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Movement is marketing life: Competing in a zero-sum game

The reality of organically growing your book is that it's a zero-sum game: you gain a client, and some other broker loses a client. And vice versa.


The goal is to continually increase your odds of being the broker of choice.



As a broker, or producer, how do you increase the likelihood of success?


What's your strategy?


From a marketing perspective, I like to think of strategy as simply a collection of decisions and actions to stand out from the crowd.


Easier said than done, though. If you're like me, you probably work under these constraints:

  • most likely have a limited budget

  • aren't sure what to say

  • hesitate to pull the trigger because of the above two points


If you're a small or mid-sized brokerage, you know that competing with larger, national brokers head-on is a losing proposition.


Money spent competing directly against a superiorly funded opponent is just wasted money. They will outspend you to get more eyeballs on their message.


You're better off using your cash as kindling on your next camping trip.


This is an overused trope, but the key is to behave differently, while making sure your actions are authentic (it's way easier to maintain marketing behaviour when it's true to who you are).


As a small-medium sized broker, you are by definition, not as big as the large operations. You have less money. Less people. Less resources.


So what.


To me, that means you are nimble, flexible and less bureaucratic than your competitors. There is a lot of potential marketing energy in smaller offices, waiting to be unleashed.


This is your advantage. Everything from brand messaging to tactical execution requires way less approval.


Especially messaging.


You can be daring and bold, where larger brokerages cannot. Or rather, will not.


Being nimble means you can run a mixed-strategy approach quickly. Take your idea or hypothesis. Create a marketing campaign to test it. Then run a small experiment.


Business strategist Jim Collins calls this Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs. The idea is to make a small bet before putting everything you have into one option.


Here's where I'd start:

  1. Build a prospect list

  2. Determine your budget (should be a smaller piece of your full budget)

  3. Pick which actions or tactics you're going to use

  4. Create the piece of content for each action you choose

  5. Send the tactic/piece out into the world

  6. Measure results to set your baseline (results in this case being the % of recipients who took the desired action)

  7. Track until you can measure ROI

  8. Use this information to inform your next moves

Was it a success? Consider doubling-down.


Did it flop? Maybe you abandon it.


Somewhere in-between? Make some modifications and try again.


Just don't keep still. Movement is marketing life.


I'm doing this myself. Building marketing campaigns and testing them. You can follow along here: https://www.eatingmyowndogfood.com/




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