Week One: Getting StartedWelcome to our Summer School of Marketing! Over the next six weeks, we’ll be taking a whistle-stop tour of all things marketing-related. Our series of guides, videos and blog articles will aim to help firms who currently may not do very much marketing and are looking to get started, or give some new ideas to those of you who may be finding your current marketing either boring, out-dated or time-consuming. We know everyone learns differently so that’s why we’ll be creating a range of different resources and we hope some of them will come in handy!
Across these, we’ll be looking at various types of digital and offline marketing. We’ll be exploring how you can use social media including a specific focus on LinkedIn, improve your online presence and think outside of the box to increase engagement or to reach new audiences. We’ll also explore what free resources are available to financial advisers and how you can utilise these when delivering marketing activities.
There are a few key reasons that marketing may be important to you and your business, these are most likely:
- To attract new customers to use your services and to increase sales
- To retain your existing customers and to build an ongoing relationship
- To increase your brand awareness and to establish your company as a trusted provider of financial advice
To help you get started, we have created a handy guide with an accompanying worksheet that can be found here. This includes a range of models and theory that you can put into practice to help you create a comprehensive and refreshed marketing strategy. For example, the guide includes a full situational analysis, enabling you to outline your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), before taking the next steps with any marketing activities. It can be an excellent indicator of your current situation and helps identify barriers, risks and concerns (as well as the positives!) of potential strategies you may be considering. It should also help you to identify your priorities and help you to focus on the most important areas. It allows you to come to a much more informed decision and will provide a good foundation for you going forward. If you have a team you can work with, undertaking a SWOT analysis as a group can be a fantastic way of encouraging new ideas and ways of thinking.
Combined with other activities, marketing is a great means of communicating with your existing and prospective customers, keeping them up to date with the services and support that you can offer. One of the first steps for you to address is looking at your database: are the contact details up to date to allow you to communicate with these customers? Whether you’re planning targeted marketing messages via email, phone or post you will need to have up to date records in order for your marketing to reach the right place. If you’re planning indirect marketing, perhaps via your website, it’s important to ensure your website is also updated and there are no broken links or incorrect/outdated information being displayed. Of course it is important at all times that you are mindful of the GDPR rules and where applicable, that you have consent to market to your database.
Finally, if you’ll be turning to social media, are your accounts up to date and have you sought to expand your network to help spread your messages and content to a wider audience?
A ’nice to have’ with marketing, for example an email database, is to be able to make your messages personal. If you collate a list of your customer’s information including the name that they like to be known by, record these separately so your marketing emails can be personalised. Small things like this will help to boost your engagement and adds a much more personal touch.
Most firms that we work with have a website, however the quality and detail available on them varies hugely. Setting up and running a good website can be time-consuming, however, if you are going to start investing time and money into marketing, having a good website will really help. Your website should provide information directed at both new/prospective customers who are seeking out a service and provide details about ongoing support available to existing clients. It can offer much more detail about services than you’d be able to provide in say a post on social media or a marketing email to your database, meaning that you can keep these short and snappy, directing the reader to your website for further information.
So your checklist for this week:
- Take a look at our handy guide – Getting Started
- Work out what your marketing objectives are
- Assess what you currently do and what can be improved
- Consider what forms of marketing you’ll be using to achieve your objectives
- Decide what data you’ll need for this
- Determine whether your current database/website/social media accounts are all up to date
Our Technical Helpdesk can assist with your financial promotion procedures as well as helping you to draft and issue compliant promotions designed for your target audience. We’ll be launching another blog soon which details the extent of the support they can offer which includes websites, brochures, flyers, stationery, blogs and social media. Please get in touch on 03300 536061 or arrange a call back if you’d like to learn more about the support available.