From an IFA’s perspective, the language used by a financial marketing agency can be a bit confusing. Especially if you’ve not worked with a creative/marketing partner before.
Any financial marketing agency will focus heavily on project management, and terms relating to this area. After all, effective SEO, pay per click and other forms of digital marketing all require careful coordination of resources, strategic thinking and detailed analysis in order to deliver maximum results for the client.
Peter Drucker, the famous management consultation, put it well when he said: “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” We agree entirely. Working efficiently also requires clear communication between all parties involved with the project. If one party does not understand what the other is saying, then the project – and the bottom line – will suffer.
In light of this, we have compiled ten project management terms used by the typical financial marketing agency. These should help your campaign run more smoothly, from conception to completion:
Your financial marketing agency should have outlined a clear “road map” with you, detailing how their marketing efforts will achieve a key objective.
Goals should always be S.M.A.R.T as well:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound
Why are you engaging with a financial marketing agency?
Why are you looking to execute this particular marketing campaign?
Answering these questions will help you justify the marketing investment to yourself, to your team and to stakeholders in the project/campaign. It will also clarify your goals.
What is your most valuable business resource? Your people.
Do your people have the necessary skills, experience and confidence to execute the strategy you have agreed with your financial marketing agency? Do your team members have the time to give the campaign the attention it needs?
If not, perhaps you need to revise the goal. Or, perhaps you need to train up / expand your personnel.
Broadening out the question of resources away from just people now. What kind of capital, equipment, tools and space are needed to get your marketing campaign moving smoothly?
There usually isn’t just one way to solve a problem. There certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution which a financial marketing agency can use across all industries, and for all clients.
It’s important that you open your marketing strategy up for discussion, and get contributions from different team members. Encourage debate and dialogue. Test the issues from multiple angles, and take encouragement from the diverse interpretations and solutions offered up by the different parties.
Test things from as many angles as possible, so when you arrive at your decision you will have considered most variables and options.
Who will be making the big decisions about marketing spend, the allocation of resources, signing off for compliance and so on?
One danger to avoid is “design by committee” – where several people stick their oars into the decisions, and your campaign ends up paralysed. Make sure you have the right people – and the right number of people – working with your financial marketing agency.
Pretty self explanatory, but make sure you have your key dates clear in mind, and that these are disseminated across your team so no one misses important deadlines.
This will help your financial marketing agency keep on task, and will encourage transparency and accountability in your project.
What is the most important thing to get done, most urgently?
Sometimes I find it helpful to divide my tasks into four columns on a piece of paper:
- Urgent, important
- Urgent, not important
- Not urgent, important
- Not urgent, not important
I then work my way down so that the items in the first box are completed first. I also review the checklist regularly. After all, what’s “urgent” and “important” today may not stay the same in a week’s time. Your financial marketing agency should use a similar project management system for your campaign.
#9 Red Flags
What will be the process when an issue is identified by your team, or by your financial marketing agency? How will you create an environment where people feel it is safe to raise a “red flag?”
Trust and a democratic culture will be important in order for your team and marketing partner to work effectively in this respect.
#10 Critical Path
Critical paths refers to the longest pathway to achieving an outcome, which hinges on a number of processes being executed. This path needs to be identified through the entire course of your campaign by your financial marketing agency. Be aware that the path may well move depending on the nature of the marketing campaign you are running.
Phil Teale is the Sales & Marketing Manager at MarketingAdviser, an agency specialising in marketing for financial services – and especially for financial advisers. Along with our sister company, CreativeAdviser, we also provide bespoke website design, branding, graphic design and video production services to financial clients.
Contact us on 01923 232840 or email me: email@example.com