This article was written by Nicc Lewis, the Chief Marketing Officer at Leverate.
Give us a real trend!
At the iFX International 2015 I was on a panel about the future trends in the industry. The questions were opened up to the floor and one of the brokers asked: “Give us a real trend!”
I addressed the broker and explained that the biggest trend does not come from technology but it comes from the market. I predicted that the market would become a lot tougher for brokers; competition would get stronger while acquisition costs increased. In short, brokers would need to expand their marketing diversity while building their differentiation.
Fast forward to 2016, where I was on three panels: direct response versus brand awareness, automation and social trading. The main theme that ran throughout these diverse subjects was the increase in competition leading to increasing marketing costs while many of my comments pointed back to diversification of marketing activities and building differentiation.
In the short time I had to speak, I felt that I could not relay my message strong enough or clear enough. I am going to break it down into some simple concepts, some vital steps brokers need to take. The smaller the broker, the more they should pay attention, but the theme holds true for any broker.
As we approach levels of competition never before seen in our industry, we can learn much from basic marketing principles that have been adopted in other similar sectors like gaming.
Competition for new clients means that the rise of effective costs makes acquisitions more expensive. There are two ways to mitigate this: reduce operational costs by using automation for example, or, make each dollar stretch further on the spend side. In this article I will concentrate on the latter.
There are three key principles: vision, focus and holistic approach.
1st Principle: Vision
Your first step is brand. Before you spend a single dollar, pound or euro, you need to take a step back and understand your brand in detail.
You need to have a clear vision of what your brand represents in the market, and identity of who you are and who are you speaking to. Through this, you will understand your differentiators which you will need to map and communicate clearly. It is vital for these to be simple, positive messages that your target audience can identify and engage with.
When running through this process you should profile your target market(s) in detail coming down to a person with a name. Build up the layers that make up this person.
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Start with their name (give them a name), age, sex, status. Then map their work and home life followed by their lifestyles. Add the layer of aspirations. Finally look at their general online and mobile activity and add to this their trading activity. From here you can cross mark where you can meet this person either directly via content or advertising or by inspiration by design.
Example: Jack likes to go to the gym and has an interest in sports cars. We can meet Jack’s interest in a healthy lifestyle by using clean and healthy imagery in our design. We can also consider reaching Jack via direct response or branding campaigns on car review sites.
2nd Principle: Focus
The next principle is focus. Paddy Power became a giant in the sports betting world by focusing on the British Isles and Sweden only and by promoting mobile betting as their primary platform.
In order to be memorable, you will need to meet your potential client over and over to give the appearance of brand and therefore trust. When starting out or working with a limited budget it will be impossible to spread this intensity wide.
To make your dollar go further you should focus down to a very narrow target audience looking for the low hanging fruit that matches your brand identity. Once you have money in the bank by finding the Jacks, you can look into finding Frank or Pierre or Hans.
3rd Principle: Holistic Approach
Finally, you should see marketing as a holistic approach. Your ROI is based on the total spend and the total return. Brand awareness may be more difficult to measure, but it has a dramatic effect on direct response results, effectively lowering your costs.
As your audience has more exposure to your message the response to a call-to-action becomes more natural. This means a diverse package of activities that does not necessarily mean deep pockets.
Think about content marketing, social media, PR, light and tight sponsorships and display advertising as well as some SEO marketing. Nothing gives more confidence than having a high ranking on the keywords you bid for. While on the subject, long tail is the new SEO. Not only is it less expensive, we as users tend to search for longer and more specific results.
Long gone are the days of hard sell to get results. In today’s world we need to talk about assisted buying decisions.