Friday Fun Question

Most Fridays, I will answer a question or questions from Principles of Marketing students about marketing. This week's question: As someone who wants to go into personal finance, how does marketing help me? Several independent personal finance folks exist plus all those folks plying their trade for banks and insurance companies along with the do-it yourself types. Marketing will help you understand why a consumer would choose you and not one of your many competitors.

First, organize your 5 Cs (collaborators, company, competitors, context, and customers). This post could assist with organizing and identifying competitors. As to customers, you should understand their motivation to invest and save.

Second, create your strategy by segmenting customers, select a target customer to devote your resources, and position your personal finance service by a desired set of attributes or values. Cluster analysis will help you identify groups of customers and assist with finding a desirable cluster, or market segment. Multidimensional scaling will provide insight into the attributes that customers could desire by customer. Possible attributes include aggressive, conservative, balance, multiline, comprehensive, etc.

Third, set your tactics. You should decide how much to price your personal finance service, how you are going to communicate those attributes to your target market, how you are going to design a product or products to meet your target market's needs, and where you will offer your service.

Whether you are starting out as a personal finance professional or a seasoned veteran, marketing offers you much to help your practice achieve superior financial performance.