Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Make Advertising Work – Advertise Your Highest Price Point

If you know me you know that I don't care much for advertising as a marketing tactic. Advertising, no matter if it's print, TV, or radio, can be very expensive, has a limited shelf life, and many times a long lead time. What I like least about advertising is that it is so expensive with print ads running thousands of dollars with hit and miss results.

In a former life as a gift shop mogul, I chose to advertise in several tourist publications. At that time one of my specialties was a very unique product – a mother-of-pearl antique gambling counter – once used like a poker chip to gamble with in China in the 1700-1800's by the British aristocracy.  Set in 14K and 18k gold to be worn as pendants, these antiques ranged in price from $500 to $5000. I featured this product in print advertisements and lo and behold they sold very well. I developed a reputation for having a great selection.  My advertising investment certainly paid off.

Then, in a not so brilliant move, I chose to feature a different line of merchandise in my advertising which retailed for hundreds, not thousands. What I found was that I still had the same response rate, only sales were a small fraction of what they were before.

As a financial advisor, what does this mean to you?

Advisors are not advertising something tangible. Planners and investment managers should focus on the offer and the end benefits consumers would enjoy by hiring an expert. One way to make print advertising work would be to make your advertisement "visual" by using images that portray retirement if the consumer hires you as their advisor. Then, combine the ad with "advertorial" in an article on the same page.   

If an advertisement is combined with an article written by the advisor that is targeted to the unique challenges the target clients face, then Credibility Marketing will be working in his favor. The advertisement focuses on the highest price point (advice and money management) and brings the consumer visually to the place they'd be if they hired the advisor. The credibility demonstrated in the article backs up the entire message.

To make this tactic even better, select a publication targeted to the advisors ideal client and fine tune the message. In other words, to make advertising work, get creative, speak to benefits, advertise your highest price point, and target, target, target.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Financial Advisors

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