Making the Most of Marketing Kits: Dos and Don'ts From an Experienced Veteran

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Making the Most of Marketing kits, Keeping Them Informative and Simple by Jon Henschen gives broker dealers some straight-talking advice from an experienced recruiter's perspective on what's effective in recruitment marketing kits.

With its September/October 2005 issue, Broker Dealer Management news magazine added a "recruiting" column by an expert with tips and pointers about this continuous task. Making the Most of Marketing Kits, by Jon Henschen, CFS is a plainspoken look at fine-tuning broker dealer marketing kits. A firm's marketing kit is usually the first opportunity a broker dealer has to make a clear and good impression.

A leading securities industry recruiter, Jon Henschen reviews scores of broker dealer marketing kits and concludes that most can use some serious help. "Marketing kits don't have to be doorstops," Henschen cautions. "To be most effective, marketing kits should have six to 12 pages up front, with a folder in back for five to eight inserts."

"Think quality over quantity!" Henschen advises. The front pages should describe the firm's universal value proposition, mission statement, philosophy, culture, target market, what help is provided Representatives in transferring of their books (so go into detail here) and any special qualities or niches the firm fills.

Inserts to the back of marketing kits can provide need-to-know information for prospective Representatives, such as:

  • Payout grid
  • Rep costs including E&O Insurance coverage, fidelity bond, monthly charges and what they cover
  • Costs to the client
  • List of mutual funds and VA & VUL carriers. This is pretty well commoditized in our industry, so just the company names are needed.
  • List of alternative investments including limited partnerships, REIT’s and futures funds
  • Ticket charges and miscellaneous fees. If you have unusually low ticket charges or don't charge DCA, systematic deposit and withdrawal charges in mutual funds (highlight that because it helps set you apart from the crowd).
  • Advisory platforms. Make sure to include the administrative fees on these platforms. Some firms charge as little as a five-basis points administrative fee, which should be highlighted as a major savings.
  • List of third-party money managers
  • Miscellaneous items, such as deferred compensation or equity participation plans

Henschen insists that broker dealer marketing kits only use terms like "flexible," "quality service" and "state of the art technology" if they're all true and can be described in detail. "For example," he reports, "the following are some different ways 'quality service' can be quantified":

  • 48-hour turnaround on compliance approval for seminars, radio shows and articles
  • 24-hour compliance approval on business cards, stationary and signs
  • You will nearly always reach a person direct. If not, you'll get a call back within 24 hours or we'll pay you $25, guaranteed!"

What about Online Marketing Kits?

Some firms have switched to online marketing kits. "That's fine,” Henschen offers, "but paper-and-ink versions should be available as well."

"For some Reps, having something to hold and read has more lasting impact than scrolling through a Website, no matter how well-designed." says Henschen, "So give prospective Reps a choice!"

Bottom line according to Henschen: Broker dealers need to go into detail about their level of sophistication, what types of technology they provide, and how that helps their Advisors get the job done more efficiently.

Henshen & Associates - Placing Advisors With Independent Broker/Dealers

PO Box 56

Marie on St. Croix, MN 55047

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Jon Henschen, CFS
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