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The Professional's Guide to Financial Services Marketing: Bite-Sized Insights For Creating Effective Approaches



The Professional's Guide to Financial Services Marketing: Bite-Sized Insights For Creating Effective Approaches

Jay Nagdeman

ISBN: 978-0-470-46754-1 April 2009 288 Pages


The Professional's Guide to Financial Services Marketing is directed to any financial services professional–from individual representatives to executives of large financial services companies–who is looking for better ways to create the relevant marketplace differentiation and competitive advantage needed to increase productivity and profitability. The purpose of this book is not to provide a how-to manual, but rather to offer practical information, examples, and thought-provoking tips that provide ideas and insights that will enable financial services professionals to improve their own marketing approaches and achieve ambitious marketing goals. With examples drawn from basic marketing approaches and successful consumer marketing, this book provides a fresh perspective on a variety of marketing issues that can make a significant difference to corporate success.

Preface xv


The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same xvii
by Ken Dolan

Introduction xxi
The Professional’s Guide to Financial Services Marketing offers a different perspective on some basic marketing approaches and explores marketing concepts that are often overlooked by financial services practitioners.

I Creating an Extraordinarily Effective Marketing Organization 1

1 Getting Started 3
Marketing is integral to almost every activity that takes place both before and after the sale is made. Therefore, it is important to recognize the differences between sales and marketing, as well as those between marketing strategy and marketing tactics.

2 A Marketing Pop Quiz 7
To keep pace in today’s highly competitive financial services environment, firms must abandon the status quo and transform their organizations.

3 A Marketing Compass 11
The most successful financial firms will be those who become early adopters of sophisticated marketing approaches.

4 Seeking the Outstanding Marketing Director 15
As a voice of opportunity and the champion of the unconventional, the marketing director’s position has grown in corporate importance and stature.

II Strategic Planning 19

5 Strategic Strategy 21
Properly conceived and executed, marketing strategy can provide the framework that can help an organization focus its organizational capabilities, talent and energy on those initiatives that will create competitive advantage.

6 The Starting Point 25
A clear business definition facilitates the planning process by guiding corporate decisions concerning target markets, product offerings and appropriate marketing activities.

7 You Can Plan on It 29
The marketing planning process provides an organization with the opportunity to set goals and plot a course that will help it achieve a differentiated market leadership position.

8 The Best Laid Plans 33
A well-crafted marketing plan can serve as a roadmap for management’s efforts to favorably position the organization and its product/service offerings.

9 A Mission Possible 37
‘‘What businesses are we in?’’ How management answers this question can have a significant impact on the company’s ultimate success.

10 What’s the Big Idea? 41
Every now and then a major marketing idea comes along that revolutionizes the way that marketers approach their craft. The most influential have a significant impact that lasts for decades.

11 New and Improved 45
Success, in the form of rapid growth and high margins, comes most often to those organizations that understand the value of innovation and look beyond current competitive practices.

12 In the Beginning 49
A knowledge and understanding of common product launch pitfalls can help marketers prevent financial product and service failures.

13 I Have an Idea 53
Financial services organizations are increasingly dependent on creative marketing ideas to achieve visibility and competitive differentiation in a cluttered marketplace.

14 Become a Marketing Hero 57
It’s not difficult to be a marketing hero when offerings are well received in the marketplace. The real challenge for most marketers is to find a way to ‘‘save the day’’ when there is a difficult sales situation.

III Tactical Implementation 61

15 Brand Aid 63
A strong brand communicates a corporate value proposition that helps a company create relevant marketplace differentiation and competitive advantage. It can also help to significantly accelerate the sales process.

16 Branding: Step One 67
Naming is the important first step in the branding process. The right name can play an important role in creating a strong emotional connection with the target market.

17 Write Right 71
Hard-working copy should get attention, relate to the target market, intrigue the reader, focus on the product or services’ superiority, create a desire and provide a call to action.

18 The Color of Marketing 75
Astute marketers understand that color can play an extremely important role in helping a company both express its positioning and corporate purpose, and influence market perceptions and attitudes.

19 Did You Get My Message? 79
Shaping marketplace perceptions through effective messaging can provide differentiation to largely undifferentiated products.

20 Big Bucks 83
The HNW market holds untapped opportunities for those financial services marketers who are ready to abandon long-held misconceptions about the affluent and focus resources on under-prospected niche segments.

21 Unite and Conquer: Strength in Collaboration 87
Since traditional organizational structures often lack the resources to support expanded business models, companies must devise creative new solutions.

22 A Tale of Two Categories 91
The Pareto Principle stands as a continual reminder to focus 80 percent of your efforts on the 20 percent of issues that will achieve 80 percent of your results.

23 How Do You Measure Up? 95
Effective marketing measurement—like marketing itself—is an ongoing process that is both an art and a science. This area is in its formative stages, but promises to be a significant future trend.

IV Promotion 99

24 The Secret of Successful Advertising 101
While most advertising messages get lost in the clutter and fail to accomplish their objectives, astute marketers know the secrets to creating advertising that attracts attention and gets results.

