By Marcus Roth, Lone Beacon’s Senior Director of Data, Automation & Content.

Long ago, the marketing department of service-based companies was a subdivision of the sales department. Marketing was seen as a tool wielded by sales staff to be used to further their direct goals. As business thinking has become more nuanced, marketing has become its own division within an organization. Ideally, the marketing of a company works symbiotically with the sales department. Where marketing is used to convey the brand identity of a firm, which in turn informs prospects of features and benefits that might be appealing to them. However, marketing will never truly know the unique and nuanced pain points of each specific prospect who is considering working with a service provider.

The Value of Good Branding and Good Business

This brings us to the importance of the combination of good branding and good business. Good branding is needed to differentiate your firm from all the other options out there—it’s not enough to have a good service, you need to communicate it just as well as you offer it. And it’s not something you make up, either. It’s something intrinsic to your unique brand and value proposition that can be translated easily to prospects and customers.

The financial advisory business is highly commoditized, but what sets you apart from the pack isn’t just the products you offer… it’s you. Like any service company, you’re in the business of trust, so product descriptions can only take you so far. Your next step is to develop a trustworthy brand. Intentionally crafted branding can position you as trustworthy, convenient, comprehensive, collaborative, or a variety of other traits intrinsic to the business that set you apart from your competitors. If you have a brand and a business that is well crafted and designed together, you can expect to get more rock-star prospects into your client funnel and fewer who don’t quite fit. To get technical, when prospects see branding that resonates with them, they self-select, which reduces some of the qualifications needed during the sales process, and can help bring you more, better-qualified leads.

Leading Prospects to Your Best Offer

Okay so the prospects like you, Great! But now they need to want what you can offer. That’s where a well-positioned offer comes in. Prospects need to know their pain points are going to be solved or that you can make their life better when they come to you. For more on how to develop a winning offer or “call-to-action”, read my recent article, Why Your Email Newsletters Need to Focus.

Marketing and Sales go Hand in Hand

The last piece of the puzzle is recognizing that your marketing does not and cannot do all the work to turn a prospect into a client. This is the point of a sales department. So, in your marketing, you should not hyper-focus on addressing every nuanced problem you can tackle. Identify problems broadly and ensure your ad and content viewers that you know specific solutions to those problems. They need to know by observing your marketing you can solve their problems, but if you get too detailed, you’ll lose people. Striking the balance between enough information to make someone say “Oh, this is for me.”, but not too much information to overwhelm or confuse them is the magic balance that good branding can achieve.

Brand is what makes people pull the trigger and fill out your form—it’s the glue that bridges the gaps between Sales and Marketing, and what turns prospects into clients and keeps it that way.

 

About the Author: Marcus Roth is Lone Beacon’s Senior Director of Data, Automation & Content. Marcus has a unique experience in B2B and B2C start-up companies ranging from enterprise-level market research of Artificial Intelligence to self-defense eCommerce products. His experience in AI market research brought him, and his research, to INTERPOL, The United Nations and Harvard University.

 

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