How much should I pay for financial inbound marketing services?

How much should I pay for financial inbound marketing services?

Financial Inbound Marketing Services should be valued on what it adds to lead generation and customer lifecycle management

Many financial organisations have now heard about Hubspot and the Inbound Marketing methodology. About delighting and nursing clients through a carefully structured content based sales funnel that educates leads and customers whilst adhering them to their brand and or products.

Financial Services are buying into this because they realise that the buyers’ habits have evolved and no longer fit to the aged tried and trusted methods of outbound marketing. They realise that buyers are educating themselves about products and services as far in advance as possible before making a commitment to purchase.

OR ARE THEY?

Often enough the conversation revolves around banks internal or external agencies or marketing teams having departments that work on the Social Media Channel, another on the Content Channel, (if indeed one exists) and another on the Email Marketing Campaign.

So why is this financial inbound marketing services thing different?

  • Inbound Marketing is customer centric
  • Inbound Marketing is contextual
  • Inbound Marketing is educational
  • Inbound Marketing is segmented email marketing
  • Inbound Marketing is social media marketing
  • Inbound Marketing is content marketing

It’s executed in a far more cohesively and targeted way!

You could go on about what Inbound Marketing is, but it’s not about pitching Inbound to you, I’m educating you around it. Inbound Marketing actually is about understanding that educational based lead generating activity delivers leads far warmer than your cold calling activity ever will. It also enables the buying to cycle to continue long after the first sale which allows further sales down the pipeline and increases customer retention.

DID YOU JUST SEE THE SALES TERMINOLOGY APPEAR?

Yes you did. Inbound Marketing generates Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) as a matter of course, did you know that Inbound Marketing has been proven to deliver leads at 61% less the cost of outbound lead generation activities?

The greatest aspect of Inbound Marketing is that it connects marketing and sales into almost one department. Its best qualities are that by the time the prospect has converted on a qualifying piece of content, they have already signalled that they are interested in your product or service that educational piece of content related to. This means cold calling is reduced to warm receptive calls increasing the likelihood of a sale. Of course there is lead nurturing to this, it’s not an automatic conversion tool.

So Inbound Marketing for financial services has to be adopted soon as it lends itself readily to the financial sales process and builds customer recognition. In finance sales systems are mostly closing based activities but ask yourself, do you like being sold to?

Most of us when making a purchase will do extensive research online, it may be we’re looking for discount codes, for testimonials, checking comparison sites for price matching. All of these are about educating ourselves that the purchase we are about to make is the right choice.

Did you know that 69% of the buying choice is made before any research actually takes place?

However, this doesn’t mean that this fact enables you to cold call me and sell me a product on the off chance I want that, because that’s what cold calling is right?

Making a call on the hope that a C-Suite person will take the call, listen to the pitch and purchase that product or service. Typically cold calling activities are driven through lists or prospecting through platforms like LinkedIn. They are not well received by anybody, this means your sales rep is working far too hard to convert to sales.

How many times have you been told that you should work smarter and not harder, well Inbound Marketing definitely lends itself to working smarter!

BUT I ALREADY HAVE IT

Many marketing directors and teams assume that because they produce content, run social media campaigns and do email marketing they are inbound. If this is being managed internally, the shift to inbound will be easier but it isn’t complete.

If you outsource to your shiny top end marketing agencies then it will be harder and an Inbound Agency would be better positioned to help you transition from multiple service suppliers and reports to a single platform and a focused cohesive inbound strategy.

DO I NEED TO OUTSOURCE

This is optional, it’s a methodology which means it can be taught and learned. Many agencies work as an extension of a current marketing team, others work as consultants or outsourced solutions and trainers and many very often act in the lifecycle of the process in all capacities.

The implementation of the Inbound Strategy can lend itself to working with agencies and freelancers alike, providing they are Inbound Certified so you know they can practice what they sell. Which of course means that the internal marketing team can also become Inbound Certified and proves they also know how to implement marketing strategy based on the inbound methodology.

BUT HOW DO I COST IT?

Many Inbound Marketing agencies tend to specialise in a particular fields, they do this because they refine practices and not strategies that work well in particular industries. They may have a working knowledge of the industry that they sit in. Often when recruiting, Inbound Agencies recruit out of the same industry they sell services into, Why?

They do this because they prefer industry experts, people that understand the pain points that your business or department or service has when you are retailing those out to your current or potential customer base.

The main difference between inbound and traditional marketing agencies is that traditional agencies come to pitch you and inbound marketing agencies learn to understand you. That doesn’t mean that traditional marketing agencies don’t make the switch successfully from traditional to inbound as their skillset definitely lends itself to that.

Many SEO, Content or Social Media agencies switch to Inbound and learn it because they see the value in marketing through education, by building trust with the prospect and turning them into qualified leads.

So in answer to the question of how much does it cost to hire an inbound marketing agency for the financial services industry, well that is between you and that agency.

Typical costs will depend on the length of contract. Many agencies work on retainer, inbound is a long haul strategy and is rarely a piecemeal approach to marketing. You can lend it to shorter focused campaigns, but these would tend to be part of a longer overall strategy which the agency will help you set the strategy for.

A monthly retainer for an SMB would start at around £2500 depending on the industry SME retainers can start at around £5000 going up to £10,000 or even more for enterprise size monthly retainers depending on what the business sets out to achieve.

Paul Sullivan
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