Should Financial Advisors Outsource Marketing?

Should Financial Advisors Outsource Marketing?One of the biggest hurdles to running a successful and fulfilling business is knowing when to delegate some work to other parties. Hiring a trusted third party can help free advisors and boost business. Duties financial advisors can outsource include: business planning, developing a client experience strategy, and marketing/ communications.

A panel of female financial advisors met at InvestmentNews’ Women Adviser Summit in New York this past October to discuss the business and emotional benefits of outsourcing organizational duties to a trusted third party. Panelist Debra Morrison, a fee-only wealth manager at Empowered Retirement Inc., in Lincoln Park, NJ, outsources a number of duties to San Jose, CA-based Loring Ward, including a great deal of marketing work.

“When I left those big firms and went independent, I left behind all these glossies- this client material,” she said. “I did not have much of a budget for this sexy educational material and now it is part of the package. That is how Loring Ward partners with me,” said Morrison.

Nicole Newlin, partner at Pathfinder Strategic Solutions, told InvestmentNews.com the job of the outsourcing party is to be the ultimate taskmaster. “I am tactical, and I get [things] done,” she said. “I am not here to drive you to the finish line. I am not your cheerleader. I am here to coach you through things: get in and get out.”

Should financial advisors outsource marketing? It is an individual decision. Advisorwebsites.com offers these thoughts when considering if you should keep your marketing in-house or outsource:

How Skilled is Your Staff? To get the right in-house marketing done, you need properly trained and enthusiastic employees. These are people who should be designated and coordinated toward improving your firm’s image and brand recognition. It is much easier to keep marketing in-house, if you have a background within the field, know exactly what you need, and exactly how to reach your objectives. This way, you can easily train your staff as needed, and execute all projects internally.

Business Size. If you have a one- or two-person start-up, you initially have to devote all of your resources to growing your business. During the beginning phases, you might have to handle all of your marketing in-house, due to a lack of budget. Once you have grown past expectations, however, you might have more money at your disposal and be able to hire a marketing firm to take care of all of your lead generation needs.

Outsourcing Large Projects. Many larger firms outsource big marketing projects, keeping smaller day-to-day marketing activities in-house. This approach is perfect for small- and medium-sized businesses with small marketing teams and a limited marketing budget. Good CRM software coupled with a Marketing Automation system allows small teams to tackle most marketing tasks, such as content creation, email drafting, campaign design, blogging, etc.

Questions to Ask. The most important question to ask before outsourcing, is what type of relevant experience does the outsourcing company have within your industry? Also, how has the company delivered for others in the past? How can the company apply its successes and failures to your business needs?

Explain Your Objectives. Another aspect of outsourcing is making sure the third party understands exactly what you want. The outsourced partner should be able to suggest the best markets and methods for your company to consider. Work with the firm to develop a plan which includes a targeted list of KPIs, such as newsletter sign-ups, inbound traffic, and conversion goals.

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