NAILBA Perspectives Spring 2019 | Page 22

MARKETING Managing the marketing details Most advisors miss the mark when it comes to successful marketing. The proof of that statement is in their production figures. There are several critical ingredients that must be included in any successful marketing campaign. Critical questions First and foremost, the recipient of information must have a need for that information. The greater the need, the greater the need for a recipient to respond. Makes perfect sense, right? Frequency and persistence in marketing is key. With that in mind, the first questions you should ask yourself are: Does my marketing meet the needs of my target audience? Does the marketing mailer meet the needs of the target audience? Specifically, in the audience’s mind, not yours? As example, my company, Seminars for Less, produces mailings for attorneys, as well as financial advisors. Elder Law attorneys mail to people who are over 68 years old. Since they are offering crisis planning for elderly people on the topic of long-term care, there’s a strong response rate because of the message’s relevancy to the age group. And, to ensure the attorneys receive the desired level of prospects from the mailing, they send to a large database of seniors with the understanding that only a small percentage of recipients will need or be receptive to the solution at the time of the mailer. Kim Magdalein is an advisor with 30 years of speaking and writing experience about prospecting for industry publications and websites. Co-founder of Seminars For Less nearly 20 years ago, he is a leader in seminar marketing, assisting financial advisors, insurance agents and attorneys. Contact Kim at 22 Perspectives Q2 2019 Swimming against the current Marketing and advertising can’t create a problem to solve. Advisors have a bad habit of trying to create a problem to solve when the consumer doesn’t agree. We can’t even explain why they should pay attention to a particular situation that may become a problem. Most people will wait to solve a problem only after it occurs. When we attempt to “create awareness”, we are swimming against the current. Why not catch the flow of what they want and just fulfill their needs? Timing is critical. Just because they don’t want to solve the problem today doesn’t mean they don’t want to solve it later. Frequency and persistence in marketing is key. Once you have identified a qualified prospect and they’ve shown even a small interest in what you offer, indicating that you can improve their world, stay in touch. Timing is everything Email follow-up is popular and relatively inexpensive. What happens, however, if the email hits when the recipient doesn’t have a need or desire to solve that specific problem? Another concern, especially with the older consumers, is that they don’t tend to check their emails very often. In fact, some only check email just once a week or less. And, then there is the issue with emails ending up in spam either by accident or by the recipient blocking further correspondence. With that in mind, I recommend phone calls and snail mail. Sure, they can throw it away or delete your message, but they will have heard your message by voicemail and may have read your correspondence by snail mail before they threw it away. My wife, Carol continued to receive a simple one page typed no-frills newsletter from someone for two years. She didn’t have the problem until the second year, but then had this person top-of-mind for solving the problem. Response happens when the need occurs, and a solution is desired. Dabbling vs. business growth A marketing budget is essential to any real business. Many producers believe they can run a business without spending money. That’s a “dabbler” mentality. A committed business owner is one who markets effectively. A good starting annual budget for marketing could be $6000 or just $500 per month. A combination of direct mail and phone calls can, at least, provide insight into the effectiveness of marketing. As leaders in the industry, wholesalers should consistently encourage advisors to invest in marketing. Then continue to bring excellent, effective campaigns to their producers that will help them solve the problems of their prospects. A combination of direct mail and phone calls can, at least, provide insight into the effectiveness of marketing. Real life example Over 10 years ago, Social Security marketing was created and went viral among producers as an effective way to get the attention of qualified consumers. When the Social Security administration adjusted their payout of benefits, producers had to adjust their approach. Mailing to people who are the appropriate ages will cerate a response because the prospect must make a decision soon. That’s solving a current problem that already exists before the marketing gets their attention. The discussion about Social Security is very important for someone at any age. Just this week I directed a 42-year-old couple to to determine their current status with Social Security. Eddie is making a career change. Since he has a military pension and opted out of a survivorship benefit for Jennifer, I told him to look into what Social Security benefits would be available for her. They were thrilled to know some real numbers. He is now looking at a life insurance policy to cover some of the additional income she may need. This is a great example of approaching people when a need is currently important to them. Systematic approach to prospecting I’m always surprised to learn that producers don’t have an effective and easy-to-use CRM to stay on top of their prospecting. I recommend a less annoying CRM that meets basic needs without paying for frills that are not necessary. Everything can be accessed by smartphone as well as by computer, so it’s very portable. I use it every day. Everything goes in and it is accessible by staff. Following up by phone and mail is easy when using a great follow up system. I am still an undying fan of the one card system and a good CRM is similar. Marketing organizations should encourage producers to systematically approach prospects with a problem solving system and invest capital for that purpose. The producers must be able to trust the marketing organization with their time and money. That system should include marketing and follow up that is not too time consuming for the producer yet gets consistent results. Look to Q3 Perspectives for technology that supports your marketing initiatives. 23