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How to Use the Agile Approach for Marketing your Financial Services Firm

Written by: Leonard Parker | financial advisor marketing | 17th January

As an engineering graduate, I became well versed with management methodologies like Agile to eliminate waste and put forth the best productivity possible. Now as a digital marketing expert for financial advisors, I have looked and found ways on how I can apply these engineering principles to digital marketing for our clients.

 

The rest of this article goes into detail about what I have found, and, if you manage your firm’s digital marketing efforts, tactics you can use to make marketing your firm online more efficient.

 

What is the Agile Methodology?

 

According to Agile in a Nutshell, Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach that accomplishes the goal of the project incrementally instead of delivering everything at the end of the project. Agile breaks down the larger project/goal  into two week short cycles called iterations. These iterations build up to an overarching 90 day goal.

 

Traditionally used for software development, Agile is now applied to various types of projects.

 

Now that you are more knowledgeable about Agile, I will go into more detail on how you can use this approach for your marketing.

 

Plan Towards your Firm’s Goals and Incorporate Rapid Learning Cycles

 

For any of your marketing efforts, make sure they align with your firm’s overall business objectives. Examples might include:

 

  • Your financial advisory services firm is fairly new and your team is looking to build awareness around your firm’s brand
  • Your leadership teams wants to push more efforts into marketing to a new demographic. This may lead to testing new messaging, channels, or platforms

 

Whatever your marketing goals are, you want to make sure you plan two week iterations.  This allows your team time to test different methods or hypotheses and learn from them quickly.

 

By following this approach, you won’t exhaust your marketing dollars on ineffective strategies. You will also ensure your team and you are constantly learning which strategies work best for your firm.

 

Empower your Team by Sharing Information. Transparency is Key

 

Most financial services firms follow the hierarchical management approach. A bright, junior member of the team comes up with ideas that have to be vetted by senior leadership. This traditional method of management has no place in the Agile approach. Instead, empower your marketing team with information. This allows them to show their talent and creativity.

 

Concerned about compliance? Give your team a framework to operate within that ensures compliance issues are addressed. Hold your team accountable for operating within that framework and producing results.

 

Agile works Best with Integrated Teams

 

Make sure each function of your company is integrated with the marketing team. This prevents communication breakdowns and ensures multiple perspectives are considered with any strategies.

 

Keep your integrated team fairly small. 4-5 team members have been found to work best.

 

Hypothesize, Test, Review, & Repeat

 

An agile marketing function moves quickly into a cycle of:

  • Hypothesizing if a new strategy or technique will work
  • Testing that hypothesis
  • Reviewing the results to see what worked and what could be tweaked 
  • Then, starting the cycle again

 

Focus on Your Client, Not Your Company

 

Regardless of your marketing goal or strategy, make sure your team focuses on your clients and prospective clients. Focus on how you can add value for clients and what makes your team or approach unique. Strengthen your position statement with:

 

  1. Strong client testimonials
  2. Eminence (i.e. white papers, books authored, speaking engagements, etc)

 

Focus on Marketing Activities that Have the Most Impact

 

By following the Agile approach, you and your team will have greater insight on which marketing activities have the most impact and better able to prioritize those activities.

 

Want to learn more about prioritizing your marketing strategies and activities? Contact us today, and we will review your overall web presence and provide you a list of 3-5 activities that you can focus on for the next 90 days for great impact to your firm’s bottom line.