The "essential component" of broker businesses

Group exec with 25+ years in financial services shares the one non-negotiable advisers must prioritise

The "essential component" of broker businesses


By Madison Utley

The managing director of an award-winning aggregation group has encouraged brokers to fully embrace and invest in their marketing, as it is an “essential component” of running a successful business, whether new to industry or well-established.

Brendan O’Donnell, current MD of Liberty Network Services, the 2019 Australian Mortgage Award winner for Aggregator of the Year (under 500 brokers), has extensive knowledge in the space. Formerly, he acted as CEO of Choice Aggregation Services and is a qualified Chartered Marketer.

To O’Donnell, it’s crucial for brokers to not only understand the importance of marketing, but to take advantage of the many resources readily available at a minimal cost.

“In today’s competitive world, regardless of whether you’re new to industry or already established and doing well, you need to invest in marketing. That’s important to recognise,” O’Donnell said.

“There’s so much information available online many people don’t even realise they can access this information without spending anything. They just need to make time to explore and assess what options are available to them.”

“Marketing has largely gone digital. With social media, there’s a lot of advertising you can do very effectively, for less money. With digital campaigns, a few tweaks can make a big difference. People are time-poor, so less is more. Recognise their needs and give fewer words with more relevance.”

Liberty Network Services recognises that brokers are often not marketing experts, and has developed tools and resources to help provide support in this area.

“Liberty’s BMS program covers business, marketing and sales. We help our advisers understand themselves, because you’ve got to know what you’re about as a person and what your strengths and weaknesses are before investing in marketing,” said

“The first discussion we have focuses on how connected they are. In this business, it’s all about relationships. If you sit at a desk all day, you’re not going to be very successful. You need to be able to connect with people.”

“We ask, what do your business relationships look like? How active are you in different areas in your community? How can you use those relationships to extend your business? Then, we unpack where the opportunities sit within your business before developing a full marketing plan.”

But the support extends beyond strategising, with Liberty willing to put its money where its mouth is.

O’Donnell explained, “At Liberty Network Services, we have a marketing team that supports a variety of marketing efforts. Unique within the industry, we offer substantial marketing support.

“For example, if you’re looking to invest in a local basketball team for $5,000 to get access to their database, signage, and so on, we assess how many leads you’re likely to generate. If we agree it looks reasonable, we’ll contribute up to half so we’re just as invested in making sure the tools we develop yield a profitable return.”

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