Getting Closer To Clients Requires Planning, Creativity — And A Bit of Fun

There are a variety of ways to convey messages that resonate with clients and prospects, and strategically taking advantage of all of them will help you build more connections between your company and your audience. Read about how this company shifted to a comprehensive strategic communications approach and shifted its ROI into high gear.

Like many companies that work at engaging clients and prospects, one of our clients used to fly by the seat of their pants. Their unplanned, unintentional approach at blasting their brand through disconnected communications made them feel like they were pushing a rock up hill, doing more of the same, and missing the mark. But what they were really missing was a thoughtful, strategic plan for connecting their audience to the company and its messaging.


From helter-skelter to laser focus

Our client—a provider of consulting and software designed to help financial advisors achieve success—recognized that quantity alone was not an effective in communicating with clients and prospects. They created “Surround 360”, a strategic year-round engagement plan with multiple touch points that strengthen the client/prospect experience.

Hillary’s was invited to share our knowledge of communication channels and help them with timing, messaging, and selection of products that would reinforce their messaging—“creating momentum for advisor success.” They understood that their old way of searching and procuring items from as assortment of providers who knew very little about their business wasn’t producing results.

After categorizing their audience into three tiers based on current and potential revenue, we assigned a calendar of specific touch points to each tier that included email, video, direct mail, meeting, meal, and more. Product promotion is an important element of this plan, providing the power of tangible items to bring messaging to life and permanently convey brand value.


Intentional communication with a touch (point) of fun

While communication is a critical element of any strategy for engaging prospects and clients, tangible product is a valuable touch point for keeping a brand top of mind. This client challenged us to find an affordable product to pack a punch for all tiers.

We chose a product that generates momentum. The top was shipped to recipients with a companion card we created to instill the company’s brand promise—“software and services that accelerate advisor success” (by improving advisor effectiveness, providing more consistent client service, enhancing advisor leadership, and achieving strategic success).

In addition to this strategic selection, we provided design services to customize the top beyond a logo. We incorporated design elements that express momentum to complement the product itself, which generates momentum when used. The logo simply punctuates the message and boosts the connection between sender and recipient.


Proof of success

Comments from our client’s prospects and customers demonstrate that the right product engages. One recipient wrote:

“Thanks for the very cool spin top, it’s a fun toy to fiddle with on long conference calls. You are always top of mind; your platform is awesome.”

What’s more, by incorporating strategically selected product into Surround360, our client has decreased promotional product spending by 14%. Having a dedicated partner that knows the brand and messaging well has narrowed product choices to a fewer, more targeted and impactful selection. Using fewer products more strategically placed has saved the company money; even though some items may cost more per unit, we often send less items in keeping with the tier arrangement.


Harnessing the power of product

Here are a few considerations for choosing a product that will continuously engage clients and prospects:

  • Audience: how will the item make recipients feel about using it?
  • Business objectives: what objective is the item designed to achieve (i.e., introduction for a warm call, maintaining sales cycle momentum)?
  • Strategic plan: where does this touch point fit into the bigger picture; what touch pointsprecede and follow this one?
  • Messaging: does the item connect the dots between the company and their recipients?
  • Budget: how does quantity affect pricing; does the estimated result justify the expenditure? (Note: Success is not proportionate to the expense of an item; the value is in the connection between sender and recipient.)

How can you determine if your company is saying the right things at the right time to the right people? If you’re wondering about your messages resonating with recipients, let’s start a conversation.

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