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Get help getting your ideas across

Putting your marketing ideas into practice is harder than it sounds but can be made easier by employing the talents of outside experts, says Payam Azadi

Having a great idea is one thing but putting that idea into practice is another. A range of support services is now available to help brokers with marketing activities to help realise their ideas.

People often cringe at the word outsourcing, thinking it is an expensive option. But often it is a way of cutting costs.

Intermediaries often don’t have the time or resources to manage a marketing campaign. This is where the outsourcing option can work. Although I have a relatively large marketing department with an inhouse designer at The Mortgage Times Group I often use other companies to help me better manage the marketing process and meet deadlines. I have found this to be cost effective as I only use services I really need or can’t cater for internally.

Services most commonly outsourced by brokers are copywriting, design, printing, mailshots, PR and of course compliance. If you are part of a network you can call on the services of your network’s financial promotions expert. If you are an appointed representative you must always gain sign-off for the final artwork to ensure you are meeting the MCOB rules. If you are directly authorised I recommend buying in compliance services.

A marketing campaign will typically need a copywriter, a designer, printers and a means of distribution. Some companies will offer the full range of services but let’s look at the last three stages of the process.

For example let’s assume you have some pretty good ideas how you would like to promote your business and have put these down on paper. The next step is to call in a designer to put that wording into a template.

Always make sure you discuss your aims with the designer and ensure you see a portfolio of their work. Agree if this will be a one-off job and agree on the cost before work begins. You’d be surprised at the number of disputes which take place over charges for concept work.

Don’t sell yourself short when it comes to the concept. After all, it’s your business and the designer will need strong guidance from you about positioning of your advertising pitch.

Once the design has been agreed and signed-off you are ready to negotiate for advertising space. Research your market to find out which publications are available and how they differ. Note that it’s worth negotiating. You are the client and you have the power to bargain.

Always take into account the publication’s circulation and page rate prices as well as position and the time and date the advertisement will be issued. This can affect page rate. You often get larger discounts for placing a series of adverts rather then one-offs. Use this as a bargaining point.

Take time to think through what you are trying to achieve. Remember, it is in the outsourcing company’s best interests that you do well.

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