Updated Tuesday, July 29, 2014 as of 4:59 PM ET
Blogs - The Marketing Maven
Building Share of Mind as a Local, Vocal Name
Impact Communications, Inc.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
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Quick. Answer this question: What was the best marketing investment - over the past six months - according to a top financial advisor with independent broker/dealer Investacorp? Was it:

-- Adding Video and Social Media

-- Employer Sponsored Seminars

-- Being Quoted in Publications

-- Being a Regular Guest on a Radio Show

-- Small Client Gatherings and Social Events

-- Asking Clients for Referrals

INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW

While social media and adding digital communications such as video is all the rage right now, if you guessed #1, you'd be wrong. And while asking your clients for referrals might seem like the lowest cost and fastest way to grow your business, this particular advisor would say his experience has been something other than that.

Employer-sponsored workplace seminars have long been a staple for this advisory firm, and so have small client gatherings and business social events - but neither #2 or # 5 are the right answer according to C J Klaas, a Gen X advisor who is the heir apparent at Klaas Financial, Inc., a 35-year-old independent financial advisory firm with offices in Wisconsin and Illinois.

That leaves #3, being quoted in publications, and #4, being a regular guest on a talk radio show - both of which are PR-related activities. Surprisingly, C J told me that #4 - being a regular guest on a talk radio show - had been the best use of their marketing dollars over the past six months. Why? Well, bragging rights, for one. Credibility as an expert, for another. Repeated local visibility, for a third. Share of voice, for a fourth reason. And ability to easily leverage the digital clips, for a fifth reason as to why being a regular guest on a talk radio show has been deemed the best use of the marketing budget at Klaas Financial this year. Klaas has become a local/vocal name in his community.

IS RADIO NOW PASSE?

We know that "share of mind marketing" works. Building share of mind means that your name and your solutions come to mind FIRST whenever a particular product, service or solution is needed by a particular type of person or community of interest. You don't want people to "draw a blank" when a need arises (or, worse, think of a competing firm). Becoming popular and recognized as immediately relevant to potential clients is the aim. It's the first step to getting them to engage for services and/or purchase what you offer. But in the age of online multimedia and self-published digital content, is radio still a valid means to building share of mind?

I might have chalked this one firm's experience as a fluke, but I heard it again - regular radio appearances as the best use of marketing dollars this year - when I spoke with Ken Stone, CEO and founder of Cincinnati-based Stone Financial Retirement Planning. Ken was the second of three top-advisors I spoke with in preparation for my presentations at the Investacorp annual conference in July.

The third firm, Atlanta-based oXYGen Financial run by co-founders Kile Lewis and Ted Jenkin, also said that regular radio show appearances were a part of their top three marketing tactics. Then, during my presentation on public relations and credibility marketing, other advisors at the Investacorp conference went on and on about how their stints as a radio show host and/or regular guest on talk radio shows had helped them build their business - not just in the past but with measurable results this year.

Anyone who knows me or who has read this column for a while knows that I'm a big proponent for PR. Being seen as an expert in print, online and via the airwaves can pay big dividends over time.

But radio as a primary credibility tool? In the age of podcasts and self-produced video?

Frankly, I was beginning to feel that radio might be losing its audience - and maybe even a little bit of its cache. Not so, according to the entrepreneurs the conference.

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