Don’t Dial Down Marketing – Clients And Prospects Have Pain Points That Need Addressing Now
Here’s a piece of advice I received early in my marketing career: “Stay close to and understand the people who make up your market. Find out their hopes, fears, dreams and pain points directly from them – with the words they use.” Not only is this advice useful for messaging and positioning, it also drives important strategic decisions.
Saturated In Anxiety
My company recently conducted a survey with 800 investors from across the country who earn between $200,000 and $500,000 per year. The survey gathered demographic information, delved into sentiments over market uncertainty to build out a campaign and discovered insights that would help advisors with their marketing.
Here was one of the prompts: “Describe three thoughts you have when the news announces a recession is coming.”
We received comments saturated in anxiety. Like this one: “I am concerned about the markets crashing. I am concerned about house prices crashing. I am concerned about the job market getting worse.” Others were more even keeled: “I’m in my investments for the long haul. It presents a potential buying opportunity. But, one must be careful.” While some responses were a little more, let’s say, colorful: “[BLEEP] this country!”
Respondents were also asked if they “would consider hiring an advisor within the next 18 months.”
Fifty-two percent of them said “yes.” In fact, a number of respondents were already working with a financial professional, which signals that quite a few would be open to switching advisors if they could find a sufficient reason.
Don’t Dial Down Marketing
Why would this be helpful to you as you consider what to focus on throughout 2023?
Within my circle, I’ve heard some advisors talk about “turning down the dial” on marketing. Some even considered stopping altogether.
“I think I should focus 100% on my clients. I’d rather keep my firm from shrinking, and I should drive some referrals that way while I ride out the storm. I can market later, a year or two from now when things, hopefully, settle down.”
As well-intentioned and conservative as this might sound, it could stifle the advisor’s business.
Think about this relative to the survey responses I shared: People are currently uncertain. They’re seeking answers, advice or something that will help ease their anxiety about how this year will unfold.
Here are a few responses to the question, “What’s your worst fear when a recession hits (related to your money and investments)?”
- “Losing college money in 529 and losing retirement money in 401(k).”
- “That I will not be able to retire early after saving so long.”
- “While I’m still a long-term investor, I’m getting older now and don’t have as much time to bounce back from my losses.”
- “Retirement savings diminish and time to retire extends.”
Give Peace Of Mind
Waiting to “market later” assumes that people – with their burning questions and worries – won’t find someone else in the meantime who is doing the hard work to give them the answers they need and have important conversations with them.
When someone is losing sleep over their family’s future or how they may have to clock in to work until the day they die, they want to find answers to assuage those pains now.
If you stop all marketing activities now in an effort to “wait for a better time,” you’ll likely miss out on an opportunity to get the attention of people who can use your help.
Increase your visibility now – and be ready to reassure those seeking change and peace of mind. Implement a comprehensive strategy that includes focusing on current clients and broadly marketing answers to questions that investors have.
Maintain that visibility and showcase that you’re the seasoned, credible expert who can help clients get clear on their values, put together a solid strategy and create the type of accountability that helps them stick to the plan, especially when things get rocky.
Angel Gonzalez is Co-Founder and CMO of marketing technology firm Snappy Kraken. The survey, with additional key findings and data downloads, is available here.