Outsourced Chief Marketing Officer
Grow Faster and Do More of What You Love with Experienced Guidance to Set Your Firm’s Path, Build Your Brand, and Train the Right Resources to Execute Your Marketing Plan
When you want to increase the overall revenue of your firm along with the revenue per client that you earn, you need to focus your marketing on a high-value hyper-targeted audience. With the right framework and supporting plan, you can dramatically improve your revenue without adding overwhelming amounts of new work. This streamlined focus actually reduces your effort so you can do more of what you love to do.
I engage with independent RIAs and industry service providers who want to systematize their marketing and create a sustainable firm. To make this happen I assume the role of part-time Chief Marketing Officer, commonly referred to as your CMO.
My job is to help you clarify your goals, establish clear, measurable marketing objectives, and then provide my strategy recommendation for how to achieve those objectives. With buy-in, I then outline and prioritize the tasks and tactics on which we need to execute and determine the resources we need along with the responsibilities of your team members. Most importantly, I help develop a process for making proactive marketing a consistent routine and part of the usual workflow of the company.
The overall process that I follow to help RIAs has three components:
1. CLARITY: In the first month of working together, we will hold weekly Discovery and Planning Sessions so I can learn about your service and systems, meet the team members face-to-face, understand more about your clientele, and lay the foundation for Brand Clarity.
2. COMMITMENT: With this input, I then come back with my recommendations for your Marketing Plan. We commit to the strategies on which we will focus, set goals, and determine the metrics for success.
3. CARRY-OUT: Now we implement the tactics to support the strategies to which we committed. This includes identifying the resources to execute the efforts, building out systems, following through on the plan and tracking metrics.
The scope of engagement varies according to your business needs. Some of the common objectives that RIAs and service providers approach me to help with are:
Develop an overarching brand strategy that clearly articulates your positioning, your high-value hyper-targeted client, and your brand personality so you can proactively shape your identity in the marketplace. This clarity makes decision-making on how to engage your resources to strengthen your brand much easier. This work involves understanding the competitive landscape, your differentiators as a firm, and the type(s) of clients you enjoy most. Engagement can also include new visual branding including naming the firm, developing and deciding on a logo and setting brand standards for consistent design.
NOTE: All firms with whom I work will need a clear brand strategy before we embark on a full marketing plan. I start here unless you already have your brand strategy developed and documented.
- You need to reinvent your marketing now that the founder has retired and a new generation of advisors is taking ownership.
- You have run your firm in silos, with individual advisors holding their own relationships and clients who develop loyalty only to their advisor, not to the firm. You want to shift to an ensemble model or a more team-centric approach to create a connection with the firm brand rather than a single advisor. You also want to clearly communicate the shift to existing clients and adapt your marketing messages.
Attract more of the right kind of clients through structured lead-generation marketing initiatives that build awareness, generate interest and prompt action from the type of people you want to reach. Prioritization of efforts and eliciting ownership for the execution of each initiative is paramount to your marketing success.
- You want to embrace social media and online marketing opportunities to grow faster but you do not know how to keep it consistent across multiple advisors and/or you are not sure how and which platforms to leverage.
- You want to amplify your presence in the marketplace through an integrated marketing plan, with both online and offline initiatives.
Build a structured lead-to-client relationship marketing system leveraging technology and team members to streamline your effort, automate and improve communication, accelerate conversion, and boost the quality of your overall experience. Through development of a lead capture and nurture strategy you build your database of potential clients that allows you to create an asset (your list) with which you can continue to deepen your relationship over time. This exponential accumulation of a following allows you to scale.
- You have a list of leads and prospects in your CRM – and maybe even in an email management system like Mailchimp – but you don’t know what to do with it or you have not found the time or the system to communicate regularly. You want to set up consistent outreach that keeps your list engaged.
- You have developed lead magnets but no one seems to sign up for them. Each advisor has contacts in their own email account, but you do not centralize the communications and keep on-going nurture in place on a firm level, or on any level! Communication is ad hoc and you’re often recreating the wheel with each email.
Deepen your client engagement and develop ambassadors; your clients already like you and focus in this area can give you the fastest and easiest access to revenue growth in your business. They want to hear from you and feel valued.
- You know you should be doing more to communicate with clients, but you’re focusing so much to bring in new clients and hold meetings that the client outreach goes on the back burner. You send the quarterly statements and an occasional newsletter, but other than a sporadic reminder to have a meeting, you work in reactive mode, responding when a client calls. You want a systematize client outreach and celebration schedule that helps spark the right level of engagement from your clients and leaves them feeling ‘loved.’
