Information And Advice About Your Marketing Plan

If you are in the process of developing a marketing plan then it is important to be aware of the various forms of marketing and how they work. You should never focus all of your attention on one technique since this effort may fail. It is therefore important to consider direct and indirect marketing techniques.

Direct marketing can be in the form of a leaflet or brochure that looks specifically at what you are offering. It informs the reader about the great product or service that you have to offer them. This allows you to target a particular group of people. Indirect marketing is less targeted and as the name suggests, less direct. This form of marketing could be something like a calendar which is useful and can feature the company logo on each of the pages. This is not too over powering yet the consumer will have the logo embedded in their minds.

Marketing is an incredibly powerful way of getting your products and services noticed. It is therefore important to pay attention to your marketing plan. Both forms of marketing work well, therefore you will want to experiment with each of them in order to find the one that works the best for you. Using the wrong type of marketing will result in you losing money so therefore you will need to consider your choices carefully. When making your choice you will need to take into account your target audience and your marketing budget.

Your marketing plan needs to be carefully considered, sending the wrong message or targeting the wrong audience is a complete waste of time and money. You should take the time to understand your target audience in order to develop an effective marketing campaign.

One way of successfully marketing your business is to develop the right mailing list. A professional and reliable list broker can provide you with an email list providing that you are willing to pay for it. This will of course require trust as you will be purchasing it and unfortunately there are untrustworthy people out there who are prepared to rip you off. If you do not want to purchase the list outright then it is recommended that you develop your own mailing list as part of your marketing plan. If you have your own website then it is a good idea to offer a freebie or newsletter in return for the persons email address. This is a far more successful way of building an email list as these people have an interest in your product or service and therefore your marketing plan will be more effective.

Not Asking for Directions When You Know You Are Lost

Have you ever gotten lost on a trip, without access to GPS? There is a sinking feeling that forms in your stomach the moment you realize you don’t know where you are.

Why do you get that feeling?

Is it because you are afraid you will never find your way and your future is destined to be spent wallowing in a new location, possibly without food, family or friends?

Of course not.

So, why do you get that pit in your stomach?

If you are like most people, the pit forms because you have just admitted to yourself that you have failed. That you are imperfect. That you can’t do it by yourself.

In some cases, a little extra effort and fortitude may be all you need to get yourself straightened out and moving in the right direction.

In other cases – especially after stubbornly pressing on independently for too long – you need to ask for help. Get the information you don’t have so you may move forward once again.

Asking for directions can be one of the most difficult things to do. Not only do you have to admit to yourself that you don’t know where you are and have no idea what to do next, you also have to admit these things to a complete stranger – and then you have to trust that person to steer you in the right direction. There are few things more frustrating than getting bad directions.

Any of the reasons above can lead to very stubborn behavior that wastes time. When it comes to marketing, time really is money.

Marketing your professional services business is like taking a road trip; you may successfully make your way for some time but eventually, you may need to ask for help in order to get where you want to be.

Most successful service professionals build their business on quality service and the strength of their referral network. However, most referral networks cannot sustain continued growth.

The difference between enjoying continued success or watching your customer base shrink is your willingness to admit that:

  1. Business could (and should) be better
  2. You don’t have right the ideas for growth
  3. It’s okay to ask for help

Is your sense of pride standing between you and more business?

The Change You Can Make Today: Decide to move beyond your stubborn sense of independence and seek assistance.

Move Your Marketing Forward

  1. Which 2 or 3 marketing tactics generate the bulk of your revenue?
  2. How profitable is the business these tactics generate?
  3. How much revenue have these tactics generated from quarter to quarter and from year to year?
  4. Is your revenue from these tactics growing, shrinking or flat? Look at as much data as you have.
  5. What plan do you have in place to compensate for shrinking or flat revenue?
  6. Have you ever reached out to a professional for marketing advice? Why or why not?
  7. If yes, were you happy with the results? Why or why not?

Are Charts of Financial Planners Buying and Selling an Indication of Market Direction?

Most people know that financial planners or broker-dealers are not likely to be churning their clients like wire houses, so this means that their trades would indicate a better trend of market dynamics then the day-to-day fluctuations in the market caused by program trading or straight stock brokers at wire houses. There are many charts that technical traders watch that help them see trends in the market, the question is; are charts of financial planner’s trades of buying and selling a decent indicator of future trends in market direction?One technical analyst who writes a column for one of the major newspapers in the financial sections states: “The theory behind using this indicator is that people tend to be bullish after they buy, and bearish when they sell.” Thus, if the financial planners are making lots of “buy-trades” they are bullish and tend to recommend a bullish outlook or perhaps call a buy-signal for their clients. Whereas, when making “sell-trades” they are telling their clients that the market is weak and thus, not telling them to buy yet?
 
Yes, perfectly logical or one could say “During the time they buy or sell,” and for a short duration afterward. Yet, I take issue with this because many investment advisors during let’s say December will be selling their junk to take the tax losses to save on income tax for their clients. And they plan on replacing these sales into better upside bets for the potential uptick, into solid companies or into safety.
 
Therefore, if they are selling for tax losses, then re-invest that money in another category, are they really “Bearish” during that period? I say, NO. If this is the case, then the financial planners will be both buying and selling in the same couple of days as they reposition portfolios.
 
So, your chart of this will have changes, but those changes will not indicate much of anything, and cannot be used as an adequate predictor of monthly, or quarterly trends in the overall market, and I am sure there are other cases which will cause this chart to give false readings.
 
Indeed, whereas I agree with this as a valuable chart, I also realize that there are other scenarios that play out during December each year as investment advisors protect their investors from tax hits. Now then, if we use such charts in a “café” of charts to look at trends in the market for technical analysis of when to buy at the bottom or sell at the top, it is of value. But investor beware, there is a lot more to this game than just looking at one type of chart. [read; "The Black Swam" for instance].
 
Well, we all know that the market and the economy are not the same and yes, it is a lot about perception, trust, confidence, and fear. Along with technical analysis, mathematics, policy, politics, currency, interest, regulations, taxes, etc.. I guess, it does make sense to study a little psychology and philosophy along with it all. I’d warn both technical analysts and day-traders not to over educate yourselves; so perhaps all this is worthy of some more thinking?
 
If you are seeking advice on financial matters please contact a licensed Financial Planner. I am not in the Securities Industry, have no licenses and am not a reliable source of information. I only call it how I see it.