It’s astonish to discover that accountants, the very people who are likely to be advising their clients to monitor effectiveness of expenditure on marketing, are themselves still largely falling short in this area.
Despite this lack being discussed in The Telegraph back in 2011, Accountancy Age recently reported on research by Wolters Kluwer which revealed that as recently 2014, fewer than a third of accountancy firms have focused marketing or business development initiatives. Not only that, barely a third actually outsource some PR and promotion activity – meaning that two thirds of the accountancy profession are either making no effort or not in control of the effort to attract new clients and maintain established ones, let alone building brand, creating confidence in their services or establishing a position of expertise in their areas of experience.
Many of those who responded to the survey simply didn’t bother to establish the effectiveness of their marketing, either by recording conversion rates of contacts into new business or monitoring ROI (return on investment) in marketing.
Why accountants need marketing – and to monitor that marketing
There are a wide range of online marketing routes available to even the smallest accounting firm:
- email mail-shots
- website marketing techniques (downloads, blogs, forthcoming events, contact capture)
- social engagement (Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles etc)
- pay per click advertising and webinars
Whilst many accountancy practices have begun to communicate with clients by email, and some have started to issue mail-shots to potential clients, relatively few, in the UK, have moved past this point to utilise their website as a marketing mechanism and even fewer are integrating social media technologies into their overall business marketing plan.
There is a mindset that says a service provider can survive if they manage to maintain their base by replacing customers who leave with new clients. However, the volatility of the service sector and the increasingly savviness of the accountancy client means that there is much more movement between accountancy practices – the result of this movement is that some firms are likely to find a steady decline in their client base.
Without effective marketing, the slow seeping away of the most valuable clients will hamper many accountancy firms in their development and eventually may affect profitability. But marketing without measurement is simply an optimistic attempt to lasso passing traffic – you might even catch some great clients, but you won’t know how or why, so you won’t be able to replicate the success and may continue to waste money on ineffective efforts.
How to market accountancy services
Those firms that which make attractive offers to potential clients, provide better services and create a brand that has a real value for its customers are the ones who are able to charge more for services, expand into more profitable areas of expertise and grow their practices locally and even globally.
Proactive communication alongside software that allows such accountants to manage and measure their marketing, means that they have an organic route to growth and profitability. They achieve this by establishing what works, by marketing themselves astutely to potential clients, not to people who won’t be interested in their services, and by using their success to leverage more success by creating case studies and examples to attract more clients.
Creative Harmony specialises in helping organisations market themselves effectively to potential customers by creating beautiful and powerful marketing that cost-effectively converts prospects to paying clients – if you’re ready to step forward into fruitful, fluent marketing, call us now on 0203 773 9137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.