Step One: Doing A Complete Brand Evaluation
Start with the big picture. That means taking a microscopic as well as a 30,000-foot look at how your audience and prospects view you. What is your real corporate identity? How is it any different from any other advisor? What are your core messages that feed into and support your brand identity
? Do you know how the marketplace sees you? Whether you realize it or not, whether you’ve purposely cultivated a specific image or not, your firm is already communicating a “picture” of who you are through everything you do and everything you say.Analyzing your current “picture” – how and what you are communicating today – and changing the market’s view of you (perhaps even radically) into a carefully honed brand image and messaging requires the assistance of a firm that’s skilled in branding. It’s not for the faint of heart and not for the non-committed. It’s hard work. It’s getting “deep into the weeds” of introspection…critically assessing your current identity from every angle and determining what you’d really like it to be in order to rise above the noise level of the myriad of other advisors’ messages out there.
Step Two: Examining All Marketing Collateral
If you’re mostly pleased with your overall branding, then the next area to fully review is all of your various marketing collateral
– everything from white papers to brochures to portfolio factsheets to company overviews to blog reprints to event pamphlets to business cards and more. Do all your marketing pieces convey a uniform theme and graphic look that reinforces your brand identity? Equally important, does everything have high impact, cleanly written, concisely organized copy that truly communicates in a compelling and informative fashion the messages and topics of the piece?Related: How to Get to the Core of Your Company’s Brand
Many advisors are logical thinkers, excellent planners, good speakers, with a passion for their calling and their clients. Some are outstanding writers, too. But with the crush of winning new accounts, servicing existing clients, running a business, overseeing operations and personnel, and making financial decisions, it’s often difficult to find the time and energy to devote to creating the array of marketing tool your practice needs to thrive. There’s where a talented marketing agency staffed with skilled, focused professionals who are experts in producing marketing copy that sizzles can help.
Step Three: Analyzing How You Do Promotion
You’re basically happy with both your brand image and your collateral. The next important question to ask is how do you promote your company? How do people find out your firm exists? Your messages and materials are just fine, but what about your methods? In the old days, this would have been called a marketing plan with an advertising campaign and a media budget. Today, it’s making use of every type of modern media available to promote your firm, your offerings and what makes you unique. This may include traditional marketing and advertising solutions (paid radio or TV, newspapers, consumer and trade publications, direct mail, seminar/event marketing and public relations
). But it also now includes digital marketing in all forms (including email marketing, social media and paid and organic search). This should also include a retention strategy to keep actively in front of your database to capture more assets and retain your customers over time, as it is significantly less expensive to keep a client than to retain a new one.The trick is to create a comprehensive marketing plan that fully integrates all of the available media and tools at your disposal to maximize positive exposure for the least amount of dollars. You want to build real meaningful awareness about your firm among your key target audiences. There will be no magic bullet or singular effort that consistently fill your calendar, so just like in investing, you will need to take a diversified approach. ( For more on this topic, read our past blog: Diversify Your Marketing Mix: Understanding Paid, Owned and Earned Content)