To quote The West Wing’s President Jed Bartlett, “What’s next?” The new year brings old clichés about making and breaking resolutions. For both individuals and businesses, we always hope to make good this time, whether it’s getting to the gym or revamping the marketing plan from last year.
What does ‘marketing’ mean to your firm? A lot of people shudder at the term and the practice – hence a display of great cartoons from Marketing Week last month. How much marketing should you be doing? Is it all about getting to grips with social media now? Do you have to talk about ‘brand’? Should the focus be on new business? What does success look like?
For many established businesses, ‘marketing’ is actually about ongoing communication with their existing clients. And this isn’t about missing out on new business opportunities. In a recent survey of financial services firms conducted by the Centaur Media Financial Portfolio Insight team, we found that a majority of financial service businesses rated referrals and word of mouth as their most effective form of communication and marketing. After that came digital communications, with print showing up a still strong third place.
The marketing part is about ensuring that your clients, who are also your best marketing advocates, are kept in touch with your range of services and company developments, and encouraged to keep asking you the questions they need help with. Regular updates can cover two fronts – making your clients think about what else you can do for them, and what you might be able to do for their families, friends and colleagues
So perhaps one of your first new year resolutions needs to be to work out what ‘marketing’ means to your firm. Then you can move on to how you need to resource it – with or without chairs!
(image from @MarketingWeekEd)