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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

Beer Signs and Advisory Marketing: Guinness Sold Here

At a recent conference, I had the rare moment to go outside and walk around the city. As I strolled through the streets, being the marketing enthusiast that I am, I couldn’t help but notice the awesome detail of each local establishment’s signage. This hip area of town had no shortage of great branding; every storefront was built to evoke one emotion or another with their own unique colors, fonts and images, however when it came to the restaurant/bar scene, I did notice an odd reoccurrence… the Guinness sign: “GUINNESS SOLD HERE.” Now, I’ve been known to enjoy a pint from time to time, but it seems bizarre to stake a restaurant’s reputation on a singular beverage.

The overwhelming number of Guinness signs got me thinking about endorsements, product advertising, and made me realize how often advisors in our industry do this as well. As a retirement plan advisor, you aim to provide educated and informed recommendations using a wide variety of recordkeepers, investments, financial wellness programs, and overall choices, right? Well, that independent, agnostic, and provider neutral menu is part of your value proposition. So, what happens when an advisor touts this value proposition but has a direct recordkeeper or investment product placement on their website? It’s like putting a beer sign in your restaurant… your offering is much more complex than a single, “Guinness Sold Here” sign, be sure that you clearly articulate that.

Did you know that 41% of Plan Sponsors said that it was important to see a clear mission statement on their advisor’s website?[1] Are you meeting plan sponsor expectations? Does your website clearly demonstrate your knowledge and articulate your values?

If you are struggling to develop a strong mission statement, here are few questions to ask yourself:

  • Why did you get into the retirement plan business?

  • What is your favorite plan sponsor or participant story?

  • If you were talking to a 4 year old, how would you describe what you do?

These questions will help to uncover your why, what and how. Be intentional about the words you use, they should paint a powerful and compelling picture that allows you to breathe new life into your website through vivid text and images.

Now, believe it or not, the restaurants that had the beer signs were relatively empty. Whereas, the non-beer sign restaurants that looked cool and seem to be known for a combination of attributes like outstanding food, vibrant atmosphere, charming decoration, and exceptional service, they were packed with people. As a retirement plan advisor, it is your overall experience and expertise that you bring to the table that will WOW your plan sponsor prospects, clients and centers of influence. So talk, write, and demonstrate the 5 star experience they will have by partnering with you.

Don’t let a placement sign define your value, instead own your value and promote your expertise.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns.

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.

[1] MassMutual Retirement Plan Referrals Study. Opportunities for financial advisors to obtain referrals from retirement plan sponsors August 2016.

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