“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Actual Advisor Conversation…
Advisor: “The golf carts at our local club have video screens you can run ads on. I was thinking of giving it a try.”
Me: “Okay…. What are you trying to achieve? What’s your goal?”
Advisor: “I don’t really have one. Just seems like a good way to get my name out there more.”
Me: “How does this fit into your general prospecting strategy?”
Advisor: “Don’t really have one.”
Me: “Do a lot of your clients golf?”
Advisor: “Not really.”
When it comes to marketing, many of us make the mistake of looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
We focus on small-scale tactics without having a broader strategy.
The world is full of fun, glitzy marketing ideas—blogs, QR codes, Twittering, apps, seminars, whitepapers, billboards, golf cart ads. But unless they are tied to thoughtful goals and client insights, chances are you are wasting time and money.
Who is your target audience? How can you best reach them? How many do you expect to reach? If you spend X dollars on an initiative, what should that mean in terms of bringing in new assets?
If you are serious about growing your business, you need a marketing plan (you also need a larger business plan that dovetails with the marketing plan, but that is a subject for another blog).
A marketing plan puts structure, discipline and metrics behind your marketing. It doesn’t have to be a 50-page document, but it should include an understanding of your target market as well as quantifiable goals, such as bringing in 6 ideal clients next year or earning 10 referrals from existing clients.
Once you have set your goals, you then should determine specific, supporting tactics and activities. What do you want to do, how much will you spend and what are the anticipated results, and when you want to do it?
To help you, we’ve put together a simple 8-page marketing plan template
So you can see how it works we’ve filled out this marketing plan template with sample Advisor information. It focuses on the 4 key areas of a strategic marketing plan:

  1. Business Background
  2. Summary of Client/Prospect Insights
  3. Marketing Goals, Strategies, Tactics
  4. Annual Marketing Calendar

This template can easily be adapted and filled out for your own practice. Investing an hour or two now could help make your marketing next year even more productive and effective.