“I love when all of a company’s marketing looks different,” said no consumer ever.
A couple of weeks ago, we met with a retirement plan advisory office and they were walking us through their existing material materials. They showed us their green business cards, purple pitchdeck, and blue-green website.
We asked them one simple question: “Who created your marketing?”
“We created our business cards, oh, around 1992,” one of them explained. “For the PowerPoint, a few summers back my daughter helped out in the office and she had a lot of fun designing that. For the website, we picked a template design that we thought looked nice.”
Now, this is all very normal. Over time, all successful businesses are going to naturally accumulate more marketing materials.
However, we are not in 1992 anymore. And while your daughter had the world’s greatest intentions, unfortunately that doesn’t cut it. Without consistency, these marketing materials are not doing you any favors.
Plan sponsors are normal consumers – like you. On a daily basis they:
- See more than 5,000 advertisements per day[1. Marshall, Ron. “How Many Ads Do You See in One Day?” Red Crow Marketing Inc., Sept. 10, 2015.]
- Spend 116 minutes on social media[2. Asano, Evan. “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?” SocialMediaToday, Jan. 4, 2017.]
- Receive 88 emails[3. Burke, Kenneth. “How Many Emails Do People Get Every Day?” Text Request, Oct. 11, 2016.]
- Watch 5 hours of television[4. Koblin, John. “How Much Do We Love TV? Let Us Count the Ways.” The New York Times, June 30, 2016.]
- Visit 89 new websites per month[5. Wesley, Daniel. “How The World Spends Its Time Online.” CREDITLOAN, March 17, 2017.]
Which is why they need to be able to recognize your brand immediately. Whether a plan sponsor visits your website looking for more information or receives your business card on referral, they must be consistent and on-point.
Today’s plan sponsors want it all. They demand strong fiduciary processes, clear checklists, case studies showing results, optimized plan design and retirement readiness tools that inspire financially healthy employees. They want all that for a reasonable price and with a trusted advisor.
As we know, the DOL’s conflict-of-interest rule has received a lot of press and plan sponsors are starting to evaluate their advisor relationships and ask questions. One way to immediately demonstrate your expertise and commitment to excellence is to have consistent, professional, and wow-worthy materials.
It’s not good enough to just “check the box” off a list. As a retirement plan expert, isn’t it time to elevate the game and put yourself ahead of the competition?
Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing.