IFA Marketing Strategy
Independent Financial Advisers want high value clients from their IFA marketing strategy. This blog details a 3 step way of thinking about how you can achieve the goal of acquiring high value clients. It’s the AIM marketing strategy.
So, how’s your AIM?
First, consider your current high value client IFA marketing strategy.
What do high value IFA clients look like?
What do high value clients look like to you? Typically, they’ll be over 45 years of age, but quite likely the sweet spot is over 55 years and less than 75 year of age. They’ll be mature families, older couples and singles where the family is now growing up. Teenagers make up a high proportion of the children present in their families. For these people, their earnings are at their lifetime peak and this allows them to
live a prosperous and comfortable lifestyle.
They’ll live in settled, prosperous neighbourhoods. They offer a IFA marketing strategy a gilt edged return. They have accumulated a lot of wealth that requires management and stewardship, but they are also less likely to move home, and potentially away from an IFA’s natural territory. So, once acquired, and continually handled in a professional and helpful manner, they offer the prospect of being high value clients over a long time.
IFA marketing strategy challenges
To have an IFA marketing strategy, you have to have an idea of knowing where you next customer is coming from. So do you have systems to acquire customers in place?
Does your IFA marketing strategy detail who your competitors are? Are you nervous about the big players stealing your best clients and prospects from underneath you? Is the presence of large competitors making you more likely to have to compete on price?
Is that pretty close to the size of it? Even if it is close enough, how do you implement your IFA marketing strategy?
What the AIM marketing strategy is NOT.
It’s not about spending money to ‘get you name out there’. About a thousand ways to spend your precious marketing budget to ‘generate awareness’. AIM is not about paying to get a warm and fuzzy feeling about your brand or company. AIM is not about ‘likes’.
The AIM Marketing Strategy is a direct response marketing strategy.
Direct response marketing is about getting paid to get your name out there! Every time you market, you are doing it to acquire customers. You are not brand building. However, at the same time, your ideal target audience is beginning to recognise you and the services you provide. Your IFA marketing strategy can focus on acquiring customers and selling to them, rather than spending money in random acts of awareness advertising.
By doing this, you are cutting out the ‘awareness provider’ middle man. They’ll take your money willingly. It’s easy for them. Remember that old John Wanamaker (1838-1922) quote:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
In other words, this is where you don’t know what the heck is going on. Most IFA practices are just not like the big guys. Most IFAs do not have an army of people just sat at the end of a phone waiting to sell to people who noticed the latest awareness, brand building ad. You know the ads I am talking about, no copy, no reason to buy ads. Nice pictures of austere buildings!
No surprise, IFAs have to sell their services!
No, most IFAs have to sell. Sell a reason the high value client should know you, trust you, like you. Sell a financial adviser seminar on tax planning, EIS investments, IHT. The smart IFA marketing strategy may not win awards, but it will win high value clients. By focusing on attracting high value clients, by being prolific, you will build a brand. Witness the direct mail activity of Fisher Investments. Heard of their brand? Of course, you have.
Still hankering after an awareness strategy? A bit like the big boys do? But maybe not as expensive? Ask yourself the question, why would a high value client choose you if you don’t differentiate your business? Do the same as others in the market is a sure way to enter the middle ground of undifferentiated businesses.
That’s why IFA’s are recognising that their best marketing strategy is to focus on direct response.
To quote David Ogilvy, one of the most famous direct response advertisers:
“I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information”
The AIM Marketing Strategy
As an IFA, I’m going to assume you have an excellent service. If I was to knock on your door and present a high value individual, ready and willing to engage with you, then you’d be more than capable, with your processes in place now, to make them feel welcome, valued, and truly believing in your service.
It’s the minimum you need to be in the game. Tweaking your product or service a little more, is not the thing that will get people to your door. Your door is already open and inside you have an array of services that can help a high value client get the most from their financial circumstances.
Your focus needs to be on marketing, not your deliverable. What you do is what you do. Marketing your IFA practice is the way you’ll attract more high value clients and then a significant increase in income. You are in the business of marketing financial advice.
If you agree, then the only logical option is to put MOST of your focus on marketing your IFA practice. And getting the RIGHT team to implement this kind of marketing. Who do you have to implement the AIM marketing strategy?
Let’s get to it.
Step 1: Audience
A is for audience. This is your single target market.
For an IFA, that might be affluent people, aged 45 to 70, living in properties valued above £350,000 in the north and £700,000 in the Greater London area. They have already built up a sizeable portfolio but they may feel their existing provider isn’t answering their concerns. They aren’t seeing the growth they want in their portfolio. It’s same old same old. Worse, they may have been ignored and that has prompted them to start looking around for alternatives, even sub-consciously.
Zero in on your target market. Know everything there is to know about them. If you are holding seminars, sit and listen. Ask questions about why they are thinking of moving. Get to know their concerns, ambitions, desires. Do this so you attract the right target audience. At the same time, you want to be repelling the the people you do not want.
My guess, is you’ve heard this message plenty of times. So I’ll get right onto the “I”.
Step 2: Irresistible Offer
You IFA marketing strategy should develop an irresistible offer that your target market absolutely loves and cannot refuse. How can you do this as an IFA?
- I was with a bunch of EIS service providers recently and a hot debate broke out about fees. A client of mine is disrupting the market and made the case for no fees upfront. Others had fees that would reduce the amount of the client’s money that went into the EIS investment and a performance fee on the way out too! Which is irresistible? If your client is signalling that fees are a concern and may actually be the reason they turned up at your IFA door, then how irresistible would a no upfront fees investment in a technology EIS be?
- Guarantee part of your service. I know you may be thinking that you cannot guarantee the things you do in your IFA practice, but you’d be wrong. Every business can guarantee some aspect of their business. That said, when you do have a guarantee, especially with affluent individuals, make sure you can follow through.
Above all your IFA marketing strategy should be searching out the one element that makes you unique. What is that? How can it be made to be so compelling that it is irresistible to your audience. The irresistible offer ONLY NEEDS TO BE IRRESISTIBLE TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.
Remember there are no molds, just compasses. Do not under-estimate the work that this deserves.
Step 3: Means
This is simply the means by which you get your irresistible offer to your target audience. There is no good or bad way to reach people. Your task is to figure out which ways are appropriate than others for your purposes.
I am regularly asked whether I can supply emails for prospect campaigns to affluent individuals. Mostly, my heart sinks. With open rates appallingly low and email availability scarce for affluents, maybe this channel is not an ideal choice for the 55+ affluents many IFAs crave.
There are dozens of media choices. The means by which you deliver your offer.
I typically help people by combining offline – direct mail, press and online – landing pages to capture interested individuals. But I would always recommend using a RSVP via the mail. A Business Reply envelope. They are a populare and easy way for people to respond, safely in a trusted medium.
That’s it. Your AIM strategy is figure out exactly who is your target audience, decide on your irresistible offer for THEM and deliver it is a way that works best, that can get to them in a way that drives response.
If you’d like more information about High Net Worth data, then follow this link: https://www.finelyfettled.co.uk/high-net-worth-database/
If you’d like a conversation about a done-for-you direct mail campaign to affluent individuals, then visit https://www.directmail.agency.