As an industry filled with almost identical business models, it is no surprise that those businesses have the same struggles. One of the most consistent struggles is to stand out from the crowd. Admit it; you have heard business owners declare, "All brokers are the same" WAY more than you'd like.

Effective marketing is your best opportunity to break out of the "sea of sameness" in which it’s increasingly difficult even to tread water, much less make progress. As familiar as we all are with the word "marketing," very few understand the possibilities it offers or how to take advantage of them.

As we work with marketing clients, we help unlock their potential by focusing on four pillars of marketing effectiveness:

  • Strategic Execution
  • Know Your Audience
  • Content + Messaging
  • Sales Enablement

I have recently written about how important it is to know your audience, the benefits of sales enablement, and how to ensure you educate, rather than irritate, with content and messaging. Today, I'll wrap up this series by highlighting the importance of strategically pulling all your marketing efforts together.

Strategic execution

Because so few in our industry understand the big picture of what marketing is, how it works, or how to leverage its potential, many jump to the tactical activities of marketing (write a blog, hold a seminar, post on LinkedIn) without any plan. Then, when they don't see immediate results, they give up.

The personality traits that make so many people successful at sales work against them when it comes to marketing efforts. When prospecting or closing a deal, your desire to push a button and have a treat fall out can serve you well. However, when you bring this desire into marketing efforts, the result is frustration and the all-too-common declaration of, "Our business is unique. Marketing doesn't work for us."

While it may not be a magic wand of patience, approaching your marketing efforts more strategically is critical to success. Be sure to include the following areas as integral parts of your strategy:

Defined plan

In every part of your business, achieving the right results requires a plan. Of course, that plan is useless unless it drives intentional and systematic execution. Marketing is no different. An effective marketing plan must include:

  • What you will say
  • Where you will say it
  • How often you will say it
  • To whom you will say it

Litmus test – Everything to do with our marketing efforts is planned and happens according to the plan.

Free sh!t from Q4i – Here’s a link to our Insurance Agency Marketing Plan.

CRM 

Having an organized approach to tracking opportunities, their engagement with your content, and your interactions with them is fundamental to getting results from your marketing efforts. Insisting your team keeps all prospects and clients current in your CRM must be a non-optional expectation.

Litmus test - We track every opportunity and every interaction with each.

Educational opportunity with Q4i – Learn more about our Marketing Fundamentals course on effective CRM utilization.

Marketing automation

Marketing is both a numbers game and an endurance race. The key to winning both while maintaining any level of sanity is to leverage technology to its fullest.

Litmus test - We have a robust marketing automation platform and use it to its full potential.

Advice from Q4i: If this doesn’t describe you, contact us, and we'd be happy to explain the benefits of the right platform.

Goals + Metrics

Many businesses’ commitment to marketing wanes because they don’t see immediate results, nor can they quantify if the effort is worthwhile. The key to overcoming this lies in establishing appropriate goals and then monitoring and measuring consistently.

Litmus test - We have established goals and metrics related to brand awareness, the Buyer’s Journey, engagement, and sales qualified leads.

More free sh!t from Q4i: Download our Key Performance Indicators worksheet, which can help you establish your KPIs and put you on the road to success.

You gotta commit

Strategic execution may not be the sexiest part of marketing, but it makes all the additional efforts effective and efficient.

It's time to recognize that marketing isn't an optional activity, nor is it a project to be checked off a list. Like selling or servicing existing clients, marketing is a critical daily function of running a healthy and growing business.

 

Photo by bee32.