Barry Ritholtz and his partners do not spend their time operating the way the rest of the industry does#. Instead of chasing business all day long like other asset management firms, they slow down, think, and focus on operating deliberately.
That means making their product — managing the financial lives of the firm's clients — better and helping clients to understand the world as it truly is. Better understanding helps make better decisions based on goals, aspirations, and time horizons. It's a privilege the firm earns through results and relationships.
The hard sale is dead
Stephen Denny says the hard sale is dead#. To me that translates into the direct mailer or email that comes out of the blue, without permission, or a good reason for being there. Otherwise we're talking about the cold call in different format.
As people and individuals, we're seeking more and more control. Marketing has never been easier — the many tools and channels have exploded the number of options. Chat bots, automated content and predictive analytics make it faster to speed dial ads.
But unsolicited marketing in the form of targeted advertising has never been less welcome. 44-50 percent of people in the U.S. don't trust brands whose marketing is everywhere — fake promises. Ironically, most people prefer personalized messages, but don't trust their personal data with marketers.
Invest in value
Today, customers drive the need for increased investment in the parts of marketing that are closer to the business — product, service, and company behavior. Which draws out the interesting problem of how culture translates into language.
How we say what we say, and whether we have something of value to talk about in the first place both depend on and drive customer experience. Perception is part of that experience. Mass broadcasting of a creative idea works for brands when they're responsive to customer needs in the day to day.
Professional services firms should focus on dissecting information as it relates to the problem they solve and mastering skills to create better solutions. Practice and experience lay the groundwork for helping clients manage risk and avoid sabotaging their efforts unnecessarily.
Making clients better through education makes better clients. Making regulations and the firm better strengthens the environment for everyone to contribute to solving the hottest issues. When we're selling the invisible — advice — the best work goes to constantly improving our thinking and communication.
Make a good product people need, do something newsworthy, tell that story
Growing capacity, making a good product / service people need, doing something newsworthy, telling that story, impacting customer experience are all the conditions that build modern brands.
Working with technical founders and high growth startups in the last few years, I've seen first hand the importance of product development before business development. Product is where the value is, your customer experience depends on it.
So the alternative to the “traditional” marketing and communication tactics in a 24/7 world is not just two-dimensional — problem + external forces matrix. There's a third dimension (3D) that needs thoughtful exploration and strategizing.
1./ Uncover a problem / gap – what are the barriers?
- environmental – e.g., we're talking in the wrong channels
- financial – e.g., we're allocating budgets to things that don't move the needle
- relational – e.g., are communications are mismatched with our prospects (we don't know well enough who we're trying to reach)
- purpose / meaning – e.g., we're full of “what's” and “hows” and don't connect with “why”
3D — How time affects the problem.
2./ Get organized – what kind of product are you?
- value proposition
- use cases
- collaboration / partnership needs
3D — How energy affects organization.
3./ Plan and invest in your future – what's your goal?
- type of work you want to do
- business models
- product development
- track important metrics
- move towards goal daily
3D — How habits affect investing.
4./ Build a support mechanism – what kind of people and knowledge matter?
- reduce noise – e.g., select sources carefully
- learn what matters – e.g., principles over tactics
- collaborations and partnerships
3D — How mindset affects performance.
Business longevity depends on the ability to think and operate in three dimensions. Where should you focus on for the best use of your 24 hours?
Download the foundational workbook to achieve smarter aims.