What we know about what works.
by Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0
The fact remains, we know far less than we should about why, when or how people choose to do business with an accounting firm – or with one firm over another.
But, in light of what we do know, and considering the singular nature of marketing professional services (as compared, for example, to product marketing), what works?
Or more specifically, what seems to work?
1. Name recognition. Except for corporations and very large or national companies, people tend to buy names they recognize. The concept of branding seems to have crept in under the door, but in accounting, branding is simply jargon for name recognition. (Professional services marketers seem to be attracted to jargon like flies to honey). Stick to the real world and plain English – it works better. Establishing name recognition, however, is easy – simply inundate the market with your firm’s name. An ad campaign that says little more than “Smith & Dale is a CPA firm. We do good work” and saying it over and over again, will give you name recognition, but little more. It helps, but it’s not everything.
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2. Reputation. If your firm has a reputation for resolving problems, or for service, or for not overcharging, or for anything good, it goes to building trust – which is an essential element in professional services. Trust is an essential factor in retaining professionals.