Can a financial advisory firm successfully run a digital marketing strategy using internal resources?
That was a recent topic of debate on our podcast, Bridging the Gap. My answer: Absolutely. It takes effort and commitment to establish and run your own digital marketing program, but the returns can be tremendous.
An effective digital marketing effort is based on two things: a clear sense of your firm’s purpose and value proposition, and a deep understanding of your clients and prospects.
So, what drives your firm? Why do you come to work every day? And why should people choose to work with you? Are you just better stocks pickers or strategists? Or is there more to what you offer? Something bigger. Are you, for example, driven by helping clients achieve fulfillment in their lives? How do you provide that support beyond building and managing a great portfolio?
In my experience, a digital marketing effort that positions the firm as having top-notch investment skills or a better strategy than other firms is unlikely to generate the emotional response necessary to prompt prospects to come meet with you. People respond and engage with organizations that combine expertise with empathy and a sense of connection.
To deliver digital content that informs and connects, you must truly understand your clients and prospects. Of course, we all think we know these folks, but how deep is that knowledge? It’s not enough to know they want to grow a nest egg. We need to understand what they hope to do with that money. That requires a grasp of every aspect of their life experience – their dreams, fears and passions.
It’s also critical to understand how your target audience consumes information. What digital platforms do they use? When are they most likely to check those sources? What types of content are they likely to share with others?
So, yes, any firm with clarity of purpose and a solid knowledge of its client base can run its own digital marketing efforts. Plenty of firms are already doing so with great success. Whether you should do it yourself is a separate question. Digital marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it tool. It’s an iterative process that requires almost daily content creation, analysis and tweaking to determine what is resonating with the prospects in your audience. Is this a best use of your team’s time? Or is your day better spent meeting with clients and prospects, handling financial situations, and building financial plans? Only you know that answer.
Outsourcing the digital marketing effort won’t completely free you from its time commitment. You will still need to invest a great deal of time in overseeing the agency’s content and targeting, especially in the early phases of the initiative.
Whether you opt for an internal or external execution, be sure to set an ROI for your digital marketing efforts. That ROI should be more than a dollar figure. It should detail your specific goals for the program, such as new leads, increased inquiries, and more prospect meetings. Such targets and benchmarks are necessary to determine if the program is working and whether it’s worth the investment.
Give your digital marketing program enough time and attention and the answer to both of those questions will likely be a resounding yes.
I’d love to hear your insights on this topic. Do you have a digital marketing strategy? Are you doing it internally, externally, what’s the success of it? Let’s start a conversation.