Allister Frost on digital, traditional and content marketing strategies – MAF203

My guest this week is marketing expert and speaker, Allister Frost.

We chat about whether there is a difference anymore between traditional and digital marketing – it’s all just marketing now isn’t it? And the key steps to putting together a content marketing strategy.

Welcome to episode 203 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Allister Frost on digital, traditional and content marketing strategies - MAF203

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why “traditional” and “digital” marketing are no longer separate approaches
  • A strategy is essential before getting into marketing tactics
  • Why outsourcing your marketing can be a risk
  • The importance of developing your own strategy
  • How Allister defines content marketing
  • Using ‘small content’ for marketing success

Who is Allister Frost?

Allister spent a decade at Kimberley Clark before becoming Head of Digital Marketing Strategy at Microsoft. After 10 years there, he set up his own consultancy firm, where he helps companies make sense of technology and marketing.

He supports his clients to use both together to do things that are relevant in a world that’s accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Allister’s also a trainer and keynote speaker, but says at the heart, what he does is about marketing in the modern context.

Digital transformation, disruption and technology myths are topics Allister often speaks on. The common theme is how people can communicate effectively and how to think about their businesses.

Summary of our chat

Is there really a difference between traditional and digital marketing anymore? It’s all just marketing isn’t it? There has been a definite shift away from defining certain marketing activities as digital only. Allister says that even 10 years ago Microsoft were promoting the idea that “traditional” and “digital’”marketing were both about communicating. Some organisations, perhaps those slower to catch up, need the distinction to focus on digital in the first place. 

Allister says that there used to be long preparation, checks and balances before companies launched advertising campaigns. The challenge today is that there are so many ways to communicate and anyone can do it. Instead of thinking about the goal, the focus has shifted to “let’s just do something.” This makes marketing inefficient.

Many businesses struggle with marketing, so it can be attractive to outsource it to an “expert”, especially as it seems cheaper than having someone in-house. Unfortunately, this rarely delivers the long-term results they were hoping for. Outsourcing is not the answer if you want to be credible, because you need to represent your brand properly online.

Although you can have people to support, guide and offer best practice, you need to own your strategy. Businesses need an inside champion who can see the big picture. It’s important to track analytics to develop and improve your marketing strategy and clearly define your goals.

Every organisation needs a definition of content marketing that each employee knows by heart. Allister defines “content” as everything you do. He uses the description of content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute:

“The technique of creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the object of driving profitable customer action.”

Allister believes that content marketing isn’t just about big gestures, and talks about major (e.g. campaigns) and minor content. If you’re doing content marketing well, the best touch-points for your customers are the small things. A blog, podcast or info-graphic is minor, but customers encounter them often, making them extremely valuable.

One Thing Allister Would Like Listeners to Take Away

Allister says that being a marketer is a huge privilege, and we lose sight of that because we get stuck in the day-to-day firefighting. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to communicate a message to the right people to make their life better.

People should see marketing as as an honourable, noble profession, but it’s one of the most disliked. It’s seen by business as a cost and the outside world as manipulation; that we’re tricking people into buying stuff that they don’t need.

You should be able to say that what you do, ‘Helps connect the right solutions to the right people so that they can live their lives to the full.’ It’s not just about sales, it’s about helping people.

An Example of Simple Marketing

You see too few examples of this, so when there is one, it’s a joy. A simple advert from Canon impressed Allister, who make printers for big organisations. Some years ago, they sent CEOs of 200 firms their own annual reports, which are available in the public domain.

Canon printed each one on top-quality paper, and annotated it to explain why the firm should use them. For instance, if the report said the business wanted to expand into Africa, they gave contact details for their rep in Africa. This was successful as they secured 30 leads.

An Example of Marketing Madness

Allister collects examples of bad marketing, which he stores in a folder called “The Zone of Irrelevance”. He saved one email from a big petrochemical company which read: “Something exciting is coming!” but didn’t say what it was.

