The three Ms of marketing
Whether you use digital or traditional methods of marketing, no campaign will work effectively unless you follow the three Ms, says Lucian Camp
I know it’s unwise to take financial advisers’ marketing objectives for granted. Some want new clients. Some want to generate more business from those they already have. Some simply want to keep their client base warm and loyal. And a few really are quite happy with things as they are.
Still, for all these groups except the last – and for many others too – their marketing aims are going to call for communication. And here, the news is mainly good. The range of powerful, effective and in many cases remarkably low-cost (or even no-cost) communication options has been rapidly expanding in recent years.
Many of the most powerful and lowest-cost opportunities are of course digital but the offline world still has its attractions too. Local newspapers and magazines remain hungry for content, and a regular column may well be available.
Small-scale and low-cost hospitality is surprisingly effective. One adviser I know takes a party of eight clients and prospects to the greyhound racing at Wimbledon two or three times a year.
And especially when you’re dealing with business people, don’t underestimate the power of a proper business letter, fully personalised and signed in ink – some of the most powerful lead- generation campaigns I’ve ever known consisted of no more than this.
However, the availability of low-cost communication media is only part of the story. The most powerful media in the world are of little use until you connect them with the other two Ms of successful marketing communication – a target market and a message. Bringing the three Ms – media, market and message – into alignment is the secret of successful marketing communication.
Let me give you an example. Some years ago, I was working for a small employee benefits consultancy, which targeted the creative and media industries – good for me, because it was a world I knew from my own experience. My client wanted a lead generation campaign to generate responses from creative agency bosses.
The solution was simplicity itself. First, I asked my client to prepare a presentation pulling together all the information he had on this industry’s bosses’ salaries and benefits packages. Then we wrote a one-page business letter, signed in ink, which we sent to a list of 50 target prospects. The heading of the letter simply asked the question: “Are other creative directors earning more than you?” In the body of the letter, my client offered to come round and take the recipient through his presentation on the subject. We figured that this would hit a nerve, and we were right: 50 letters generated 43 appointments.
So my advice to advisers planning marketing communications is simple: by all means spend time exploring the wonderful and fast-expanding world of low-cost and no-cost media at your disposal, but also spend at least as much time – and probably more – exploring the needs and wants of your target market, and the kinds of messages you can develop that will really cut through and engage them.
Lucian Camp describes himself as the ‘entire workforce’ of Lucian Camp Consulting, a one-man firm offering brand and marketing consultancy to all corners of the financial services industry.
First published in Zurich’s Advice Matters magazine