If you are using the same marketing materials for all of your clients and prospects, it’s time to rethink that approach.

A recent Trustmark conference in Chicago explored how each of us is influenced by four key factors in terms of how we receive information and act on it to make decisions: Our age or generation, learning style, point of view and communication preferences. Usually the benefits marketer’s goal is either to convince a prospect that your firm should be its new benefit adviser or to persuade your client to follow your recommendations. In pursuing these goals, it’s important to take these four factors into account as you develop your firm’s marketing strategy.

Beverly Beattie
Beverly Beattie

Baby boomers are motivated by social good or personal gain and prefer communicating through face-to-face meetings or phone conversations. Gen Xers want to have a sense of involvement in the benefits process and prefer electronic communications such as texting or email. Different members of your target audience will have different points of view and learning styles, and to accommodate as many of these as possible, you should consider using a combination of visual, auditory and tactile marketing materials. This will ensure maximum understanding and retention of you message by the broadest number of people.

Use more than one type of media
An effective marketing strategy should take into account all of these factors by making use of a wide range of communications media. These should include your website, as its foundation, along with simple sales slicks, videos, email, podcasts and face to face interactions. When meeting with prospects or clients, look for clues to their individual learning styles and viewpoints, so you can make use of the form of communication that will resonate most strongly with them.

Quote
"Telling stories is an extremely effective way to connect with your audience, and these should be used to convey the benefits and likely outcomes of working with your company and following its recommendations."

Telling stories is an extremely effective way to connect with your audience, and these should be used to convey the benefits and likely outcomes of working with your company and following its recommendations. A good story has a beginning, which describes the current situation to be addressed; a middle, which details the recommended solution, and an ending, which relates the final outcome.

Also see: "Success should be the driving force behind adviser compensation."

Some people learn best through the written word, while others relate better to graphs and illustrations. You need to strike a balance. As the saying goes, “Pictures paint a thousand words,” especially for visual learners.

Also, when composing your marketing materials, keep in mind the 3-30-3 rule: The viewer will take the first three seconds to form an impression of whether an item is worth reviewing further. If it passes muster, the prospect or client will then spend the next 30 seconds reviewing it more closely. Then, if you have done your job well, the viewer will agree to invest another three minutes looking it over to understand your message. Success! Now you have that person’s full attention.

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