by Tony Vidler
Target marketing is usually the difference between those firms who get the right sort of clients, and those who just get customers.
Clients follow advice, because they value it.
Customers engage in transactions. They buy products. They take a bit of advice here and there…as it suits them. Trying to get more of these people is not the smart play for most professional services firms.
Great advice firms are built upon valuable advice delivered to clients who understand the value of it. So guess who great advice firms aim their marketing efforts at?
Virtually all professional services firms have limited marketing budgets. More importantly perhaps, the practice managers, partners and key advisers all have other limitations too. To paraphrase Carl Richards (who drew this diagram for investors, rather than practitioners) there is only so much that we have to invest when it comes to marketing.
Apart from limited budgets, there is a paucity of time, and only so much energy available for marketing when so much energy is required for all the other functions of being an effective professional. To top it off we have limited skills in this area. We are financial advisers. Perhaps we are good business people too. Rarely are we also superb marketers with a high skill base in that arena.
All of these limitations, together with the need to attract the right types of future clients, mean we need to direct the limited resources we have into targeting the ideal clients. That is not to say that if some good customers turn up we shouldn’t deal with them. Make a commercial decision there: if they are good enough and appear to be profitable enough, then by all means deal with them and take them on.
However, direct the limited time, money, energy and skills that you practice does have for marketing towards creating awareness with ideal clients, and then engaging them.
Target marketing is the smart play when we have limited resources.
You may also find this post useful: One way to make ideal prospects engage AND also make top clients happy0