Industry News

How to invest in better marketing - Part Five

Editor’s note: This is the fifth part in a seven-part series on managing your marketing portfolio. Part 6 will publish next Friday. Check out parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Research your social media followers like you research fund managers.

Gaining market intelligence about your social media followers is as important as gathering investment intelligence about your mutual fund managers.

Just like gathering intelligence about mutual fund managers—such as their past performance against indexes or any history of style shift—can help you decide on which fund within a given asset class is best for your investment portfolio, gaining market intelligence about your social media followers will help to put your social options into perspective and allocate your “satellite” marketing budget more effectively.

For example, studies have discovered that 20% or more of Americans would consider purchasing via social, making it a huge and largely untapped opportunity for CPG manufacturers. However, when looking at your options as a marketer, it’s key to learn not only what’s possible with each social network, but also to identify how your followers are using each platform.

Focusing your mutual fund choices on the managers that outperform and stay true to their investment philosophy, in both good times and bad, is the same as focusing your efforts on the social media channel in which your consumers are most engaged, most of the time.

If your followers are more engaged on two or three social platforms, then you have a greater chance of engaging them and converting them. They will have a greater likelihood of purchasing via social. For instance, maybe your Pinterest following is highly engaged and active, but smaller than your (uninvolved) Facebook fans. You needn’t put a lot of support behind your Facebook presence just because it’s Facebook.

Rebranding: A change in management can shake up an investor’s portfolio just as it can upend a marketer’s brand.

The decision to rebrand is a critical one for a marketer. It can effect how customers see your company and products, good or bad. Similarly, the decision to hire a new financial adviser is a critical one for investors. In some cases, an investor may have been going it alone and now feels like they need a professional. Or perhaps the financial markets have not been kind to him/her. Or their current financial adviser may have performed well in good markets, but performed horribly in bad markets. Whatever the case, it may be time to rebrand.

For instance, if a marketer is experiencing a decrease in sales and customers, it may be time to rebrand. Or if the marketer is losing customers to its competition, it may be time to review its business model and its brand proposition. What’s more, if the marketplace has changed significantly, or a marketer’s brand has low awareness among new consumers, it may also be necessary to rebrand.

Similarly, if an investor is experiencing a decrease in yield over a period of time, particularly below comparable indexes, it may be time to look for a new financial adviser. Or if the stock market has been through a major correction, or an investor’s portfolio is out of balance from its intended allocation of fixed income versus equities and their financial adviser has not been proactive in making the necessary adjustments, it may be time to rebrand (find a new financial adviser).

It may also be time to rebrand when your logo looks old and your brand looks tired and outdated. If that’s the case, and your brand doesn’t reflect who you are or what you deliver, it may be time to rebrand.

Similarly, many people think of hiring an investment adviser when something new happens in their lives. For example, an inheritance, sale of a home or retirement can make your old financial plan look outdated and in need of a refresh.

Often, marketers tend to rebrand when they bring in new management. Perhaps it’s a new CEO bringing in a new CMO.

Or a new CMO bringing in a new ad agency. In either case, each new player can have a different set of values and a new vision on how they see the future of the business. This will often lead to a rebrand.

Similarly, just as new management changes can lead to a rebrand, a shift in mutual fund managers can have a similar impacts on an investor’s portfolio. For instance, in the 3rd quarter of 2014, bond guru Bill Gross quit Pimco for Janus Capital, causing many investors to liquidate their holdings in Pimco’s funds and find greener pastures elsewhere. Bill Gross’s departure had a dramatic impact on the bond industry in general, causing a seismic shift among financial advisers and their recommendations to clients.

Also, a marketer may want to rebrand if they’re have expanded their offerings or starting a new division. For example, if you are a supermarket planning to expand into prepared foods with a café, or shift to organic produce and meats, it may be a good time to think about rebranding.

Linked to this notion of rebranding is the continual need for marketers to ensure that they refresh their brands to meet ever-changing consumer expectations.

McDonald's “Pay with Lovin’ “ Super Bowl TV spot last year and online marketing initiative was a good example of an established brand trying to refresh its brand by building on its 'I'm Loving It' campaign."

Similarly, most financial advisers look to “refresh” their clients’ investment portfolios to meet the ever-changing financial markets. Many will refresh before and after the New Year to harvest any tax loses or gains, and to rebalance portfolios and asset classes to ensure that they are meeting client expectations and ratios.

Check back next Friday for more insights on this topic.

Stuart Dornfield is an award-winning freelance creative director and copywriter with 40 years experience in marketing, strategy, advertising and production. A former senior vice president and creative director of Zimmerman Advertising (Omnicom), the 13th largest agency in the U.S., and the co-founder of Gold Coast Advertising, the third largest agency in South Florida, Stuart now offers his creative services and marketing insights as a freelancer with offices in New York and Miami.