25 Us vs. Them 105
In the proper situation, targeted comparative advertising can provide a powerful centrepiece for a financial services organization’s marketing campaign.

26 Speak Up 109
Creatively conceived and effectively executed, campaigns utilizing a corporate spokesperson can take an organization one step further in its quest to effectively deliver its marketing messages.

27 Let Your Fingers Do the Walking 113
Even in this age of information and advanced communications, the ‘‘Yellow Pages’’ continue to be an important initial touch point for marketing financial products and services.

28 What It Takes to Be Well Connected 117
Creative use of new IVR technology has the potential to significantly and cost-effectively improve communications in brokerage, insurance, mutual fund and banking arenas.

29 Start Spreading the News 121
A well planned and effectively orchestrated public relations program can help establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between a financial services organization and its various constituencies.

30 Best in Show 125
Trade shows can be a meaningful part of a company’s marketing efforts or a significant waste of time and money—the difference lies in careful planning and judicious resource management.

31 Just Cause 129
Cause marketing offers an excellent opportunity to generate awareness and goodwill while enhancing corporate image and promoting a sense of corporate integrity.

32 Go Ahead, Judge That Book by Its Cover 133
Naming a new venture, product or service can be one of an organization’s most important marketing decisions.

V Effective Sales Support 137

33 Experience Counts 139
By creating a customized interactive marketing program that is meaningful to prospects and customers, a firm can create relevant differentiation and strong competitive advantage.

34 Going Up 143
With a little planning and creative marketing, you can prepare your entire organization to effectively represent your organization and provide unconventional sales support.

35 Mobilizing an Effective Salesforce 147
A well structured referral program can help an organization cut through marketplace clutter and accelerate prospects’ decision-making.

VI Supporting Strategic Decision Making 151

36 Slice and Dice 153
An effective market segmentation strategy can also significantly help increase sales and improve overall market performance.

37 Turning Market Information into Marketing Insights 157
Focused market intelligence can help marketers deliver the right products and services to the right target markets using the right messaging.

38 I Know Where You’re Coming From 161
Influences that occur in individuals’ formative years establish a common generational value system that can be more meaningful than mere demographics.

39 Getting the Right Marketing Answers 165
The right research approaches enable you to get meaningful answers to marketing research inquiries by working smarter rather than harder.

40 Giving Them What They Want 169
Organizations need to make effective use of market research applications in order to become attuned to the needs of the marketplace.

41 Some Trendy Thoughts 173
Effective planning enables an organization to anticipate trends and make decisions based on an understanding of future circumstances, rather than those of the past or present.

42 Check It Out 177
An effective benchmarking program can make valuable contributions and trigger ongoing improvements throughout an organization.

43 Know Thy Neighbor 181
Financial services organizations that are tuned in to the competition can avoid unpleasant surprises.

44 Focus Groups: Is There a Financial Fit? 187
While focus groups are quite applicable in the retail sector, financial marketers need a more sensitive, personalized approach.

VII Promotion in the Internet Age 191

45 A Brave New World 193

The Internet has drastically changed the face of financial services marketing, introducing new communications opportunities and challenges alike.

46 Searching for the Answer? Maybe the Answer Is Search 197
Any financial services organization that wants to drive traffic to its web site must ensure that it appears in the first few pages of search results.

47 Cashing In on Clicks 201
Paid search can revolutionize your marketing effort, but careful program design and planning are prerequisites for search engine success.

48 The Domain Name Game 205
A domain name that reflects a company’s brand attributes and value propositions is an important corporate asset that should be carefully chosen and protected.

49 Plug into Directed Marketing 209
Directed marketing combines tried and true direct mail principles with new techniques that enable marketers to interrelate with an electronically connected world.

VIII Strategies for Long-Term Success 213

50 Follow Me 215
In the commoditized financial services business, a company’s future can depend on management’s willingness to invest resources to conceive and implement an effective strategy to achieve market leadership.

51 Good, Better, Best! 219
A program structured to share corporate knowledge can be one of the fastest and most effective ways to achieve organizational improvements.

52 Be Prepared 223
It is critical that every financial services organization be constantly prepared to respond to a crisis in a way that will preserve credibility.

53 An Older Subject 227
To achieve success in the senior marketplace an organization must be willing to make seniors a meaningful part of its focus.

54 Bringing Order to the Meeting 231
An organization should encourage key interfunctional representatives to work as an effective team in order to foster productive communications and solid decision making.

55 And They Lived Happily Ever After 235
Effective post-merger integration focuses on ensuring that newly formed companies are not only bigger, but better, than before.

56 Putting Humpty Together Again 239
Companies that respond appropriately to challenges will survive. Companies that anticipate change and develop appropriate strategies to manage will thrive.

57 Counting Dollars and Making Dollars Count 243
Focused research and well-crafted marketing messages enable a company to communicate value propositions commensurate with their pricing.

Afterword 247

About the Author 251

Notes 253