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The New Model Adviser® top 10 marketing maestros

For sheer range and ingenuity, our selection of advisers and their profile-raising projects makes impressive reading. From fridge magnets to sponsorship, and Ladies Days to Twitter, we give you an insight into how creative and effective advertising can be.

Jason Butler, director, Bloomsbury Financial Planning

The key to London-based Jason Butler’s cost-efficient marketing initiative is being selective. Butler gives out five business cards in a card holder to a select number of his top clients to pass on to suitable contacts.

‘It’s more than a business card,’ says Butler. ‘It tells them about the clients’ problems and how we solve them.

‘I gave them to a select 10 best clients along with silver card holders, like cigarette cases, and they must give them to five other individuals.’

Despite costing only £1,000 at £40 a case, the campaign has yielded plenty of referrals for Bloomsbury.

‘We’ve gone from having a lukewarm enquiry every quarter to having five referrals a quarter,’ he says.

Jason Butler, director, Bloomsbury Financial Planning

The key to London-based Jason Butler’s cost-efficient marketing initiative is being selective. Butler gives out five business cards in a card holder to a select number of his top clients to pass on to suitable contacts.

‘It’s more than a business card,’ says Butler. ‘It tells them about the clients’ problems and how we solve them.

‘I gave them to a select 10 best clients along with silver card holders, like cigarette cases, and they must give them to five other individuals.’

Despite costing only £1,000 at £40 a case, the campaign has yielded plenty of referrals for Bloomsbury.

‘We’ve gone from having a lukewarm enquiry every quarter to having five referrals a quarter,’ he says.

Malcolm Coury, managing director, Money Wise

Bath-based Money Wise has tackled the issue of marketing head on by sponsoring Bath rugby club.

The club’s high profile in the local community and popularity with solicitors has helped Money Wise reap the benefits of referrals and stronger professional connections from the sponsorship deal.

‘It has been very good for name awareness in the local community,’ says Coury.

‘It has been very good for professional connections, a lot of solicitors are keen rugby fans, they see we have a box and our advert in the programme, so it’s very good for connections.

‘I think we get 15 or 20 referrals a month. The lawyers like us because we are a familiar firm with a good business model.’

Money Wise has even signed some of the club’s players as clients after the sponsorship deal.

‘We are the official IFA for the club, we have a few players as clients and that’s developing. We are providing a financial education programme for the players and the academy,’ he adds.

Alok Dhanda, principal, Dhanda Financial

Northumbria-based adviser Alok Dhanda’s efforts to attract female clients to his firm involves hosting an annual Ladies Day, where he tries to present financial planning issues in a women-friendly way.

‘It’s for any professional lady, we have a bit of fun and talk about financial planning but put a spin on it,’ says Dhanda. ‘We talk about Jimmy Choos and compare wardrobes and bags to ISAs and investment products. It’s a lot of fun.’

According to Dhanda, the Ladies Days have more than paid for themselves in referrals.

‘It costs us about £1,000 to put on and we generate about £5,000 for the business.

The outcome from last year was I met a solicitor and through her I got very good referrals and from these have generated £40,000.’

Kevin Deamer, director, KMD Private Wealth Management

Hertfordshire-based Kevin Deamer has marketed his firm the old-fashioned way: by getting out and meeting people.

After speaking to marketing agencies, he realised the most valued part of his advice proposition was the personal relationship his clients had with him.

‘I approached a number of marketing agencies and for the first time they actually spent quite a lot of time trying to understand the business,’ he says.

‘Most clients dealt with us because of personality. There’s a trust and that’s what clients value.’

Deamer produced brochures for the firm that he hand-delivered to existing clients and asked them to refer one person on to him.

‘I want three new clients a year worth between £5 million and £25 million. These are upmarket clients so we needed a nice brochure,’ he said.

Martin Bamford, managing director, Informed Choice

Surrey-based Martin Bamford has gone further than most in trying to strengthen his business’ presence in social media.

Bamford launched a competition giving away a free financial plan to 15 people, with the plans going to those who mentioned Informed Choice the most times on Twitter.

‘It was last summer to celebrate our 15th birthday,’ he says. ‘We’d seen a similar competition and we liked the concept but we thought we would give away something relevant to what we did.

‘We gave away 15 plans a day for 15 days, so people had to mention us on Twitter, use the hash tag and the word Informed Choice,’ he adds.

‘The cost was in developing free plans. We had 15 winners but only three of the 15 took up the prize, and two of these three then became Informed Choice clients.’

Darren Lloyd Thomas, managing director, Thomas and Thomas

Pembrokeshire-based Darren Lloyd Thomas took an unorthodox approach to competing with high street banks by taking out an advert out in the local paper explaining the difference between fee and commission-based advice.

Lloyd Thomas (pictured with wife and business partner, Lisa) says: ‘It was in 2009 and at the time we were experiencing real problems meeting people who said “I can go to the bank and get financial advice for free” when it is commission based.

‘We put it in the Western Telegraph, which cost £700 plus VAT which was pretty expensive but I thought it was time the IFAs fought back,’ he adds.

‘I did get us one client with a fee of £1,500 and assets of £200,000, so that paid for the advert, but it also gave us “brand glow”. Our reputation is getting larger in the community, people are recognising us.’

Andrew Fisher, chief executive, Towry

Towry is to make its first venture into directly marketing to consumers with a radio, online and print campaign in the autumn.

The IFA national has hired marketing firm The Gate to help it target its ‘core audience’ of clients.

The campaign follows the IFA national’s rebranding from Towry Law to Towry earlier this year.

Keith Churchouse, director, Churchouse Financial Planning

Three roundabouts, a radio show and a van are all involved in Surrey-based Keith Churchouse’s unique marketing campaign for his firm.

Churchouse Financial Planning’s contact details can be found on three roundabouts in Guildford, and the branding is proudly displayed on the adviser’s Peugeot Partner van.

Churchouse also fills the airwaves on a local radio show, and says the combined effect of the initiatives has been to boost awareness of the firm.

‘We’ve had the roundabouts for four years, and the van for 12 months. I’m also doing a radio show on BBC Surrey. We are getting some enquiries in,’ he says.

‘I can’t put my finger on where it comes from but we do find the quality of the enquiry we get is very strong.’

David Anderson, chartered financial planner, Concept Financial Planning

Reigate-based Concept Financial Planning has taken a leaf out of Aegon’s book in sponsoring tennis to increase awareness of the firm.

While not on the same scale as sponsoring Queen’s, Concept hopes its involvement in local Ewell Tennis Club’s finals day will yield opportunities to attract clients.

The day is the culmination of Ewell’s season and Concept runs a prize draw, with prizes of a hamper and a bottle of wine, and hands out the trophies.

David Anderson said as the club’s members are predominantly retired, they fit in with the firm’s target demographic.

‘We’d hope four or five people will come in for a meeting,’ he says. ‘A lot of our clients come from referrals, and some from professional connections, and some from marketing that we do.’

Nigel Barker-Smith, managing director, NBS Financial Planning

Barker-Smith has the least expensive marketing initiative in this top 10, but his use of fridge magnets bearing his company’s name has got prospective clients thinking.

The magnets carry the question: ‘What’s your number?’ and are intended to stimulate thought about the amount of money needed to live a perfect life without having to worry about finances.

‘It’s worked quite well. We gave them out with business cards but we found people took the fridge magnets as well,’ says Yorkshire-based Barker-Smith.

‘We challenged them to put it on the fridge door and not to take it off until you know what your number is,’ he adds.

‘We’ve not had loads of clients but we’ve had lots of comments saying what a good idea it was.’

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