Shifting Financial Marketing into Gear
Financial Marketing is a Process: Defining and Executing an End-to-End Marketing Process
Whether you’re a fund manager, investment advisor or broker, whether you’re selling retail or institutional trading, or raising assets for a fund—marketing starts with a process. The goal of a well-defined marketing process is to generate leads that can then be converted to clients through the efforts of automated marketing and sales tactics.
Before you begin to define your offers and campaigns, your marketing infrastructure –the engine for your marketing fuel– must be defined.
The leads generated by your offers are best managed within a customer relationship management (CRM) software. A good CRM allows businesses to not only store client info and track a sales process, but to gain insight into customer and lead behaviors so they can be marketed to according to their actions.
Better CRM systems integrate data from your website, providing measurable stats, segmenting interested contacts who have completed an offer form, and triggering additional actions, such as automated drip emails, to continue to nurture leads in the days and weeks to follow.
With a defined CRM strategy, a business can increase revenues by providing services and products tailored to the customer, offer better customer service, cross sell more effectively, help sales staff close deals faster, retain existing customers and discover new ones, and simplify marketing and sales processes.
Depending on your specific CRM, part of defining the CRM strategy will include what information you want to collect from the lead and what tags or lists you want to add leads to that come to you through a particular offer.
Each stage of your sales and marketing process should be defined by validated actions on behalf of your target client.
Market Opportunity: Define Your Offer, Your Audience
After establishing your marketing infrastructure, you’ll want to define the market opportunity that will be the virtual fuel in your CRM engine.
You will need a clear offer that provides a clear value. Does your specific offer solve a problem or provide unique educational or informational insight on a trending topic appealing to your target audience?
For example, if you’re a fund manager or investment advisor who has compiled a great in-depth report with key findings on the trending outlook of a financial sector or strategy for the year ahead, you’ll want to make the report available to as many qualified investors as possible.
A desirable offer is a prime tool to leverage in exchange for a prospect’s contact information to build up new leads, bring existing leads back into consideration, and provide information for existing clients.
Marketing Mix & Drip Campaigns
Mix and Drip? Sounds messy, right? In reality this is where much of your neatly-defined marketing organization comes into play.
Once you’ve defined your offer and target audience, you can define the campaign around the offer: where and how you will present your offer to your audience—the marketing mix; plus the communications follow-up after the offer—the drip.
To successfully market your offer you’ll want to ensure that the offer is attractively presented across multiple channels and media: email, website, landing page, social media, ads, calls-to-action, etc.
Using the report offer example, an effective marketing mix might consist of a landing page with a form, in conjunction with website banner ads and a series of Tweets linking back to the landing page.
Determining the right marketing mix increases the chances of a lead completing your offer form. This form can trigger a drip campaign spanning a certain amount of time. The emails in the drip campaign should be carefully crafted keeping in mind the goals of your offer.
In addition to an automatic thank you email, we recommend planning a series of automated drip emails designed to nurture the lead. For example, an email 2 days later that presents a checklist as a useful add-on to your offer, another 3 days later, an email with a related blog post, and so forth.
Ongoing Marketing Management
Marketing is a constant journey that requires commitment, analysis, and change.
With your defined infrastructure, offers, and audience, the marketing you’ve set in motion will begin to yield results that require ongoing management.
Just as your business evolves or as your product or service offerings change, you’ll need to add or make adjustments to your marketing. This often involves re-defining a process based on new goals, or segmenting customers differently.
Measurement, as part of ongoing marketing management, is where your CRM software will play a crucial role. Your CRM will deliver metrics and reports to show how your marketing performs.
Ongoing marketing management includes monitoring your existing offers. Eventually, offers go stale. When an offer that you’ve run for a while begins to generate fewer leads, take steps to re-assess and refresh the campaign, perhaps making changes to design or messaging.
You should never view a marketing process as set in stone, but rather you should be constantly validating your defined process and tweaking as necessary. Even the most well-defined and marketing plans require ongoing management and fine tuning for maximum impact.
Remember, successful companies never stop marketing.
The Financial Marketing Process
Defining an effective marketing process provides a path and clarifies the various pieces you’ll need to create a fully-functioning process—from lead generation to post sale. Defining the tools, offerings, and strategies that then form the basis for the campaigns you’ll execute, and managing and modifying them going forward will establish a process that will build a database of leads and nurture them to become clients.
Shane Stiles will be a featured speaker at the NIBA SoCal Conference on February 23rd, 2017.
Shane Stiles is the President of Gate 39 Media. Gate 39 Media (www.gate39media.com) is a financial services marketing and technology agency working with the complete spectrum of financial services participants and firms of all sizes.
Sarah McNabb is the Chief Marketing Officer for Gate 39 Media and certified Infusionsoft specialist.