With constant change in the financial markets, as well as the FX and FinTech industries, any time that you spend thinking about your marketing strategy upfront should turn out to be a profitable investment – provided you do it right
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” said US statesman Benjamin Franklin, back in the 18th century.
Well, that principle applies to 21st-century marketing just as much as it does to anything else.
And with constant change in the financial markets, as well as the FX and FinTech industries, any time that you spend thinking about your marketing strategy upfront should turn out to be a profitable investment – provided you do it right.
Here are four key points for businesses to think about:
Your marketing objectives
Let’s imagine that you leave home in the morning and you have no idea of where you want to go. What is likely to happen? You end up drifting around aimlessly.
The same goes for marketing. If you don’t have any idea at the outset about where you want to go or what you want to achieve, the chances are that you won’t achieve very much. And you could end up wasting a lot of time and money in the process.
So before you do anything else, ask yourself what it is that you want to achieve with your marketing. Do you want to generate new leads, increase revenues from existing clients, build brand awareness or change perceptions around your trading platform, FinTech or service offering?
You may want to achieve several or even all of these objectives. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that you are far more likely to achieve your marketing objectives once you have defined exactly what they are.
Your marketing audience
Who do you want to talk to with your marketing? Do you want to talk to chief executives, chief operating officers, chief technology officers, traders, or risk or compliance experts?
This is a crucial consideration because it affects the language as well as the activities and media that you use to engage your audience. You wouldn’t speak to your work colleagues using the same language that you would use when you speak to your children – and ditto with marketing. Different audiences need to be treated differently.
Once you’ve identified what your objectives are and who you want to market to, the next thing to do is to draw up a plan. This doesn’t have to be a long, complicated document – a simple spreadsheet will do the job perfectly well. Just plan out the year, allocating marketing activities and a marketing budget to each month with your objectives and audience in mind.
If you want to target new clients, for example, you might choose to invest in an advertising campaign, attend industry shows or other lead generation activities. On the other hand, if you want to re-engage former clients or contacts, an effective strategy might be a creative newsletter, a LinkedIn blog or simply a personal email.
You don’t need to agonise over your marketing plan either – with the right focus and foundation information, you can write a good, basic marketing plan within an hour or two. It doesn’t have to be set in stone – you can keep it flexible. But it’s a good framework to start with.
You should always track the results of any marketing activities to ensure that you’re getting the best return on your investment. Add a results column to your marketing plan so that you can see on a month-by-month basis what your marketing has actually achieved.
Tracking your marketing enables you to identify those activities that have been successful in helping you to achieve your objectives. This means you can focus on them more in the future and stop doing anything that hasn’t worked for you.
There are two important things to remember in terms of tracking:
- The rewards of marketing may not always be financial – a contact may simply have re-engaged with you after a hiatus or the trade press may have picked up a news story about you or your company.
- Marketing takes patience – so don’t expect to see instant results.
While there are more ways to market to your clients and prospective clients than ever before, never underestimate the value of a face-to-face meeting. The financial markets and the FX environment are built around relationships, so make sure this is reflected in your marketing plan. You need to be meeting people, attending industry networking events and perhaps hosting events of your own.
With a solid marketing plan behind you, you can prepare for success over the coming year.