Marketing is the lifeblood of a business. It’s the voice that promotes you, your company, and your offering. As such, marketing is the key to success, but the marketing that worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Thus, it is critical that you are informed, up-to-date, and aware of modern marketing techniques so you can win new business.
As a TPA, you have the ability to have many prospects and referral sources. They can include financial advisors, plan sponsors, CPA, and/or other professionals. Think of it this way, millions of people per day Google™ for information and if your website has high-quality responses to their Googling questions – that search could turn into new business! Let’s highlight the marketing trends you need to know so you can compete in today’s retirement plan marketplace.
What is prospecting?
This word, prospecting, means a lot of different things. You might immediately jump up and say, Cold Calling! True, this is a form of prospecting. However, today, we are going to focus on modern prospecting techniques. (Think of it another way. When was the last time you bought something from a cold caller? In 2015, 4% of plan sponsors selected a new advisor based on an unsolicited call.)
What is modern prospecting?
Glad you asked! Modern prospecting is when a prospect has a curiosity and you have a solution. We use the word curiosity and not the word “need” because a plan sponsor might not know they have a need; however, they do have a question. So, if are ready to help with that question, it is the beginning of a digital relationship. (Did you know that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying?)
Examples of modern and searchable marketing include:
Original blog articles. In order to be found, your content needs to be different. Copying and pasting templated, generic content doesn’t differentiate you with a search engine. Keep in mind that your website is being filtered by an algorism; and if your words are the same as everyone else’s, how can a computer tell you apart? Only original content will be separated (and rewarded) by the algorism through search engine optimization.
Gated Content. Don’t give it all away for free. The retirement plan industry is complex and because of that many professionals have questions. Let’s say you write a blog post about the new Conflict of Interest Rule and create a checklist of questions that plan sponsors should ask their advisor. At the end of your blog post, you could say: Checklist of critical plan sponsor questions, download here. Then that directs to a short auto-fill form to download the questionnaire. You now have captured the name and contact information of the curious prospect. Next steps, reach out to them and continue to build your relationship as a trusted voice for retirement plan knowledge.
Webinars. We recommend hosting quarterly webinars. Select a hot topic (examples: Conflict of Interest Rule, Plan Design, 2017 and Your Plan Changes). Then post on your homepage about the upcoming event. Allow for simple sign-up. Now, when prospects are viewing your site, you are benefiting in three ways. One, you have a non-threatening call to action. Two, you are providing education to the curious prospect. Three, you get detailed information on the curious visitor. Bonus, the prospect learns more about you and experiences a taste of why they should hire you.
Also, please, please, please promote your webinar. Send email invitations to your clients, prospects, and centers of influence.This will help expand your industry awareness.Leverage your online community too and post about your upcoming webinar via social media.Your webinar demonstrates expertise, as well as, thought-leadership.
In summary, marketing is a journey and content marketing takes time - lots of time. It’s the consistency of marketing, promoting, sharing, and educating your prospects that converts them into clients. According to Google, modern consumers will go through 57% of the traditional sales process before they even contact you. So this means the prospect most likely has been to your website, seen your blog, viewed your newsletters, and experienced your digital business. If your site and content marketing impacted and impressed that prospect, guess what, you’ve got a new email lead in your inbox – and one that is already 57% of the way to becoming a new client!
About 401(k) Marketing
We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional third party administers and retirement plan advisors in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voice through industry writings, professionally-designed brochures, and marketing collateral. We assist in promoting their businesses through on-going awareness campaigns. 401(k) Marketing is based in San Diego, CA. Check us out at www.401k-marketing.com.
 Plan Sponsor Attitudes 2015: Sixth Edition. Fidelity Investments.
 Morrison, Kimberlee. 81% of Shoppers Conduct Online Research Before Buying. Social Times. Nov. 28, 2014.
 Think with Google: B2B’s Digital Evolution. February 2013. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/b2b-digital-evolution.html