Four months of TV and print ads got tens of millions of Americans to recognize the Certified Financial Planner brand. The question is what planners can do with this new level of public awareness.
The CFP Board is smart to measure the success of its ambitious $40 million four-year marketing program.
The first quarter boosted public awareness of the CFP designation all the way to 71% of the population.
But we were already at a fairly high base of 63% of Americans saying they'd heard of certified financial planning.
Whether that extra 8% represents the largely affluent population that planners conventionally cultivate remains to be seen.
It would be great to see more detailed demographics on the CFP brand's penetration. At this point, do all wealthy people have a decent idea what a planner is and does? Are there any groups -- regional, cultural -- who haven't gotten the message?
It's great to get the planning message out there. But if it's just growing the brand for the sake of growing the brand, it's hard to see what good that $40 million is doing planners in the here and now.