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Back to Marketing Basics

Sales & Marketing

When I first got to college, I couldn’t cook. I knew a little bit about boiling water and making a sandwich, but that’s about all. As the semesters went on, my stomach started to growl from food boredom and hunger. I knew I needed to switch up my meal plan. But, as a poor college kid, I didn’t have any money.

One Saturday morning, my roommates and I were flipping through the TV channels and came across Ina Garten’s Food Network show, “Back to Basics.” The premise of the show is that food-fairy-godmother Ina teaches TV viewers how to make mouthwateringly delicious recipes. However, her twist was that it’s all about using basic ingredients.

As a financially strapped student, I knew that if I went to the farmers market and bought cheap—yet, fresh—ingredients, I could put those items together to create a culinary delight.

And so, week by week, I watched. I learned. I tried out new combinations. And slowly, my stomach stopped growling, and our kitchen was filled with perfumed with garlic, onions, ginger and aromatic bliss.

The reason I’m sharing this story is because when it comes to your marketing, it’s all amount refining the basics. Start with quality ingredients such as a beautiful logo, solidified brand guidelines (colors, fonts, and imagery), and work your way up from there.

Read more commentary by Rebecca Hourihan here.

When it comes to prospecting for new plan business, again start with the basics. Look at your company’s voicemail message, email signatures, website and executive overviews—all content that creates your first digital impression.

Then look at your outbound marketing campaigns. What techniques are you using to nurture plan sponsors through your sales pipeline and convert them into happy clients? Start with the basics: email campaigns, social media posts and blog articles, then work toward the more complex (videos, podcasts, infographics).

When you start to put it all together, you will create a savory plan sponsor dish that they cannot put down. But focus on the basics. Master the fundamentals and you’ll earn the five-star Michelin award you deserve.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing, which she founded to assist qualified experts operate a professional business with professional marketing materials and ongoing awareness campaigns.