Marketing Corner – January 21st, 2016
Energize the New Year with a Short-Term Marketing Plan
It’s finally 2016. While you may be finally getting over the hangover of the holidays and slowly settling in for a new year of business, there’s one thing you may have overlooked—your marketing plan. This is important, as the first couple of months for many advisors can be a down period. Although having a long-term marketing plan is going to be best, here are five best practices for creating a short-term solution to get you through the slump.
Identify Your Target Market
Any good marketing plan, whether short-term or long-term, will begin with identifying your ideal target market. However, your short-term target may be different than your long-term target, since you are likely looking for quantity as much as quality in the short-term. Leads that while not yielding higher production, are easier to convert.
Have Specific Goals
Just because you are looking for quick short-term growth does not mean you can’t be specific with your ideal results. If this year, as it is for many advisors, is starting in a slump, identify specific goals you hope to achieve. This could be a revenue target, or number of appointments set, or a number of leads in a set timeframe, or it could be a mix of all of these. The point is that having ill-defined objectives will get you ill-defined results.
Consider Marketing Platforms That Offer Efficient and Immediate Results
Once you have figured out your target market and specific goals, consider the means of your marketing. While the central question in evaluating your marketing options is what’s going to give the most bang for your buck, in a short-term plan, you will want to focus on things that give you immediate results. This can include methods and programs such as live lead transfer systems, direct mail, presets, e-blasts, online leads and networking events. When compared to more involved means such as seminars, the leads may not be as qualified in your short-term marketing strategy, but they should get you in front of more potential clients. Some of these options may ultimately cost more on a per-lead basis, but they can dramatically shorten the time to convert. Some of them, such as e-blasts and digital marketing, are relatively inexpensive and things you should be doing already.
As with any marketing plan, you will need to establish a reasonable (and practical) budget. Since you will be working on a shorter time frame, and are starting at the beginning of the year when cash flow may be weakened, the budget you can set for your short-term marketing may be limited. This is actually okay, as you probably don’t want to use large portions of your overall yearly marketing budget in the first six weeks of the year. Choose smart marketing options that balance your immediate need for qualified leads with your need to keep operational costs low.
Develop Your Long-Term Marketing Plan
The points above can help you survive a slump or jumpstart a down period, but they do not make for a sustainable marketing plan. Relying only on these short-term solutions may deplete your budgets and exhaust your target market. You may find that your marketing solutions are not worth the return on investment. As you implement your short-term marketing plan, make sure that you also spend time developing your long-term marketing plan. Consider goals on longer timeframes, i.e. where do you want you business to be at the end of the year, where do you want it to be in five years, what new client types will you pursue. For more information about how to develop a long-term marketing plan, check out our earlier Marketing Corner post, “Your Insurance Marketing Plan.”
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