View more on these topics

What advisers are saying: Marketing

Phil-Wickenden-MM-Peach-700x450.jpg

The importance of understanding how customers are using your products and services, and what experience they have with you, features somewhere on the first page of the idiot’s guide to marketing.

This understanding was probably there at the birth of nearly all successful businesses. But the tendency is for businesses to gradually shift from really knowing their customers by being close to them, to assuming they know what their customers need.

They become absorbed with internal processes to reduce operational costs and increase profit margins. As focus turns inward, they begin to lose their focus on the customer. They assume that they still know their customers.

It does not matter how much regulatory pressure there is, this is seriously dangerous.

Fact is things change: customers’ needs change, their expectations change and the competitive environment changes.

In 1996, Interbrand ranked Kodak the fourth most-valuable brand in the world, just behind Disney, Coca Cola and McDonalds. Today on the stock market, Disney is worth $125 bn, Coca-Cola is worth $177 bn, McDonald’s is worth $96 bn and Kodak has only just emerged from bankruptcy.

The smash and grab emergence of the digital format has been a big factor but ironically in 1976, it was Kodak who invented the digital camera then systematically failed to do anything with it.

This failure paints a stark reminder of the cost of missed opportunities. As customers were getting on board celebrating the arrival of the digital revolution, Kodak management stayed the course with its traditional film and camera lines. Believing that its loyal customer base would never desert its famous products with the yellow and red logo, a somewhat arrogant leadership ignored what was happening around them.

This is an extreme example but when you really know why your current customers are choosing you over your competition, you will know what to do to both retain them and attract new clients. But you must first get to the real reasons why customers do business with you. Otherwise, you will end up with meaningless information like almost everybody else wastes their marketing efforts with. You have seen it; “independent financial planning” and “friendly, professional advice”.

When a business knows why consumers should do business with them, and know why current customers do conduct business with them, they have the information necessary to focus relentlessly on the stuff that really adds value and sets you apart. The rest is waste.

Phil Wickenden is managing director of So Here’s The Plan phil@soherestheplan.co.uk

IFA quotes on their business’s mission to clients…

MM-12Dec-P-Wickenden.png

Recommended

Aviva-building-logo-2013-700x450.jpg

Aviva enhances critical illness definitions

Aviva has enhanced its critical illness definitions for strokes and multiple sclerosis, two of the top five most-claimed for CI conditions. Under the new definitions, effective from today on all new policies, MS patients are no longer required to present continuous symptoms for three months. Instead they only require a definite diagnosis with current symptoms. Stroke […]

Osborne-George-2012-700.jpg

Govt confirms plans to close IHT multiple trusts loophole

The Government has confirmed it will close a loophole allowing the use of multiple trusts to avoid inheritance tax charges from 2015. In the Autumn Statement today, the Treasury said the changes will take place alongside simplifications of trusts. In May, HMRC launched a consultation proposing a change to the rules on multiple trusts with […]

Mark-Carney-close-up-focused-700.jpg

MPC member Weale casts doubt on BoE forward guidance impact

An external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee does not believe Governor Mark Carney’s forward guidance will be effective in stimulating the pace of recovery. In August this year, Carney said the MPC would not consider lifting the base rate from its historic low of 0.5 per cent until UK unemployment fell below […]

Bellamy-David-2012-700x450.jpg

FOS upholds complaint against SJP for unsuitable Isa advice

The Financial Ombudsman Service has upheld a complaint against St James’s Place for giving unsuitable advice to transfer an Isa from an existing provider to SJP. A final decision by the FOS, published last week, upheld an adjudicator decision in favour of the consumer, who complained she had lost income and capital and was disappointed […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com