June is here and summer is in full swing. We’ve hit mid-year and it’s time for a check-in on the marketing plan and goals created for your advisory firm back in December.

When you sat down to develop your marketing plan (ideally using a plan like our Alliance Partners receive or at least this free template), that was just the first step in the process of using marketing and business development to help you grow your financial planning business. Marketing is an investment. And like any smart investment, it must be tracked, measured, and compared to other business investments to determine that you’re spending your money wisely.

Let’s take a look at how your marketing plan is working (or perhaps not working) to help you grow your business. Here are five areas where you can do a check-in to see if your marketing plan is working:

Execution

Have you executed on what you laid out in your plan? How many of the goals, initiatives and activities in your plan have your and your team executed on to-date? For example, did you set a goal to host 2 events per quarter, but you’ve yet to actually host even one?

Tracking execution should be done on a weekly or monthly basis if you want to make sure that the activities you planned for are happening. This allows you to make real-time adjustments to schedules and team workloads if the marketing activities. If you are tracking execution and find that you need to increase activities to meet demand (say, accommodating more attendees than you planned for or adding an additional prospect event) you’ll be able to make adjustments quickly and capitalize on the momentum.

ROI

Marketing without return is not marketing, it’s just spending money. Return on your investment (ROI) for marketing activities is a key consideration of how well your marketing plan is working for you. Have the marketing expenses you’ve incurred resulted in additional revenue and profits? To what degree have they delivered?

Calculating the ROI for both individual initiatives and the overall plan is important to understand what is working, and how well so that you can invest in the winners and either tweak or eliminate the losers. Calculating marketing ROI can be difficult because marketing is most effective when implemented over a long-term basis, with multiple prospect touches. The goal of your marketing initiative or campaign can also further complicate calculating ROI. For example, if the goal of a given marketing activity is to increase brand awareness—which will in-theory eventually lead to increased sales at some future point—accurately measuring return today could prove nearly impossible.

The art is in identifying marketing activities that provide return over both the short- and long-term. Keep in mind that the ROI for any marketing plan, campaign or activity ultimately comes in the form of increased sales.

If your marketing isn’t leading to increased sales, you have some more refining to do.

How to calculate basic ROI:

How to calculate ROI for a specific campaign or activity:

how-to-calculate-marketing-roi-for-specific-activites

Sales

How has your sales funnel performed over the first six months of the year? Have you added clients? Has your number of leads and prospects increased? Have you added assets or expanded accounts with existing clients? Has your revenue increased? Has your conversion rate improved?

Client Response

If you have added new clients, be sure to ask where they heard of you and what marketing tools they may have encountered. Did they check out your social media or website? Did they attend an event? Did they receive a campaign mailing? How have your existing clients reacted to your marketing efforts?

I will assume that you have a client Advisory Council and are regularly engaging the members for feedback on your business—and especially marketing and business development—efforts. Using both in-person and online surveys can help you gather feedback on your marketing campaigns and how much impact they are having. You can also gather data about which target markets and client segments are most responsive in order to make adjustments if needed.

Competitor Response

Actions of your local competitors can be an indicator of the success of your marketing plan. Are competitors copying your activities? Are they attempting to best your efforts? Are people in your community or Centers of Influence talking about your firm and what you’re up to? If so, what you are doing is probably working.

Marketing ROI Tracker. Track your marketing plan's ROI to measure tangible results. Free Download

How are your marketing activities performing? What is your biggest challenge in implementing your marketing plan? Tweet using #GrowthEdge to share your ideas or questions on financial advisor marketing plans to connect with our marketing team.

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