The Cap & Gown in Educational Marketing
If you don’t stand out in the crowd, others will.
With hundreds of thousands of advisors competing in financial and professional services, making yourself standout is no small feat. The lawyer who specializes in estate planning and trusts, or the employee benefits consultant whose talent moves clients through mergers and acquisitions, they can stand on the shoulders of others . . . because they are experts who educate.
Clients today want experts to contribute to their decisions. Once you are perceived as an expert in your field, you’ve secured the credibility to build a content-driven educational marketing strategy.
First, do your research on your target market as though you were on the hunt for a rare species of Amazon plant life. From there, cultivate a select number of genuine insights, bits of knowledge which can naturally narrow down appropriate solutions for your prospect. Build this critical thinking and educational approach firm wide, and then carefully weave it through your go-to-market strategy.
No More Costs
Segment your target market by needs. For example, I work with a firm that targets banks; it has identified those banks with costly supplemental retirement plans (SERPs), a loud alarm to activist shareholders. The banks want the benefits, but not the cost.
So, the subject firm set out to develop a solution concept to lower accounting liability by as much as 40 percent. Rather than simply taking the product to market, subject firm built a marketing strategy around the solution concept to serve those banks and improve their earnings.
Find a group of prospects or clients with similar needs —in all likelihood, they will react similarly —and follow a common set of imperatives drawn from your careful research and insight.
Not Your Advisors
To support this education-based approach for our clients, we develop and implement a range of need-based segmentation solutions, following on and expanding best practices of leading firms in the industry. You can, too. But the approach cannot be left to your advisors. You must develop it from top down, firmwide .
Content that educates your prospect or client will pay major dividends in building trust and setting you apart from the competition. Use your data and content to educate through webcasts, white papers, seminars, articles, speaking engagements, before your initial meetings. Educational marketing aligns with how clients actually buy, which is why it moves you faster and closer to a final buy decision.
Good to Challenge
Lead with your firm’s educational strengths and key value proposition because more than anything else clients look to advisors to challenge their thinking, and educate them on solutions they never even considered.