Marketing Corner – 3 Key Ways to Dial In Your Target Market
3 Key Ways to Dial In Your Target Market
Having worked with many advisors and agents, we find that most financial professionals identify their target market through simple constraints, such as age and income. This is certainly understandable because these are two key pieces of information used when generating an illustration and determining possible solutions for a prospect. However, there are many other factors you should consider when targeting clients. Considering these other factors and broadening your approach will help you target better and generate more consistent results in your marketing. Here are three key points to consider when dialing-in your target market.
Multiple Ideal Client Types
There are multiple ideal client types in different kinds of product lines and consumer profiles. Make sure that you have a good grasp of who are looking for in these different categories. Also, think about the common denominator shared by all of these client types that you are looking for.
The Persona Profile
Many companies will develop and target their ideal client by giving a hypothetical prospect an identity, complete with name, age, needs, occupation, hobbies and sometimes a backstory. Developing a “persona profile” can be a good strategy to think of when trying to delve into the psychological identity of a prospect or client type, but you don’t necessarily have to go so far as to develop a whole fictional person. Rather think about your target market beyond “age” and “income” to access a better understanding of who your clients are and what they need. This will help to tailor your specific messages and identify potential client touchpoints.
For instance, let’s say you wish to target retirees, or soon to be retirees. You want to target someone with investable income, a hobby or interest that reflects not only their assets but also quality of life concerns, and a need to protect the sum of their life.
So we have:
Retiree – Concerned about financial planning or is open to a financial planning conversation
Hobbies/Interests – Likes cars and sports
Your message can be placed in specific targeted media, like a car magazine or website, and connect the idea of “running on empty” to their financial plan. This is a simplistic example, but it demonstrates how much further you can reach just by thinking about your client’s hobbies or interests.
Let’s say we have someone who his greatly involved in their community and local charities. This person is likely concerned with wealth transfer issues, be it to the groups he or she supports or to their own family.
Mind you, this isn’t radical thinking, but that’s why it matters and why it works. Not only do you expand your idea of a target client beyond age and income, but also you already have a direction in developing and placing your message.
Another reason why thinking about the hobbies and interests of potential clients is helpful is that a person with a passion will likely understand the value of a good financial plan because money will mean more to them than money; it will be the means to access and maintain what is important to them. Individuals generally don’t see money as cold numbers and figures—they see what they can do with it. So getting away from a numbers and figures approach in targeting will make your messages hit harder.
In the previous section, we are really discussing using what people do as a means of targeting. You can also use what people experience as a way to access them. This includes the whole arc of a prospect’s life and the financial concerns that someone experiences at each milestone.
A new parent not only has a shift in financial expenses but also a shift in priorities, which makes them a likely candidate for a cash value life insurance policy. A person approaching retirement will have a whole host of concerns and complicated financial needs—from coordinating employer-sponsored benefits and shoring up other retirement assets. This person may also have interest Social Security and estate solutions. A new job, the loss of a job, marriage, the death of a spouse, all of these are major events that have a need for financial services, whether the person experiencing them realizes it.
If you want to increase the ROI on your marketing and produce better results, you need a firm grasp of the market you are going for. The better you understand the variety of your prospects, beyond simple input values such as age and income, the more focused and powerful your marketing will become.
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