We get approached by many independent financial brands who are looking to leverage next-generation marketing mindsets for their firm. This is great, and one of the core reasons our firm exists. What we have also found, however, is that many firms lack “the basics” that are required before making any additional investment in digital marketing.

Here are the three things that every firm should have in place BEFORE they invest in digital marketing campaigns.

1. Your Google Location Knowledge Card is correct

When you type your firm’s name in Google, on the right side of your screen you should see a Location Knowledge Card. This card shows your physical address, an image of your building, your phone number, and your office hours.

You would be amazed how many independent financial firms have Location Knowledge Cards which are missing information or are entirely incorrect. Some firms don’t have ANY listing on Google, making it appear like the firm “does not exist”. If you do not exist in the digital world, it can be impossible to be found.

2. You are satisfied with the look, feel, and language of your website

Any digital marketing campaign should direct users to your website, but a world-class marketing campaign is of little value if users end up at a website which needs improvement. Consider how this would feel in the real world:

You meet with a potential client at a coffee shop downtown to discuss their needs and your approach to wealth management. You hit it off, and your services seem like a great fit. After the meeting you invite them to your office to discuss details and to complete paperwork. The client arrives at your office to find that the door is falling off the hinges and the wall paper hasn’t been updated since Jimmy Carter was in office.

No financial advisor would tolerate this approach in the real world, but we see too many firms investing in digital outreach before polishing the look, feel, and language of their website.

3. You are tracking website and social traffic using a service like Google Analytics

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. If you can measure it, you can manage it. However you say it, tracking website traffic and social analytics is critical before making further investments in digital marketing. Without tracking these numbers, there is no way to measure ROI and/or the effectiveness of your digital campaigns. Google Analytics is simple to setup and can provide a wealth of information for strategic planning sessions.

So how does your firm stack up? Where are improvements needed? That can be a difficult question to answer. It’s with this in mind that our team is hard at work developing a Marketing Readiness Assessment, specifically designed for independent financial brands. This survey will allow you to identify where functional deficiencies exist and, in time, allow you to compare your marketing readiness against peer firms.

We will keep you updated as this powerful tool is developed.