Leapfrog marketing: Jump on itArticle added by Fran Tarkenton on October 31, 2012
Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton

Atlanta, GA

Joined: February 10, 2006

My Company

Tarkenton Financial

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One of the most critically important things that you as the agent get to decide is how to consistently get your message in front of your target audience. While opportunities may come and go, I continually see agents miss out on what I like to call leapfrog marketing.

Although you probably recognize me from my career in the NFL, I’m going to let you in on an important fact about me which you may not know. I got my first insurance license in 1959. In 2003, I went on to proudly found a boutique IMO for elite financial professionals.

Between 1959 and 2003, the financial services and insurance industries went through an amazing evolution. Products have changed and become more complex. The stock market has gone through its highest highs along with some unforgettable corrections. New marketing programs have continuously popped up promising the silver bullet that will make agents successful. But there is one thing that holds constant: It takes hard work, dedication and persistence to succeed in this business.

One of the most critically important things that you as the agent get to decide is how to consistently get your message in front of your target audience. While opportunities may come and go, I continually see agents miss out on what I like to call leapfrog marketing.

What is leapfrog marketing all about?

The key to leapfrog marketing is jumping ahead of your competition by taking advantage of other events that are timely, relevant and meaningful to your prospects and clients.

In the financial services industry, there are events and various “seasons” going on all throughout the calendar year, giving you the opportunity to leapfrog over the competition. This is not about big federal holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July. Neither is it about things like client birthdays. Things of that nature are certainly opportunities, but the differentiator for leapfrog marketing is the calendar of financial services events.

What makes these events so valuable is that you can take advantage of the time and money spent by others promoting them. The groundwork is already laid; the leapfrog marketer can leverage the momentum that’s already out there in the marketplace.

Recent leapfrog marketing case study: National Estate Planning Awareness Week

To get a better feel for leapfrog marketing, consider the example of National Estate Planning Awareness Week, which just passed by October 15–21, 2012.

Typical estate planning tasks include itemizing assets and putting them into document form. This allows people to account for a lifetime of assets and information, and also to prepare to distribute them in the event of their death. While it’s important to include an attorney for things like a will, trust and other important legal documents, do not overlook the primary challenge of getting organized. That creates a need in the marketplace for helping consumers organize their affairs, putting all their information in one easy-to-access-and-understand place.
Who needs a service like that? Thinking most broadly, everyone. But specifically, today’s seniors, with or without families. Also, there are boomers or others taking care of aging parents. Do they have their affairs in order? Will everything be well-ordered and taken care of? Seniors should have everything organized, and that is a big part of the mission of National Estate Planning Awareness Week.

A successful leapfrog marketer can use this tool.

One specific strategy we’ve developed for agents to use with this event is promoting our family guidebook. A family guidebook is a comprehensive estate organizer written by an attorney. It includes planning forms, detailed information about family members, assets, legal documents, benefit plans, special requests and more. It lists what documents a person has, where they are located and a summary of what might be in them. It’s a powerful tool to both help and get to know a new prospect or even an existing client. What makes it so effective is that it allows you to act as a professional helping them with a specific need — in this case, getting organized — not as a marketer trying to sell them a product.

This level of estate organization is valuable to clients, but requires no specialized training for the financial professional. The very fact that you’re asking these questions separates you from the typical financial professional because it tells the prospect or client that you care about them and their family, immediately separating you from your competition in a subtle way. And the information you put together during National Estate Planning Awareness Week is important to both your client’s family and to you.

Capitalizing on this preexisting event helps the leapfrog marketer provide additional value to clients and prospects while getting his or her message in front of more people. This event on the financial services calendar gives you an easy, natural way to contact more people, and gives them a low-pressure, beneficial reason to talk to you. It’s also a great way to start building the relationships with prospects that turn them into clients and strengthening the relationships with clients that keep them coming back to you for help with their financial needs.

Other opportunities for leapfrog marketing

National Estate Planning Awareness Week is just one example of a chance to engage in leapfrog marketing, but there are other examples all over the calendar. Here are just a few:
  • Tax season (spring, around April 15)
  • Long-Term Care Awareness Week (November 5-11)
  • Financial Literacy Month (April)
  • Retirement Planning Week (April)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Life Insurance Awareness Month (September).
As a financial professional, you have lots of opportunities to use these kinds of events. Over the course of the year, in addition to building your marketing around major holidays, birthdays and seasons, you should include periodic leapfrog events. By identifying an event and a specific strategy for using that event to reach out to people and offer help and information, you can gain a big advantage.
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