Could This Work for Me? Evaluating New Marketing Opportunities

by Commonwealth Financial Network

As a director on the Marketing team here at Commonwealth, I get a lot of calls from advisors asking my opinion on marketing ideas they’re thinking of trying:

 "I keep hearing that I should be on social media. How do I get started on Facebook or Twitter?"

“Would seminars be a good way to meet new clients and build my business?”


“My advisor friend sends out a monthly e-mail newsletter. Should I be doing that?”

I’m guessing you’ve likely asked yourself similar questions. After all, marketing can be fun, and testing and learning from different ideas can contribute to a more successful marketing strategy. But just like when you hear about yoga jeans designed to take off 10 pounds or a tech gadget that will transform your life, you first need to do some research to figure out what really works—and, more important, what’s right for you. Here, I hope to help you do just that by providing strategies for evaluating new marketing opportunities. Let’s start by identifying your ideal client.

To run an effective marketing strategy, you need to know all about your ideal client so that you can enhance existing client relationships and cultivate new ones. So, who are your current ideal clients, and how do you get more of them? 

To start, write down about 10 client names and as much as you can about each one, such as: 

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Relationship situation
  • Whether they have kids (at home or grown up?)
  • Profession
  • Community organizations
  • Hobbies
  • Travel locations

In addition to noting similarities and differences, dig even deeper to find common threads in why these clients have stuck by you and how they prefer to communicate with you. 

  • Review past meetings. What do they usually want to talk about most? What are they going through? How do you help them?
  • Ask probing questions (if possible). How did they find you? What do they think about your services, office staff, location, and client events? How do they stay informed? (Do they read the local paper or use social media?)
  • Uncover communication preferences. Outside of financial reviews, how often would they like to hear from you? What should those communications be about?

The answers are marketing gold! You may be surprised by what you learn, and undoubtedly you will get new ideas. Getting to the bottom of who your ideal clients really are is crucial if you want to enhance your relationships with them and find more like them.

You also need to be able to talk about what makes you special so that you can position your firm against the competition. A tool that can help you articulate that difference is the Brand Mad Lib: 

(Your firm) is the only (business category) that provides (target audience) with (your offering) in a (your differentiator) manner.

 Let’s use Commonwealth to illustrate how this works:

Commonwealth is the only independent broker/dealer–RIA that provides nice, high-end advisors with the best products, services, and indispensable support they need to successfully run their businesses, their way, all within a unique sense of community.

Todd Estabrook, Commonwealth’s chief marketing officer, recommends taking it one step further: “Test it by replacing your name with a competitor’s name—is it unique enough to you to sound false with a competitor’s name?”




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