As IFAs, we should be forgiven for not paying enough attention to our marketing efforts. After all, our speciality is based around investments and finance, not outreach, lead generation and KPI assessment. We’ve also always traditionally relied on referrals and word-of-mouth for finding new clients.
But excellent marketing with clear-cut goals is growing more and more vital as people, particularly younger generations, turn to increasingly digitalised means of finding products and services. If you are or plan to become, a fully virtual financial adviser, digital marketing effectively becomes your bread and butter.
Wading into the marketing waters can be intimidating, particularly if you’re a smaller practice with no internal sales or outreach department. Where do you begin? How do you determine what your goals are and how do you measure the extent of your success?
If you’re unsure where to start, problem-based marketing is the perfect place to build an effective marketing strategy from the ground up for your advisory practice.
What is problem-based marketing?
Problem-based marketing is easier (and more positive) than it might initially sound. It’s a model for turning your marketing woes into gains by focusing on the most essential thing: what problem you solve as an IFA. It consists of 10 P’s that create the framework of the approach.
Defining the 10 p’s of problem-based marketing and how you can use them
You first need to establish your purpose. Your purpose will define the vision for what you want to achieve with the problem-based marketing approach. Take the time required to draw up a clear and measurable vision. It will define where you want to go and give you set goals you can aim for and measure your actions against.
The problem is not your problem – it’s the problem your clients have. It delineates the value you create with your services. Make sure you clearly define what it is because that will become the underlying factor influencing all your other marketing P’s that come after.
Positioning helps you frame your purpose regarding the problem. It describes who you are in relation to the problem, and how you work to solve it. Your position should define your core messaging, your USPs and the benefits you offer in your methods.
Your Process helps you understand how you need to market to and onboard new clients. Defining your processes will build your model for reaching new leads and guiding them through the sales funnel to the endpoint of having them sign up.
Products are your solutions. Breaking down your services into defined products will reinforce your value proposition and clarify what it is you’re offering.
Packaging turns your message into an appealing story that will resonate and make an impact. This should be easy if you’ve got your first five P’s nailed down. If you find you’re struggling with your packaging, go back and reassess your previous P’s and pinpoint which area needs more groundwork.
Your promotion is all about spreading your story and how much it catches on. If your story isn’t resonating with your target audience, have a look at the story as it is. What’s missing or clouding the important message you’re trying to share? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and try to see it from their point of view.
Persuasion is a subtle art, and it can be tricky initially to strike that fine balance. Essentially, you need to persuade someone that your product is their best option for solving their problem. The key is to maintain a sense of authenticity here – share advice with a potential lead that genuinely benefits them and adds value to their experience. Work to build trust which will make them more likely to choose you over someone else.
Your pricing needs to cover both the value of your service and the costs involved. At the same time, it needs to be in line with the trends of the market and appeal to prospects. If you’ve fleshed out your problem, your positioning and your products well enough, your pricing should appear reasonable to clients.
Performance is the ribbon that ties all your strategies together. Your performance is what will help to sell what you solve, how you solve it, and why you’re the best at solving it to your audience. Performing is vital to problem-based marketing. If you fail to perform, all the work you’ve done up till now will not be enough to achieve your goals.
It may sound deceptively simple, but following the approach of problem-based marketing does take time and careful consideration. You need to harness all 10 P’s to really reap the benefits, as they build on each other. Each P effectively represents a step in the model and if you follow them correctly you’ll get the results you’re looking for.