A digital marketing strategy would, on its face, seem to be a given for any business. Digital marketing budgets are beginning to approach 50% of many large companies’ entire marketing outlays. 2015 will see digital budgets rise by almost 10%.
Yet, there is a missing link between doing digital marketing and having a plan.
A new report by Smartinsights.com, Managing Digital Marketing 2015, shows that a full 50% of marketers have active digital marketing programs, but no defined strategy at all. And the trend is going the wrong way. The number in 2014 was lower at 46%.
Having a digital marketing strategy as a financial professional is more important than ever. The forces that compete for attention on a daily, weekly basis are important and all appear to need “put out this fire first” type attention. Developing, converting, and retaining new clients can seem to be a task that can be back-burnered at a moment’s notice.
Digital marketing does have a velocity component to it.
It absolutely operates as a bucket with a hole at the bottom. To keep the bucket full of new leads, opportunities, and new clients requires that it gets filled regularly. And for a financial advisor, whose time is limited, that means having a plan that can execute routinely and efficiently.
Here are some reasons why:
A written strategy gives you actionable steps and focus
Without a written approach to digital marketing one is left with generalities. “I do email marketing.” Or, “Yeah, I have social media accounts that I post to.” Yet without specific operational goals and outcomes this approach likely leads to disappointment and ultimately abandonment.
Having a written strategy forces a financial advisor to ask the right questions, focus on their target audience and create measurable goals that can be achieved by actionable steps.
It makes strategic decision making easier.
If you’re approach to marketing is fragmented and disorganized , it becomes very difficult to allocate precious marketing dollars to where they will be most effect.
Having a written marketing plan allows not only for easier decision making at the start of each new marketing cycle, but will keep you focused during the year when the temptation to try this new marketing idea, or that new online tool can draw your eye away from executing your strategic plan.
It makes measurement a cinch.
Having measurable goals based upon executable steps allows for measurement. A good strategic plan forces analytics into the foreground. Looking at the performance of your marketing operations is nearly impossible to ignore when there is an expectation of ___ number of site visits, ___number of conversions, ___ number of webinar attendees, and ___number of new clients.
Optimization is the net result. My father used to tell me, “that which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves faster.” Reviewing your strategy against regular performance numbers benchmarks your activity and makes plain where changes need to be made, resources reallocated, and execution tightened. Enabling a good measurement system allows you to effectively see what’s working and what isn’t, and make the necessary changes.
Progress not perfection.
It does not need to be complicated. Begin writing your digital marketing strategy with one page where you describe your goals, actionable steps and KPIs. Review your strategy once a month and you will find that the document naturally begins to pull in more and more aspects of your digital marketing strategies.