Streamline service offerings and match pricing to value; distinguish segments of service without sacrificing quality; provide clear communication of offering, price and delivery to appeal to your ideal prospective clients, repel the clients you do not want, and improve your conversion process.
- You want to shift the perception, communications, and systems of the firm to a planning-first model (versus investment-first) to show the true value of your service.
- You service all clients with the same quantity of resources know matter how profitable they are. You want to segment your service delivery without distancing clients, but you need better return on effort for you and your team.
Measuring our success is one of the most critical parts of the process. For each strategy within the plan, we set key metrics and track against them throughout a quarter. We’ll not only look at how we performed against our goals, but also evaluate the impact of each activity to find opportunities for improvement and successes that we can replicate.
To help you gain traction more quickly I operate in a highly hands-on manner in the start of the engagement. As we define and implement your marketing plan, my focus is building out marketing guidelines and processes so I can train you and your team how to manage and execute your marketing consistently over the long term. Whether that is training a single person responsible or breaking down responsibilities for team members, I transfer the marketing knowledge so you can implement. We work together to build your marketing ‘asset’ --- your systems that you follow --- that I hand-off to you to run.
How Our Engagement Works
Because I serve multiple clients at any given time, I bucket my time to ensure that I have the bandwidth to do my part to achieve the goals we set together for your business.
I allocate a specific day(s) of the week dedicated 100% to your business. This arrangement serves two purposes:
- I am able to immerse myself in your brand and goals and focus completely on what you need next. Your day is your day alone and I hold that time only for your firm whether we are working together as a team or I am working independently on your behalf.
- You and your team have a built-in deadline each week for marketing input and actions. You’d be surprised how focused teams become when they know the day(s) that I have fully committed to your firm.
I charge a flat fee of $5,500 / month. Commonly, work upfront is more involved and will take more of my time. Some months I may work the equivalent of more than one day a week, while another month may be a slower month.
Because it takes time to build up momentum for your marketing, I require a minimum engagement of 6 months. Cancellation by either party is available at any time with 30 days notice after the initial 6 months. Payment for the month is due in advance of the work completed. Invoices are sent 15 days prior to the month of work.
Current pricing is valid through December 31, 2019.
Do we have to be available every week?
In the beginning of our relationship, availability of key decision-makers is essential so we can establish priorities and commit to a plan.
After the first series of meetings, you do not have to be available. Think of this day more as office hours. This is time you have available to work on your marketing if you choose.
You are hiring me to drive your marketing strategy forward, so you can relax knowing that I am working on your behalf each week, and I will schedule time with you when I need your input or buy-in.
What if we need to meet with a vendor or a team member on a different day? What is we need a bit of extra help one month?
Rest assured, I do offer flexibility for meeting with vendors or contractors that need to take place outside of the allocated workdays.
Do we have to have a desk for you?
You do not need to set up a dedicated desk for me. I enjoy working on site when possible, and I believe it heightened your firm’s commitment to marketing by having me in sight. However, it is not a requirement. I operate out of an office in the Financial District in San Francisco and occasionally out of my home office in the Marina.
When I do work at your office, I will need a place to work on those days, whether it is a conference room, a table, the corner of your desk, or the desk of an absent employee.
Do all the meetings need to be in person?
I love to meet face-to-face when possible as I find people engage more fully. However, this also is not my expectation. I work with advisors across the country (and sometimes around the globe), so zoom.us is the regular way I hold sessions, or we can use the platform of your choice. To share documents and stay up to date on implementation, we can use #slack, dropbox, google documents, of the application you prefer.
How many clients do you work with at a time?
I prefer deeper connections with fewer clients. This number of clients with whom I am engaged varies each month, but I can only work with a few clients at a time in this role. Because I dedicate 20-25% of my working time to each client, and I reserve time to train individual advisors through 1-on-1 coaching and group training, the number of CMO clients stays small.
What other resource costs should we anticipate?
Leveraging the gig economy, we can often get projects done without having to hire full-time or part-time staff. I will recommend and coordinate hiring freelancers (such as graphic designers or website designers/coders) to handle the one-time needs. You will simply need to set up an upwork or fiverr.com account so I can hire for you on a project-by-project basis. Depending on the work we do, there will be out of pocket expenses such as stock photography or printing. All out of pocket and additional resources expenses are paid for directly by your firm.