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Current news and trending topics for sales and financial industry professionals


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Bird’s of a Feather, Flock Together…But… Your Target & Niche Markets Are Not The Same – Why You Need To Feed Them Differently

birds_in_nest

Is your marketing plan a hodgepodge organized mess of sending the same message to all clients and prospects in hopes that your communication may be applicable to a few people in your target market? Let’s get real this year –  place focus on your target and niche markets by identifying the differences and applying strategies to engage clients and prospects and increase client retention.

Embedded in my mind au courant are the many idioms my mom chanted in earlier years. “Bird’s of a feather, flock together”, was one of them. What I didn’t realize is this proverb has been in use since the 16th century. Fully aware of the connotation, “those with similar characteristics and interests will choose to spend time together”, we can now link the adage to successful marketing strategies.

Understand the contrast between target and niche markets:

  • A target market is the identified group of people your firm serves
  • A niche market is comprised of specialty services you offer to small groups within your target market

The Downfall of Generic Marketing

Most firms have a detailed marketing plan in place, but lack the implementation or a plan altogether for niche marketing. Your target market will not respond to generic marketing unless it specifically applies to them at a given moment. Much time, effort and cost is wasted on blindly marketing meaningless, non specific products and services. Therefore, the way you communicate with each group requires uniqueness.

Designing Your Niche Marketing Plan

A high percentage of firms have identified niche markets, but have not implemented a niche strategy; critical to success. A niche market needs to reach beyond targeting age and income. Effectively design your niche marketing plan by identifying a small segment of people who have specific needs and characteristics.  Create a clear and compelling message that speaks volumes to your niche.

Clients and prospects are seeking to find an advisor to meet their needs, challenges and problems. Create a mission statement specific to niche markets detailing the why and how you are relevant to them. If they don’t understand how you can meet their needs, there is no opportunity.

Benefits of Implementing a Niche Marketing Plan:

  • Create multiple streams of income
  • Reduce costs by utilizing meaningful and specialized marketing
  • Become identifiable
  • Increase referrals
  • Acquire expert status in a specific field

Gauge Your Judgment When Choosing Niche Markets, Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • How many people/businesses are in this niche market – will it nourish my firm?
  • Do I have easy access to this group of people or the ability to gain introductions?
  • Does this niche market need my services? Do I offer specific solutions to meet their needs?
  • Do I understand the needs of this niche?
  • Will I enjoy working with this group of people?

In Conclusion

Advisors can differentiate themselves by identifying niche markets and implementing solid strategies to market to them. Complete an autopsy of your target market; dissect the market into small pieces and create strategies to meet their needs. You will send a distinctive message to your audience and your competitors.

We are curious!  What niche markets has your firm identified and do you market to them differently?

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Defining Client Value Beyond $ Signs

Segmentation is the first critical step toward greater efficiency and ultimately improved profitability. In our blog, “Take the First Step Towards Greater Efficiency With Client Segmentation,”  https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/take-the-first-step-towards-greater-efficiency-with-client-segmentation/ we provided you with basic steps and resources to segment your client database.

Start your segmentation process by defining client value.  Viewing each group with different needs and priorities will present you with the ability to serve each segment based upon their needs, not the firm’s profits.

Client segmentation is about improving customer service for all of your clients.  Use it to deliver solutions more effectively by streamlining and automating the services you offer.  Aligning the right level of advisor support to the client’s specific needs results in increased client satisfaction and in turn may even result in more client referrals.

Advancing Your Client Segmentation Plan

Client segmentation needs to be taken to a deeper lever in order to gain the full benefit.  Once your initial segmentation process is complete, you are ready to segment your client database further by distinguishing clients based on characteristics beyond the dollars.

Many advisors have not segmented their client database in a meaningful way beyond assets under management.  Assets under management will be your constant starting point for segmentation and predicting client needs.   Understanding that clients within the same segmentation class still have extraordinary needs and expectations will allow you to provide matched solutions with your product and service offerings.

Trying to provide the same high level of service to everyone can make it difficult to focus on the more complex clients and on the inevitable changes that come with growth and business development.  Ironstone can assist you in all phases of client segmentation and ultimately design a comprehensive client segmentation plan that will allow you the opportunity to hone in on specific and unique needs of clients within each segment.

Ironstone recommends  you place some of the following attributes in your segmentation plan beyond assets under management:

  • Revenue produced for the firm
  • Quality of your relationship with the client
  • Earnings potential
  • Client lifestyles & life events
  • Client demographics
  • Risk analysis/Behavioral attributes

Applying the above listed characteristics will provide another layer to your segmentation plan and aide in shaping optimal service for your clients.  You may not want to engage in each market base, but you can start with the characteristics that employ the biggest role in improving your firms’ bottom line.   By marketing to each subcategory you will accomplish more targeted messages and information that will resonate with your clients, resulting in engaged clients and prospects, higher response rates and a shorter conversion cycle.

Use this model to segment your clients by determining their level of revenue and the value of the business relationship.08.06.12 Segmentation Guide

Readers, we are curious!!  How do you approach segmentation in your firm?

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

You won’t want to miss our next in the series:  The Human Element-Job Descriptions

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us: