by Tony Vidler
Every adviser wants better marketing results – no matter how good the existing results are. We want more, because in more or better marketing results lies the ability to leverage our businesses. Yet in the constant search for more or better many advisers are overlooking the thing in their hands: their phone.
I suppose it is because of the compliance fears driven by institutions, dealer groups and licence-holders; but advisers in the main have been pretty poor at using SMS for marketing. That’s a shame, because it ticks so many boxes (and I don’t reckon it presents half the compliance challenges some folk suggest).
It is helpful to be quite clear about what the objectives of effective marketing are to begin with. Basically they remain the same as they’ve always been, and that is:
We know that consumers overwhelmingly trust the recommendations and actions of their friends and family, and as a second choice they trust in the shared experience of other consumers like themselves. Online reviews are immensely powerful in making (or breaking!) trust in a brand. Because these methods are so highly regarded by consumers themselves we must constantly work on these methods as “essentials” in our marketing plan.
But new technologies and new mediums and evolving consumer buying behaviours mean that we should be constantly considering how else we can achieve the marketing objectives while working on the word-of-mouth tactics. That is; what technology or communciations channels support word-of-mouth marketing?
Market research such as that consistently provided by firms such as Nielsen provide great insight into where such opportunities might exist. While they confirm the importance of “owned” marketing channels – or areas where we control the medium and drive content – they also highlight other opportunity areas.
I have deliberately chosen their published research from about 10 years ago…because none of this is new knowledge to the industry. We just haven’t used that knowledge.
Recent research has shown the most important trust building mediums (recommendations, etc) have actually increased in importance in the last few years.
In the last couple of years a few professionals that I have worked with have spotted these opportunities (for which I am not claiming credit I hasten to add) and their results have been quite extraordinary.
One has evolved to the point where SMS has become the lynchpin of prospecting and prospect engagement for the practice in just a couple of years….and turnover for that practice has more than doubled since doing so. The prospect “bank” is full, and constantly overflowing. Turnaround and response times on prospect engagement have sped up to crazy speeds – conversations and information sharing with prospects that used to take 3 months now happen over the course of 3 days.
The speed and responsiveness that is expected, and then delivered, with SMS marketing absolutely fits for todays busy consumers who demand convenience and answers “right now”.
Our objective when trying to market ourselves and our brands is to find mediums that reach our target market, and which also engage in a way that our target market desires.
Do that and it will be a lot easier easy to work with people. Do THAT and you will get better marketing results..