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Your broker marketing strategy - in six steps

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You know that without cost effective marketing, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to grow your business.


The trick to developing your marketing strategy is to:

  1. review what you are already doing,
  2. see what’s working and what isn’t,

    Pareto’s Principle argues that 20% of your marketing will produce around 80% of your sales. Do you know what the 20% is? Find out, and do more of it.

  3. improve on what's working, and at the same time
  4. try something new, that you believe should/could be very cost effective.

Whatever you do, keep it simple and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Step one: do some valuable analysis

  1. Sit down with your team and discuss what's happening in the market. How should you be reacting?  What is your competition doing, and why?
  2. Talk to your existing customers. Find out what they like about your service, and what they would change.
  3. Talk to previous customers to understand why they no longer use you.

Step two: specify your target audience

  1. Understand exactly who your most profitable customers are.

    Your strategy must be to find more like them.

  2. Agree which are the most important customer segments to your business (e.g. local, SME, HNW clients). Talk through where the opportunities are.
  3. Think about the media that they use, trust and respond to (e.g. email, social, website content, direct mail).
  4. Discuss what your competitive advantage is or could be for each of your chosen segments.

Step three: agree your goals and objectives

  1. Agree your marketing objectives/targets for the year.
  2. How do you plan to evaluate if, how and when they have been achieved?

Step four: develop your overall strategy

  1. Agree on the proportion of your time/budget that should be focused on:

    • Customer recruitment

      When potential customers are ready to buy will they chose you? Only if you've built a positive relationship with them.

      You know that your prospects rarely buy the first time you contact them. In fact, according to a recent survey*, 90% of prospects don’t decide to buy until sometime after the third contact. Here's the problem - 73% of salespeople stop calling after the second contact, so the sale never happens. Plan how to use this insight to double the percentage of your prospects that convert into customers.

      How will you make your referral strategy much more effective?

    • Customer retention

      The cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 to 10 times that of retaining an existing one. Keeping in touch is fundamental to your business success as most customers leave simply because they don’t feel valued!

    • Winning back lapsed/previous customers

      Test using postcards to contact them with an offer/incentive, and follow up with reminder emails (and a call?).

    • Increasing sales using an up-sell/cross-sell strategy
  2. What is your online strategy that will deliver you more warm leads from your website?
  3. How do you plan to market within the price comparison companies?
  4. How will you market locally?
  5. How does your business, plus its products/services need to develop to meet changing customer needs?

Step five: developing a customer/audience proposition

Do you know why your customers chose you instead of your competition? Does your team know? Try asking them. If your team doesn’t know then it’s unlikely that your customers will (and they need to).

Talk to your customers about why they use you

Then sit down with your team and agree a simple, concise, benefit-led message to your customers (known as the proposition)

This proposition may need to change for each of your target audiences.


Step six: implement you plan

  1. Agree the responsibilities of key people/agencies/third party suppliers
  2. Agree the budget.
  3. Agree all deadlines/the timing plan.
  4. Agree how you plan to evaluate your strategy.

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*The classic study of sales calls made by Dartnell and McGraw Hill produced the following statistics: 48% of all salespeople give up after the first contact, 25% give up after the 2nd contact and 17% give up after the 3rd or 4th contact. This study thus demonstrated that 80% of all sales are made after 5 or more contacts and therefore, because 90% of the salespeople are shown to give up before five contacts are made, they are missing out on 80% of their potential sales.