My Dog, My Reality Check

Nearly every morning I head out with my beautiful little girl dog, aBoo (sounds like Abu), a 115-pound Newfoundland. We always walk the same trek: down the block, toward the neighborhood Catholic school, over a long hill, and then up 282 stairs to the top of Mount Tabor. The route is about three miles roundtrip or a bit more if we take the long way home.

I enjoy the walk, as it is great exercise, and the sunrise can be gorgeous from the top of the hill. Unfortunately, a recent morning walk wasn’t fun. In fact, it was quite frustrating. The problem? aBoo is a Snuffelator. When we walk she insists on stopping every several feet to sniff this and that, and all around. She also likes to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and wait for me to bribe her with a biscuit as payment for accompanying me on the walk. Note: She does not do this in the evenings when we are on “her” walk. Nope.

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Super Bowl Ads Provide Marketing Fodder

The 2014 Super Bowl game may not have played out as anticipated, but the much-hyped commercial onslaught was true to form this year as viewers were blitzed with cute kids and dogs, celebrity appearances, patriotism, rock stars, and explosive promos for upcoming action flicks and TV shows.

Phew! Time to digest all the snacks and the take-away knowledge from the good and bad commercials that you can apply to your own financial services marketing strategies.

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Marketing: What the other guy is doing while you’re being too busy.

As a small to medium-sized firm you are up, day after day, against established players that have more resources, more brand, customers, references. It is the story of David versus Goliath. That is the story that makes entrepreneurship exciting.

So the question is how do you beat Goliath? And it’s not through the better product, because no one knows about your services or product at the beginning. When you start, no one knows you. No one knows your name. So, you’ve got to break through the noise, you’ve got to break through everything your competitors are doing.

How do you do that? Marketing.

People tell me regularly that they don’t have time for marketing, that’s basically like saying:

  • I don’t have time to win customers.
  • I don’t have time to build a successful business.
  • I don’t have time to really get known in the marketplace and increase my position and branding of it.

Yipes that’s a little harsh! Let’s back up for just a moment. Here is what we know about sales in the retirement plan world:

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