Another common email he receives is like: “Watch our new TV ad” which includes a link to view. He was also emailed to follow a tool company on Instagram but no incentive to do so. Allister says these are examples of adverts that aren’t relevant to the customer.

Links

If you enjoyed – Allister Frost on digital, traditional and content marketing strategies – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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A few thoughts on…annoying marketing

A few thoughts on...annoying marketing

Sometimes marketing can be annoying. And so intrusive.

Endless spammy emails.

Pop up ads and videos.

The DM you get a split second after you follow someone – selling stuff.

Cold phone calls.

As customers most of us dislike that intrusion. It’s not engaging. It’s enraging.

That’s why we hit the email unsubscribe button. Or turn on the pop up blocker. Or unfollow the spammy DMers.

But here’s the thing.

If we, as customers, don’t like it – why do we, as marketers, think it’s okay to do it to others?

Engage. Don’t Enrage.

Enjoy these few thoughts on…annoying advertising? Please share on the socials.

If you need help keeping your marketing simple get in touch.

Andre Costa on Advicefront and getting started with new clients – MAF202

In this episode I talk to Andre Costa of Advicefront.

It’s all about helping advisers get started with new clients in an engaging way that let’s them focus on building long term relationships. We chat about where the idea came from and how Andre and the team developed and launched the service.

Welcome to episode 202 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Andre Costa on Advicefront and getting started with new clients - MAF202

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • What Advicefront is
  • How Advicefront helps advisers connect with their clients
  • Where the idea for the tool came from
  • Company marketing tactics
  • The biggest challenge Advicefront has faced
  • Their business successes to date

Who is Andre Costa?

Andre studied architecture before changing to software development, applying what he’d learned about design.

He is the CTO of Advicefront, a front-end tool for financial advisers to onboard their clients and learn more about them. It links into other apps and tools, like Voyant, to create financial planning solutions for customers.

Andre says it combines everything he loves – design, technology and finance – in one.

Summary of our chat

Advicefront allows financial advisers to collect information from clients digitally, eliminating the need for face to face meetings during the fact find process. It saves the client time, as they just log in, complete the risk questionnaire and sign. It also enables advisers to instantly collect their set-up fees.

They believe that meetings during fact-finding aren’t needed. Clients appreciate being able to complete the process in their own time. The adviser then quickly gets to the stage of addressing the client’s needs. However, they encourage face to face meetings after that when possible to help build long term relationships.

CEO Jose Supico came up with the idea of Advicefront while working as a financial adviser in Portugal. He wanted to build a tool to help advisers, and toyed with creating robo-advice. Instead, he created something to make them more efficient and productive, and to win more clients.

Advicefront recently received investing which enabled them to build a team of developers, designers and marketing. They researched the market and began building social awareness. Now, they’re heavily active on Twitter and LinkedIn, and share videos to explain latest updates. Adviser beta testers also spread the word and give recommendations.

Andre says their biggest challenge has been breaking into the UK market, because the team is based in Portugal but the company is British – there was some prejudice. It was also difficult for them to have a presence on social media and at industry events, so it took time to generate awareness.

Advicefront have created a positive community, where advisers can give feedback on the tool as they test and use it with clients. Setting this up while growing was very useful. They have a core group of loyal advisers using the tool every day and an international bank as a client.

What’s Next for Advicefront?

The next step for Advicefront is to develop further modules for the platform. These are for report planning and building, and will integrate with other tools to do so. They are also working on supporting advisers to execute financial plans. Then, they’re looking to expand outside of the UK. 

An Example of Simple Marketing

Andre says that Uber keep everything straightforward. Their communication is clear, the app is simple to use, and it allows him to get where he needs to be quickly and easily.

An Example of Marketing Muppetry

Andre says that some airlines make things complicated. TAP (Air Portugal) has a system which is a mess. It’s difficult to check in and communication is poor.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Andre Costa on Advicefront and getting started with new clients – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe by RSS Feed

Sign up for Marketing and Finance bulletins and get your free Business Writing Tips eBook right here!