My cousin, a financial planning advisor in Chicago, is always looking at ways to market to existing and new clients. She’s tried Chicago Botanic Garden tours, dinners with guest speakers on special financial related topics and other events with nominal success at best.
Often, marketing is hit or miss – you may read about an interesting idea in a trade magazine or marketing book, but that doesn’t always translate into a successful marketing event and possibly increased business.
About a month ago, she decided to target some of her female clients for a Valentine’s Day celebration. Because many marketers target this day as a chance to treat your “loved one” to something special, she wanted to be inclusive and honor all her female clients who were either single or widowed. To that end, she decided to have a Valentine’s Lunch at a casual restaurant in Highland Park, Illinois.
She targeted about 20 clients who may be interested – of course, they were encouraged to bring a friend. She wanted to keep it small so she’d have a chance to chat with everyone — very informal and at the same time, personal.
It worked out well! There were a few clients who brought a friend and others who just wanted to share some camaraderie with their financial advisor and others in similar personal situations. She had a chance to chat with everyone at the lunch – those individuals who would normally not have plans for Valentine’s Day were honored and treated to something unexpected. Maybe Valentine’s Day is now special again to a few more folks.
At the very least, it was a treat to her clients and their friends. They’ll have nice memories of this event moving forward. Maybe it was a perfect rose to some. Was it successful event? Time will tell…at least she’s created a buzz and a delight among those women who would normally not have plans on Valentine’s Day.
Lessons Learned? Try and Error? Sometimes, you never know with marketing strategies or ideas. Are you willing to fail or not always be successful? Are you willing to ask some of your clients what they might do for special events? Sometimes, good ideas have limited turnouts and average or unconventional ideas sometimes surprise people.