Maximise your marketing

The director of Create Design & Marketing explains how to avoid some common pitfalls that brokers make when investing in marketing.

Most conversations about marketing strategy invariably skew to discussing tactics in a nanosecond.  This is usually prompted by a particular channel not performing to expectation (common ones are advertising, sponsorships, social media and e-marketing).  

However, it’s worthwhile looking under the hood of the marketing strategy before crucifying the channel. In doing so, consider that:

1)    A tactic is only a tactic.  No channel, whether it be social media, advertising or other, is a silver bullet.  A tactic is purely a vehicle to deliver a message.  Because you invest in it, it doesn’t mean that it will be successful.  And if it isn’t the right way to communicate with your market (message and/ or channel), ifs success will invariably be limited.

2)    A sum is greater than its parts.  It’s hard for any individual tactic to be a superstar on its own.  An integrated approach that dovetails multiple channels into each other will always be far more effective than relying on a single tool (i.e. just doing a social media campaign, vs backing it with regular emails, advertising, etc).  

3)    The higher the investment, the greater the return.  It’s natural to expect investment to correlate with return.  By all means, it can, but it’s not a given.  Scores of thousands of dollars can become meaningless if the channel, market, and message haven’t been given their appropriate due diligence.

4)    Tactics are not strategy.  It sounds obvious, but many companies – both small and large, make the mistake of applying a broad brushstroke positioning statement and calling it a strategy.  A common one is “To achieve greater market penetration.”  This may be absolutely relevant, but what does it mean?  Be specific with your strategy, and flesh out what you want it to achieve. 

The common thread here is that you have to determine your market and message.  You also need to really understand the channel’s opportunities, limitations and expected investment.  To maximise your return in marketing, at a minimum invest in considering the following elements to determine your strategy:

1)    SWOT: Do a brief SWOT review to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  You’ll most likely know this offhand, but it’s a valuable exercise to articulate where you’re excelling and what could be let go.  It will also provide insight into your point of difference/ competitive advantage. 

2)    Product/ service offering: Identify not only what do you do, but focus on what its user benefits are. 

3)    Defining your market: Who are they, what do they want and what demand does your product/ service fulfil?  

4)    Identify your core customer: What type of loans dominate your books?  What is your core customer profile (age, sex, postcode, circumstance, income, etc)?

5)    Work out your key message summary:  Keep in mind, this isn’t about you, it’s about what you can do for your customer.  What can you bring to the table that they need and why is it different? 

Originally published in Mortgage Professional Australia, December 2017. Author: Sascha Moore.