Yes, summer is in full swing. And if you're like many financial professionals, you've throttled back your marketing and lead generation activities - this despite the fact that it's a proven fact that consumers continue to respond to direct marketing campaigns. (See my June 2nd blog post: Debunking the Myth about Summer Seminars).
If you're among the savvy minority of producers who are keeping up their marketing momentum and continuing prospecting efforts throughout the summer months - BRAVO!If, however, you're "taking the summer off" and aren't investing in your marketing, at least take this time to review your marketing results from the first 6 months of 2014. Marketing and prospecting, like investing, is a process and cycle. If you aren't tracking what you're spending your marketing dollars on - and the results of those investments - this is the time to do so. Then, calculate your ROI.
If the ROI on your marketing dollars is 200% or more, you're doing things right and you should use the summer to set in place a marketing plan and strategy to capitalize on your past results.
If the ROI is less than 200%, something's broken. Identify what's not working and consult with a trusted colleague or marketing professional to help you find out why a specific marketing campaign failed and then put in place a plan to fix it.
REMEMBER THIS: When it comes to direct mail (be it lead generation, appointment setting or seminar marketing), if consumers aren't responding, they are sending you a clear message: your offer stinks!
There is a myriad of reasons why a campaign fails. Perhaps you promoted a seminar and didn't offer a free meal or held your seminar at a library. What list did you use? Is the list accurate and up-to-date? Did you offer something as an incentive to respond? (Note: a "free consultation" isn't an incentive; a gift card is an incentive!)
If you're not sure what to do, find a person or company with experience in financial services marketing and ask them to review your failed campaigns. If they're worth their salt, they will be able to give you feedback and recommendations that can improve your results.
Bottom line? Use the summer months to develop a marketing plan that will help you finish the year strong. Collect and analyze data from your marketing and use that data to drive your marketing investments. Finally, find a marketing partner to help you with lead generation activities. Focus on what you do best and outsource tasks that take you away from getting face-to-face with motivated and qualified prospects.
Marketing is an investment - treat it like one!