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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

Why Does Good Marketing Require Time, Talent and/or Money?

By Rebecca Hourihan AIF, PPC

Marketing is essential for any business to grow, but it can be tricky figuring out what works and what doesn't. Whether you are investing time, talent or money, the first step is to decide your approach and then what you are willing to invest to make it happen.

Time, Talent, Money | Pick two

  1. If you have the time and ability to create quality marketing, you can create marketing with nearly zero out-of-pocket cost.

  2. If you have the time, but not the ability to create top quality materials, you need to partner, which incurs a cost.

  3. Don't have the time but want quality? Then hire.

If You Have the Time and Talent

Creating quality marketing content takes time and talent. To get started, you need content that expresses your expertise and can be shared with your target audience to create awareness. As a retirement plan advisor, below are a few examples of relevant plan sponsor topics. What topics sound interesting to you?

Popular plan sponsor topics include:

  • Fiduciary plan governance

  • Financial wellness

  • Plan design consulting

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Student loan relief

  • Emergency savings options

  • Inflation concerns

  • Benchmarking

  • Lifetime income statements

  • Guaranteed options

  • Auto-features

  • Legs and regs updates

Once you’ve identified a topic, it’s time to create supporting content. Whether it’s a blog article, infographic or simply a social media post, that’s an outstanding first step.

After you’ve finished the initial creation, now it’s time to design it. This way your marketing will emphasize your professionalism. An easy resource for designing content is Canva, a free digital design software for graphics, presentations and other layouts. Plus, it’s fun to use.

If You Have Time and Budget

For the advisors who have the time but don’t know where to get started with writing, designing and distributing, it’s an opportunity to partner.

Writing in our industry is complex. We have ERISA, FINRA, SEC, DOL and IRS landmines everywhere. Finding a quality partner that understands your business is complicated, so when you hire, we suggest you make the time and edit the materials so the content is accurate for your focused retirement plan business.

If You Want Talent and Have a Budget

Managing clients, developing centers of influence and meeting with prospects all take time, but it generates new business revenue. So, how much is your time worth? As a retirement plan advisor, it is business critical to invest your time in activities that generate the highest return on investment, right?

That means finding a quality, experienced marketing partner, a team that understands the subtle nuances of our business, and a group that can easily get materials compliance approved. It is a firm that knows how to write, design and implement quality campaigns that promote your specialized retirement plan skills. Seek out and find a marketing team that can take your business to the next level.

Picking Two

If you have the time, use it wisely. If you have budget, use it to find the right partners.

Most of the time, the reason why advisors invest in marketing is because they realize that their time is better spent meeting with clients, COIs and referrals rather than creating content. However, that’s a business decision and one that each retirement plan advisor should make individually.

Take the next step to invest (human or monetary) capital and pick the two right for you to successfully grow your business.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!


401(k) Marketing is the modern marketing agency for the retirement plan industry. We are proud to support our clients through custom engagements, content marketing campaigns, sales material innovations, thought-leadership consulting, interactive workshops and speaking events. Our mission is to empower the retirement plan industry with high-quality marketing, ultimately inspiring Americans to become financially prepared for their future.


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