Marketing campaigns are an essential tool that all financial services businesses should be using to promote their services. In an industry that relies on trust, knowledge and experience to obtain new leads and retain existing clients, advance planning will help to capitalise on the opportunities throughout the year to raise awareness of your brand.
With years of experience planning and running successful campaigns that have generated hundreds of new business leads and millions in revenue for the firms that I have worked with, I understand how important it is to create a calendar of activity that helps you stay focused on working towards your overall sales and business goals, for example:
First Quarter Focus (January – March)
Investing for Income
Tax Season / Tax Planning
Second Quarter Focus (April – June)
New Tax Year Legislation
Planning for School Fees / Investments and Savings
Personal and Business Protection Planning/Reviews
Third Quarter Focus (July – September)
Long Term Care Planning
Mortgages and Loans
Investing for Growth
Fourth Quarter Focus (October – December)
IHT / Estate Planning
Investments and Savings
Autumn Statement Announcement
Investing for Growth and Income
Financial solutions are fluid, so there isn't necessarily a specific timeframe to promote each service. However, having a consistent strategy and targeted messaging programme throughout the year will prove to be more effective than taking the shotgun approach of promoting all services at once. It will also help to focus you or your sales team on achieving your growth and revenue goals for each area of your business.
LEAD GENERATION CAMPAIGN PLANNING
When looking to target new business, taking a direct approach is always best, with the aim of capturing people at that ‘just in time’ moment. This basically means that they have had it in their mind to do something about a particular financial need, but perhaps haven’t had the chance to do any research or take any advice. However, your communication comes to them ‘just at the right time’ and sparks their interest enough for them to get in contact with you.
Using email or postal direct mail allows you to be more targeted and personalised with your communication. Using this approach alongside local print and online advertising will help raise awareness of your brand.
Pull new leads through from your social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to a landing page on your website which encourages them to sign-up for your newsletter or financial guide or you could create a blog post in relation to a specific financial solution with a call to action for them to get in contact with you.
Have in place a mechanism that allows you to nurture your leads through the sales pipeline such as using auto responder messages on your email campaigns when they have signed up for your newsletter. Auto responders will generate an automatic follow up email message giving them new information or providing next steps. Alternatively you could also following up with a phone call within 24 hours when someone responds to a promotion. This allows you to immediately start building a relationship with them, gain new information and keep them interested and warm to your services.
RETENTION AND LOYALTY CAMPAIGNS
Again, direct marketing through email or post to your clients and then following up with a phone call within 48 hours is essential with up/cross-selling promotions. If you leave it any longer, with everything else that may be going on in their lives, they may well have forgotten about the promotion all together, which is a wasted opportunity.
Word of Mouth (WOM) advertising is the best form of free advertising you will receive and recommendations that come in this way are more likely to result in new business. There will likely be periods within the year when business slows down, so including a referral campaign within your strategy and speaking to existing clients is a great way of endorsing your services and getting new leads. You have already built up a good relationship with them and they will have experienced the exceptional service that you are providing including how you have helped them with their financial needs.
Guide them through how to approach their friends, family or work colleagues but keep it simple so that they don't feel overwealmed or obliged to refer. It may be useful to create a referal guide that they can give out along with your business card.
Obviously, bearing in mind the FCA inducement rules, you could potentially offer a voucher up to the value of £50 to any client that refers a new lead and then goes on to write their first piece of business with you.
EVENTS AND HOSPITALITY
Hosting events that cover more complex topics such as Inheritance Tax, will allow you to target more people at once as well as providing you with the opportunity to immediately build a face-to-face relationship that you do not get with other promotions. In financial services, events like these are just as important if not more so than print and digital campaigns.
If your budget allows, consider using interesting venues such as a museum or art gallery to draw interest and include specialist speakers such as your professional partners that will enhance knowledge and education they will receive from attending.
It’s beneficial to host at least one client hospitality event each year – whether it’s exclusively for existing clients or open to clients and a guest, these types of specialised events that serve as a thank you for their ongoing support of your business, will help show that you provide a GEM (going the extra mile) service and in turn will also hopefully encourage clients to generate that invaluable and free WOM advertising every business needs.
WHO ELSE DO YOU KNOW?
Take the time to look at your network of contacts, friends and colleagues within the industry and see if there is the opportunity to create a reciprocal campaign to generate new business. For example, there may be a local luxury car dealership where you could host an investment seminar and include signing up for a test drive. Is there an association or group you could build a relationship with in order to run an email campaign to their membership offering a complimentary financial review or to host an event?
REVIEW AND ANALYSIS
Probably one of the most important elements of campaign management is reviewing how well they worked, which ones you should continue with, what elements need to be changed and those that didn’t work well. Having this level of analysis in place before the end of each year will help you, ascertain what generated the most new business, revenue and brand awareness as well as to plan which campaigns to move forward with in the upcoming New Year.
There are many creative ways in which you can use campaigns to promote your business and what works for one organisation may not necessarily work for yours, so having a variety of options in place is important.
In conclusion, planning your campaign schedule in advance and staying focused on your overall sales and business objectives, will help you manage and sustain your business more effectively.
For advice and guidance on planning and implementing an effective financial services marketing campaign, contact DPS Financial Marketing today.