As the Pooled Employer Plan (PEP) marketplace heats up, one thing is clear: PEPs are a hot topic.
So, if you’re looking to launch a PEP, keep reading because we are going to give you marketing strategies and ideas that will help you go to market faster, differentiate your purpose and supercharge your pipeline.
The Name Game
The name you choose to represent your PEP is your starting point. From there, you need to build a brand and trusted reputation. So, when you’re thinking about your PEP’s name, select one that represents your offering and is easy to spell and pronounce (yes, this is important).
Claim Your Name
Once you have your name, it’s time to own it. I mean actually own it. Go online and buy the domain (e.g. www.401kPEPTalk.com).
Then buy the digital land around your domain. This step is often overlooked, but by buying up the nearby domains now, you prevent others from infringing upon your future success. Aim to buy about 5 other similar domains including different top level domains, hyphens, different word arrangements, and even potential misspellings (e.g. www.401kPEPTalk.net, www.401k-PEP-Talk.com, www.401kPeppTalk.com, etc.).
Domains should cost around $20 each with two years of ownership rights. This is an easy moat strategy and reasonable investment to prevent future domain competition.
Also, do a quick patent search (https://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/search-patents) to confirm that the name is publicly available. Once confirmed, it’s good business to start the registered trademark ® process. It takes about a year from start to finish; therefore, it’s better to start early.
Define Your Message
Any good marketer is going to ask, “What makes your PEP unique?” As a response, you should be able to concisely list features and benefits that will motivate an employer to select your PEP. Aim to create a bullet point list with at least 5 key areas.
For example, does your PEP offer:
Full payroll integration
Straightforward plan design
Get your team (virtually) together and spend meaningful time pinpointing all the problems that plan sponsors encounter with their current retirement plans. What do they complain about? Then list out all the ways your PEP will solve them. And if you’re PEP does not offer a solution, this could be an opportunity to find another partner that remedies that specific headache.
If your goal is to change the industry, then shouldn’t you offer the absolute best solution?
Bring your PEP to Life
Building a brand is a labor of love. It’s challenging, but oh so rewarding. This is where you will select your:
Logo - the symbol that represents your PEP
Colors - the emotions you want your audience to feel
Fonts - the tone of your conversation
Imagery - the clients you want to attract
For more information on how to build a brand, please visit Fi360’s course catalog and watch our Build-A-Brand workshop.
Pour the Foundation
Now that you have established your brand, it’s time to put the marketing pieces together. These resources will help your sales team promote your PEP; they are essential in developing trust and creditability. They include:
All content should be available in digital format for easy email exchange. As your team describes the PEP, interested prospects are going to visit your website and ask for more information (executive overview, brochure, presentation). And when then they want to move forward, you will provide them with a seamless client experience (questionnaire and transition overview).
Of course, we realize that you will need legal documents too, but this article is focusing on the marketing experience.
Shout it from the mountain top
Congratulations, you have put in a lot of hard work, formed partnerships, developed a strong brand and overcome compliance hurdles! It’s time to let the world know about your PEP and why plan sponsors should sign-up.
Take it to the tweets
Social media is a powerful and cost-effective way to spread the word. Use LinkedIn and Twitter as promotion platforms. Take the language you found in the Define Your Message section and start posting it. Get creative and, most importantly, have some fun.
Virtual events are a great way to introduce a new concept. Host a webcast to explain “What is a PEP?” Invite your email contact list. Post the invite on social media to draw additional interest. Record the webcast. Share the video with anyone who could not attend. By having a ready play video, it helps you get more mileage from a singular event. Now it’s an on-demand marketing resource.
Stay top of mind
Changing retirement plans is a big decision. Most plan sponsors will need to be reminded (over and over) why they should do it. To help you stay top of mind, consider implementing digital ads. Your ads should educate the plan sponsor why they should join a PEP and why yours is superior.
Work your email list
Look internally for plan sponsor prospects that have been slow to convert. A PEP might be what they are holding out for. Also, for employers that haven’t started a plan, this could be the nudge they need, especially if the employer is in a state that has a retirement plan mandate. Lastly, educate your clients and centers of influences. A PEP is a new concept, and they are going to have questions. So, who better to provide the answers than you?
The magic ingredient
It’s going to take time for the mainstream to get comfortable with this new solution. Plan sponsors will be hesitant at first because it’s a new concept, and early adopters are rare. So be kind to yourself and your team. By putting in the effort early on, you are setting yourself up for success. Realize that by starting today, you will look back in 3-years’ time and smile at your great accomplishment.
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. www.401k-marketing.com
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. www.retirementplanmarketinginabox.com