Taxbriefs Commentary Library

Benefit from a well defined target market

David Shelton, 15 Feb 2012


As RDR approaches, identifying your target markets as clearly and precisely as you can, will pay dividends in planning, efficiency and ultimately profits.

The simplest way to create coherent service and marketing propositions for your client base it by writing down the description of the identified target market.

At first glance you may think this is quite unnecessary, and if you have been advising for more than 10 years, you may well feel that you know clients and their needs in great detail. Your business is likely to change after January 2013, however, so focussing on these issues now is a key part of your RDR planning.

You will achieve real benefits from producing a clear and detailed description of who you are trying to reach, particularly when shared with others in the business.

These include:

  • Shared understanding across the business of who are the main target clients.
  • Concentration of service and attention upon the target group.
  • Rapid build up of expertise and understanding across the business.
  • One of the key benchmarks to test that the business is on track to achieve its strategic objectives.

Look for complementary target markets

Obviously many advice businesses have more than one target market, but there are often links between them.

Business owners and their employees are a common combination, comprising up to four sets of client needs and among the four different sets of needs the business owner has both a corporate and personal perspective.

These can be summarised as follows:

  • Business owners in their role as corporate decision takers for pension schemes, additional employee benefits, group risk and key man cover.
  • Business owners as private individuals for their own financial planning.
  • Senior employees for financial planning.
  • Other employees for scheme membership, straight forward advice and transactional services.

To satisfy these needs you could easily develop three clear propositions: one which is corporate, another around ‘wealth management’ and a third around straight forward planning and transactions. These would all wrap together as a very cohesive set of services to discuss with the business owners or key decision takers.

The Business of Advice is a unique guide to running your advice business, including the detailed implementation of target marketing. With less than a year to go to RDR, this practical and focussed approach will help you in manage and develop your business successfully through transition.

Go to to find out more.


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David Shelton

Author, Business of Advice

David Shelton has more than 20 years experience of working in marketing and business development in the financial sector. For the last 12 years he has worked specifically with IFAs, helping them deal with a range of issues.

David Shelton is author of The Business of Advice - How to Manage and Develop a Successful Financial Advice Business, published by Taxbriefs in association with The Personal Finance Society.


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