Your Marketing Plan: Setting Goals and Measuring Success

Several years ago, I was sitting in a finalist presentation for a plan sponsor and the key decision-maker made a comment that resonated with me, “If you document it and measure it, it will get done – if you don’t, it won’t.” How about that for a lead into a marketing plan series?

We’ve already talked about discovering your story. Now, let’s get you thinking about writing a marketing plan. Today we’ll focus on goals and measurement: what you want to achieve with your marketing plan, and how you’ll measure that success. Goals and measurement drive your target audience and marketing tactics, but we’ll focus more on that next week.

Sales and servicing keep you busy – I get that. You don’t have time to chase leads, nothing’s worse than wasting precious time on fruitless prospecting efforts. You have to be thoughtful about how you spend your time. A good marketing plan helps you prospect effectively. It keeps you front of mind with your clients and helps create a perception, or brand, with your prospects.

Google “marketing plan” and you’ll get close to 300 million results – there’s no shortage of information, but to get you thinking about what your marketing plan looks like, let’s review a few key components I recommend to advisors and financial professionals I work with. It corresponds with this guide that can help you write your marketing plan.

Marketing Plan Goals and Measurement

Goals: Your business goals outline what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Why are you marketing? How will you measure your success? Who’s responsible? Your goals should have a desirable outcome, like adding a certain number of new clients every month, or managing a certain dollar amount of assets. Without a vision of what’s possible, nothing happens.

Measurement: Don’t spend time putting together a marketing plan if you don’t intend to measure the results. This doesn’t mean you need to hire a statistician to sort through your results. Approach it from two different areas:

  1. Accomplish your marketing plan. If you’ve avoided boiling the ocean, it should be an easy, ongoing process. If you said you were going to send quarterly emails, make sure you send the emails quarterly.
  2. Did you achieve your business goals? Whatever you goals were – like getting in front of right prospects and increasing response rates – are you getting in front of more prospects? Are they the right prospects? Are your efforts driving perception or response rates?

Simple ways to measure results are based on what you spent (soft and hard dollar spends) to what you received in return. Review your sales activity in a similar timeframe. Did your first quarter marketing efforts result in more sales activity in the second quarter compared to last year’s second quarter? Let measurement be your guide to adjust your marketing plan.

Next week we’ll cover how to decide your target market and what marketing tactics to employ.

In addition to blogging here, I also tweet regularly about advisor-focused practice management topics like sales and lead generation, marketing, service and management/operations. Follow me at @Rschutty.


Affiliation Disclosures

Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company. Securities are offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, 1-800-547-7754, Member SIPC and/or independent broker dealers. Securities sold by a Princor® Registered Representative are offered through Princor. Princor and Principal Life are members of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.

© 2013 Principal Financial Services, Inc. | PQ11372D | t13032903oa