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Choosing a Marketing Partner: The Opportunity Cost

by The Seven Team

As a financial advisor looking to grow your practice in 2020, you likely know that having a comprehensive marketing plan is crucial. Finding the right marketing partner to help execute and keep you on track is just as important. But with more agencies emerging, and budgets often shrinking, how do you find the right partner? We break down the three main variables advisors should consider when choosing a marketing partner, and where to give and take.

The Opportunity Cost: Capital

The first obvious cost for any outsourcing decision is, well, cost. If you are willing and able to drop some serious dollars and completely outsource your marketing, then you can count on a more custom, comprehensive, effective service (assuming you choose a sufficient agency). But this is not the reality for many small to medium sized practices. The minimum average cost to hire a marketing agency in 2020 is $4,000/month – exclusive of any advertising spend.1 This can add up quickly. If you don’t have at least a few thousand dollars to dedicate to marketing monthly, then you’re going to have to sacrifice time or performance.

The second variable to consider is overall effectiveness. When keeping costs low and time commitment limited, your opportunity cost is performance. These types of partnerships usually involve a lot of automation, canned content, and relatively low engagement and conversion rates.

The Opportunity Cost: Performance

Example 1: Content Performance

We work with an advisor who used a low cost, automated social posting agency. Over the past 6 months, he has begun to write his own blog posts and post them as a supplement to the auto posting. When comparing the automated canned posts, and his custom written posts on LinkedIn over 6 months, the data speaks for itself. His custom content performs on average, over 25x better than the auto posted content – that’s almost a 3000% increase in engagement.

Example 2: Lead Performance

One of our clients came to us frustrated that their current marketing agency wasn’t hitting KPI’s they had promised – specifically leads generated via Facebook ads. Their answer? User behavior is changing and generating quality leads isn’t what it was before. They weren’t wrong. User behavior is changing – which is why advertising tactics need to adapt. Paying a lower cost agency to manage ads with minimal customization, attention to detail, or understanding of the larger strategy often times doesn’t work.

The Opportunity Cost: Time

The third variable that advisors must consider when choosing a marketing partner is time. Between client servicing, administration, investment management, business development, and more, marketing often gets moved down on the priority list. However, we’ve found this to be the variable that many advisors have the most flexibility on.

As the shift to digital has accelerated – and clients and prospects alike are living on digital channels – advisors have an opportunity to own and scale all the aspects of a robust marketing plan. And we’ve also found, after speaking to and working with hundreds of advisors, that the time commitment isn’t anywhere near as big as it used to be.

Digital marketing responds to scale like nothing else – once you get smart on all the tools, it can be reduced to minutes a day.

Being rooted in a solid marketing strategy, and having the right systems in place, allows for more marketing output in a shorter amount of time.

At Seven, our foundational goal is to make every single advisor we work with dangerous on their own. We make marketing manageable and effective by acting as an extension of your team, allocating marketing tasks according to your schedule, preferences, and needs. Whether we’re creating assets start to finish, or walking through your first podcast recording, everything we do together is rooted in the strategy we create – custom to you.

By committing to anywhere from 3-6 hours per week and choosing the right partner, it’s possible to build and execute an effective marketing strategy on a budget. For any questions on your current marketing strategy, contact us here.

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