blogs and webinars. align with the partners that will provide the best compliment and support to your efforts. •  Ensure you have content publishing •  Find the right partners and support to help you functionality built into your website create and publish your content. It is a very •  Use your firm, if they have a strong content environment, so it can be active and updated necessary but time consuming initiative. production facility. frequently. 24
  25. 25. Your Website as the Marketing HubMake your website and blog a destination as a marketing hub of valuable content Growth Driven 25
  26. 26. Step Five è Finding and Reaching Your AudiencePromote yourself without pestering people Growth DrivenSelf-promotion is the key to advisor marketing success. Your goal is to be recognized as a leading authority in your chosen field. Youmust market yourself to achieve that. I. Find your target clients II. Leverage the influencers III. Take an integrated approach Where do your clients congregate both Who has the most influence with your What are the best methods and online and offline? target audience? mediums to reaching this audience? •  Identify where you target audience •  Who are the key influencers within each of your •  Your marketing channel strategy is entirely congregates, both offline and online. target audience groups. based on how best to reach your audience. •  This should be a broad approach, ranging from •  Is there an approach or relationship that you •  Make sure each channel can leverage one community involement (clubs, charities, can uniquely build with these individuals and another. For example, that your in-person churches, etc.) to online networks such as groups? events can then be translated online via video, LinkedIn and Facebook. pictures, etc. •  Make sure you clearly understand what matters •  The foundation of where your clients most to these individuals and organizations to •  Start small with two or three approaches, if you congregate will ultimately help you identify ensure you put your best foot forward. spread yourself too thin, you won’t get the which referral networks to build. most out of each approach. 26
  27. 27. Leverage the InfluencersThe foundation of the trusted referral is your connection to those who can influence Growth Driven Find your target audience through your networks A multi-dimensional referral networking strategy should be your primary means of reaching your target audience. It is generally the most effective and efficient model. Transferred trust is the power of the referral and why it’s so much easier and quicker for advisors to win business from referrals than any other method. Referral Networking Model – Transferring Trust from Multiple Sources Local Media COI Networks Existing Clients Strategic Partners Social Networks Become a key content source Work with other professionals Leveraging your most satisfied Strategic joint ventures with Build and leverage connections for local media or relevant like accountants and lawyers. clients who also have the most organizations that represent through key social networking publications that align with your influence. This should be your target audience. Affinity platforms, including; LinkedIn, target clients interests. approached in a formal manner programs, sponsorships, co- Facebook and Twitter. and not left to chance. branding initiatives, etc. In order to have the means to influence others, a person needs to be in touch regularly with other influential people and opinion leaders. You can be the most knowledgeable person in world about a particular topic, but if you are a loner and don’t interact with others very often it is hard for your ideas to spread. The size and breadth of your real world networks is central to your influence. A large network of people you interact with in your everyday life gives you the means to engage actively in the conversation. 27
  28. 28. SummaryFollow the process and see the results Growth Driven 1 Planning & Organization 2 Competitive Strategy 3 Brand Identity and Voice 4 Content-Rich Website and Blog 5 Referral Networking Platform Local Community Media Involvement Strategic Social Partners Media Existing COI Clients Networking Search (SEO) … Please don’t hesitate to contact me at david.finley@theentrepreneurialadvisor.com. 28