Independent Financial Advisors, You Have a Marketing Budget, Right?

Independent Financial Advisors, You Have a Marketing Budget, Right?The Oechsli Institute recently conducted a study to examine the marketing spending of “elite” advisors, the majority of whom generated more than $1 million of revenue last year. The results indicated the majority of those elite advisors (57 percent) spend 4 percent or more of their gross revenues on marketing – $40,000 on marketing for every $1 million of revenue.This is notably far above the broad-based industry average found in most benchmarking studies (which is typically no more than 1 to 2 percent of revenues on marketing).


Marketing budgets are vital to every company. Having marketing or practice development plans define the firm’s target audience and key value propositions, while articulating their service offerings in a clear and compelling manner, are key components to success.


“This is not an advertising budget; it’s ‘relationship marketing.’ More akin to an expense account used strategically to schmooze existing affluent clients, referral partners, and prospects,” wrote Matt Oechsli, financial advisor coach and founder of the Oechsli Institute.

Financial advisors, in what Oechsli refers to as the “general population”, can learn some valuable marketing lessons from their elite counterparts. Oechsli says financial advisors should budget between 2 to 10 percent of the gross revenue on marketing. He recommends newer advisors with lower production numbers consider investing closer to 10 percent. “This way, a $300,000 producer has a marketing budget of $30,000 and can do a lot more than with a $12,000 budget,” he wrote.

What should marketing dollars be spent on if you’re trying to grow your business? Oechsli suggests ideas like social events in your community that might attract your affluent clients, potential prospects, and referral partners; charitable events or fundraisers that align with your target clientele; fun/intimate events you can host; social lunch and/or dinner; and sending “surprise” gifts to prospects and clients, such as birthday and anniversary gifts, special occasions, etc., to reinforce the relationship.

Few advisors – elite or otherwise – actually track all the information needed to make sure their marketing dollars are doing what they need to do. Make it a habit to revisit your marketing expenses from the previous year, develop your relationship marketing plan and budget accordingly. Tracking numbers, experimenting, and tweaking the process will help improve results and show you what you need to do to meet the numbers. Treat this like a business and make sure your investment is giving you a good return.

For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visit or contact us at (800) 354-5528.

Summit Brokerage Services is a member of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.

This blog and website are for informational, educational and discussion purposes only, and the owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group Inc., and any of their affiliated entities and principals are not a law firms or an accounting firms, or substitutes for an attorney or accountant. Although topics may be discussed on this blog that may involve legal, accounting, or investment issues, nothing on this blog shall be deemed to constitute the practice of law, legal advice, investment advice, and/or tax advice. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., and its affiliates do not, and cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. You should consult an experienced professional regarding tax consequences of specific transactions.

No reader should act in reliance on anything discussed in this blog without prior consultation with a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate the reader’s individual facts and circumstances and offer an informed professional opinion with respect thereto. If any reader takes action or makes decisions based solely on the information on this blog without prior consultation with a qualified, licensed professional, the reader does so at his or her own risk and agrees that Summit shall have no liability resulting from such unilateral action or decisions by the reader.

Summit makes every effort to provide accurate and truthful information in its posts on this blog, but in no way expressly or impliedly warrants or guarantees the accuracy of its postings and/or the information posted here by others. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Summit may, on occasion, post links to information maintained on other websites. Such links and the information thereon are not under Summit’s control.  The mere appearance of a link to a third party site does not mean that Summit has undertaken a review or approval of the link and/or its contents.  Readers must treat information from third party links at the reader’s own risk, and Summit accepts no liability with respect to such third party information. Please note that the third party’s privacy policy and security practices may differ from Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries’ standards. We assume no responsibility for nor do we control, endorse or guarantee any aspect of your use of the linked site.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to Summit Brokerage

Personalized Industry Newsfeed For You

Thank you. You are now subscribed.


Thank you. We will get in touch with you shortly.