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What’s Your Marketing IQ?

To help you prepare for the rest of the year, we’ve created a marketing quiz: six questions to test your marketing IQ. As always, the goal of your marketing efforts is to help you “own your yard” and become known as a “go-to” retirement plan expert! Once you complete the quiz, we’ll share pro tips designed to help you ace your 2018 retirement plan marketing.

Question 1: How would you describe your website?

  1. It is beautiful. It is professional and represents our firm well. We wouldn’t change a thing. (15 points)

  2. Yes, we have a website. It is good. The homepage describes who we are and what we do. We think it gets the job done. (10 points)

  3. We have a website. However, being honest, it could probably use a touch-up. (5 point)

Points: _________

Question 2: How active is your marketing?

Give yourself 5 points if a prospect could find information about you or your firm from any of the sources below:

__ Blog articles
__ Newsletters
__ Emails
__ Videos
__ Social media
__ Events
__ Webinars
__ Direct mailers
__ Press releases
__ Retargeting

Points: __________

Question 3: Do you have a LinkedIn profile?

  1. Yes, and we are active on social media. (15 points)

  2. Yes, but we rarely post on social media. (5 points)

  3. No, should I? (Yes, you should.)

Points: ___________

Question 4: How many contacts do you have in your CRM?

  1. 500+ (15 points)

  2. 499 - 100 (10 points)

  3. 99 – 1 (5 points)

Points: ___________

Question 5: Approximately how many emails do your clients, prospects, and centers of influence receive from your company per year?

  1. 12+ (15 points)

  2. 6+ (10 points)

  3. 2+ (5 point)

Points: _________

Question 6: On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident do you feel with your retirement plan marketing?

Points: _________

Great work! You took the first step toward elevating your retirement plan marketing so that you can identify soft spots and then strengthen your marketing message to gain more plan clients.

Total Points: _________


80-100: Genius

  • Great work, and keep it up! Check out the pro tips in the next section to enhance your already stellar marketing!

40-79: Savvy

  • Good work! With a few tweaks here and there, you’ll be a marketing genius in no time.

0-39: Novice

  • Marketing is challenging. But you already too the first step— this pop quiz. So, great work there! To help you get started, check out the pro tips to help you work toward marketing success.

Marketing Ideas

You’re on your way to marketing success. Below are some helpful tips to help you increase your marketing authority within your community. Use these ideas to improve your retirement plan expert authority and, of course, to gain more retirement plan clients.

Question 1: Website

Plan sponsors are smart, and they’re addicted to Google. More than 86% of modern consumers are going to research before they make a purchase. The same holds true for plan sponsors. Oftentimes, your website is the first place they visit to learn more. Let’s make a great impression.

Pro Tip: Ask five trusted professionals for feedback on your website. Then work to update, revise and/or adjust your site to wow visitors.

Question 2: Authority and Influence

Think of all the ways your plan sponsor prospects can find you – such as on the Internet, through a newsletter, on a webinar, via social media, and on and on. Take a moment to review the list, compare it to the items in Question 2. We challenge you to identify and implement one new way that prospects could potentially meet you. Be bold. The takeaway is that the more places a plan sponsor can find you, meet you and get to know you, the more “at bats” your firm will receive.

Pro Tip: Every 6 months, conduct an audit of your brand by Googling your name, your company’s name and all team members. With each new marketing campaign, take note of how your authority and influence increases.

Question 3: LinkedIn Profile

When you receive a referral to a plan sponsor prospect, what is the first thing you do? Most advisors would say, “I Google them.” Right? We all do that. Therefore, when a prospect is Googling you, you want your results to be strong; and LinkedIn is one of the most powerful professional search engines in the world. LinkedIn provides a trusted platform for your prospects to easily find you, research your background, confirm credibility, view your common connections, and digitally open a social dialogue.

Read more commentary by Rebecca Hourihan here

Pro Tip: What is your name? Is that the name listed on LinkedIn? Some people have “formal” and “normal” names. You want your social media name to be your “normal” name. It is the name a client or center of influence would use when describing you. The reason is that the prospect is going to look you up based on your “normal” name. So, if your name is Michael, but everyone knows you as Mike, then update your profile to read “Mike” instead of Michael. At the end of the day, computers are just connecting numbers and letters, so the easier it is for algorithms to connect, the easier it is for the digital world to find you.

Question 4: CRM Contacts

The more contacts in your CRM, the more opportunities you will have to promote your retirement plan expertise. We recommend a list of 500+ contacts.

Pro Tip: Need help? Here a few ways to get started:

  • Contact an internal wholesaler and ask them to run a plan search report. Identify any known contacts.

  • Update your website with a call to action, such as “Subscribe to our newsletter,” to build your email database.

  • Download your LinkedIn contacts and upload them into your CRM.

Question 5: Annual Touchpoints

Don’t be out of sight, out of mind. The more times you are in front of your clients, prospects and centers of influence, the more they will know you. Strive for regular and consistent touches with your contact list.

Pro Tip: Segment your contacts into three lists: Clients, Prospects and Centers of Influence. Create a marketing calendar for each segment. Include value-add content and calls to action to increase open rates, clicks and replies. Some examples include emailing your monthly blog, webinar invitations, video hyperlinks and award announcements.

Question 6: Confidence

Wherever you are — that’s okay. Marketing takes time. It’s the little things over time that create consistency. And consistency creates trust. Then, that trust creates a long-lasting brand. With every marketing touchpoint and campaign, you are building your professional retirement plan advisor authority.

Pro Tip: Keep it up! With each new plan and your skilled guidance, know that you are helping hardworking people achieve their American retirement dream.

Whether you are a marketing genius or novice, remember that marketing doesn’t always work in a straight line. But keep at it, and over time you will become known as your community’s “go-to” retirement plan expert.

Thanks for reading — and happy marketing!

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing. This column originally appeared in the Spring issue of NAPA Net the Magazine.