Remember those commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups where the actors would collide into one another and lament, “Hey, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” “You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!”? The premise of the ad campaign was of course that, while the combination of these two ingredients happened by accident, the result was a delightful flavor sensation.
The same concept may feel somewhat applicable to those in the accounting marketing field. These marketers are in a unique position that blends the analytical and the creative. It can be rewarding work, but there are also challenges.
How do you create messaging that will convey your firm’s service offerings (the analytical part of the role) while also resonating with prospects and clients (the creative aspect of the job)? Put another way: How do you blend accounting services and targeted messaging — or chocolate and peanut butter — into effective marketing tactics that will hit the mark with you clients and prospects?
The way to a business owner’s heart
One “tasty” marketing tool that is sometimes overlooked in this quest for the perfect blend of the analytical and the creative is Industry Intelligence. Industry Intelligence helps companies use specific, timely industry data sources to build relationships and increase sales. In fact, used effectively, Industry Intelligence is the “secret sauce” that can unlock the success of your entire strategic marketing cookbook!
While the way to some people’s heart might be through the stomach, for your clients and prospects who own their own company, it’s likely through understanding their business. Industry Intelligence helps you understand how their industry operates, their competitive landscape, and their buyers and suppliers. In short, it allows you to speak the same language as your clients and prospects.
And by incorporating this type of industry-specific content into your marketing, you can create tailored communications that address the unique opportunities business owners are trying to capitalize on, as well as the challenges that are keeping them up at night.
Baked in targeted marketing tactics
There are several specific and tangible ways accounting marketers can use Industry Intelligence, to differentiate their firm and improve their marketing tactics. So, let’s roll-up our sleeves and dig in. Here are four specific ways that you can incorporate Industry Intelligence into your marketing strategy and tactics in order to grow your accounting firm.
Build industry-specific prospect campaigns, collateral, and content.
Industry Intelligence is all about focusing on the business owner — their challenges and opportunities — and then trying to figure out how to offer them a unique solution that's a bit different from your competitors’ angle. It’s also about speaking their language in order to boost your credibility.
So, choose an industry niche to target with your campaign, then focus on trends within that industry and the tailored products or services you bring to the table to address those trends.
Improve your firm’s website and marketing content such as whitepapers, ebooks, and blogs.
This also ties into speaking the language of your client or prospect (not CPA jargon), while moving beyond more traditional marketing mediums.
Industry-focused online resources — like whitepapers, ebooks, and blog posts — can drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and make for great conversation pieces that will hopefully convert into a new business relationship. These industry-focused marketing resources are an effective way to showcase the real-world applications of accounting and advisory concepts. They are also great for social media promotions!
Gain a better understanding of your client’s or prospect’s industry prior to meetings.
When it comes to call preparation, doing a Google search of your client or visiting your prospect’s website isn’t enough anymore. You need to be able to put their company into the context of their broader industry, as well as the economy as a whole, in order to offer them a more sophisticated take on what's going on around them.
Use Industry Intelligence, social media, Google Alerts, industry associations, and trade journals to do your homework and learn about the intricacies of their industry. Not only will this impress them, it will lead you to better questions and a deeper conversation to become a trusted advisor.
Offer financial comparisons and assess competitive best practices to help your client’s business.
It’s a dog eat dog world. Clients are always wanting to see how they stack up against their competitors with regard to service offerings, operations, and pricing. But simply reviewing the competition’s website isn’t sufficient to get a full picture of their business.
Using thoroughly researched Industry Intelligence, including financial benchmarks, you can share how your clients compare to similar companies. Also, you’re better equipped to offer tailored advice based on this industry knowledge.
A recipe for marketing success
Accounting marketing may seem like the ultimate dichotomy between the analytical and the creative, but there are countless opportunities to blend these two ingredients. By expertly combining Industry Intelligence into your firm’s marketing communications, you’ll provide clients and prospects the insights they crave in order to boost their businesses’ success.
And these four ways to use Industry Intelligence to grow your accounting firm are just the beginning — we have many more ideas to share!
You’ll soon be on your way to finding that perfect combination of the analytical and the creative that your accounting clients and prospect crave. Just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: two great tastes that taste great together!
Photo by Lukas from Pexels