Are Your Marketing Efforts Steering You Down the Wrong Path?

Stick to what works for your business before venturing into the social media wilderness

In life, as in marketing, we all face choices. As I entered nearby Borderland State Park for what I anticipated would be a pleasant mountain bike ride recently, I faced a familiar choice. Should I stick to the main path (as I usually do) or venture into some of the less familiar—yet more challenging—trails?

Feeling ambitious, I chose to venture out into new terrain. Big mistake. Forgetting the fact that we had just experienced several days of soaking rains, I encountered nearly impassable puddles, tire-sucking mud, and swarms of mosquitoes. The bugs weren’t a problem as long as I kept moving. But when I had to stop to carry my bike around the mud and puddles, that’s when they attacked. I emerged from the woods 45 minutes later covered in mud and bug bites and cursing my earlier decision to try something new.

When it comes to financial marketing strategy and execution, it’s easy to make the same mistake of forsaking proven strategies for something that seems new and exciting. Take social media for example.

Every day we are inundated with articles and emails touting the urgent need to develop a social media strategy. Should you start a Facebook page, set up a Twitter account, or create a Google+ hangout? Do you need a YouTube channel? And what the heck is Pinterest? Each day the choices multiply, and with it, the pressure to keep up mounts.

My advice? Take a breath, relax, and focus your marketing efforts on tactics that work best for your business and your customers. Choose a few marketing tactics that you can execute well and on a regular schedule. Write your marketing plan down on paper and stick to it.

A financial advisory or wealth management firm might choose to do the following:

  • Send a quarterly market commentary via email to clients and prospects
  • Create one new blog post every month
  • Host one educational seminar for clients and prospects per quarter
  • Mail every client a birthday card
  • Write a monthly personal finance column for your local newspaper

In my opinion, it’s better to a few things well than to do many things poorly. Before going off on a social media tangent, get your website in good working order and update it regularly with fresh content.

Understand that I’m not suggesting social media is not useful. I use Linked In to engage with my own target audience. I’m just suggesting that it’s wise to understand your limitations before you head off into the unknown. As my recent trail ride reminded me, sometimes it’s better to choose a path that you’re familiar with than to venture into uncharted territory.

Neil Rhein is President of Bullseye Communications, where he and his team specialize in content review and content development for financial services companies and other clients.