Many advisers think they can’t afford good marketing. And many IMO’s perpetuate this myth. The fact of the matter is that in this industry bad marketing advice is everywhere. Sometimes it is given out of ignorance and lack of experience, sometimes it is given because someone fails to interpret the information correctly, and it often happens because someone else has something to gain if you listen to them.
Unfortunately, for the independent adviser you are often the ones left holding the bag.
Today, IMO’s are just not set up to provide real marketing help — they are simply insurance processors. The bad
marketing advice they extol is far more expensive than good marketing, and the advisers that have figured this out are poised to make great leaps in the coming years.
The cost of bad marketing is very real and although it may not be noticeable right away the long term effects can be devastating. Just because something worked in Florida does not mean it will work in Montana, and this seems to be a sin committed by our industry on a daily basis — IMO’s passing template marketing programs around the country like Krispy Kreme donuts.
It’s not their fault they are not set up as marketing agencies and marketing is not their expertise — processing applications is. The cost of bad marketing goes well beyond wasted budget. It’s the opportunity cost of time, energy, resources and lost competitive edge that kills you. To further put the adviser behind the 8-ball, all of the IMO marketing "is targeted at people who have limited resources, limited time … who need to get the most out of everything they put into their business”, and those people are having their time and resources wasted.
Some of them merely waste your time while giving a good impression that they are working, while they do not, in fact, help you at all. Others will cost you resources with no return (or inefficient return), or at worst, harm your business. Some tactics can, in fact, derail your business and turn your dreams to dust.
My advice — your brand and your time are the two most precious commodities you have — don’t waste either of
If you want to market smart, you have to know how to avoid the bad advice, and how to spot the people who are
ignorantly telling you to do things that will waste your time. Point by point, why would you want marketing advice from someone who has never marketed a product or service in their life?
Interview those giving you marketing advice and make sure they have real world experience and a track record of successful execution. Don’t fall for the third party spin. Nothing compares to a track record of successful execution.
Making the right marketing decisions will not only generate prospects but also set your practice apart from the competition over the long term.
"The cost of bad marketing is very real, it's not just that there's no response, but you may be turning off a large portion of your target market." – Craig M. Ceranna