Accounting marketers have swarmed Washington, DC this week for the Association for Accounting Marketers (AAM) annual conference. Sessions have included performance reviews, how to add value to your firm and niche development to marketing audits and online marketing strategy. During conversation with many of them over the last few days, a couple reoccurring themes emerged.
- Importance of getting buy-in for strategic branding
In professional services firms, the ability to educate and present winning ideas to partners regarding strategic brandings is essential in driving ROI and ROO for the firm. Moiré Marketing Partners lives by the motto that design without strategy is just art. Design without strategy has no direction or the ability to be measured based on objectives and goals. In the end, doesn’t everyone want to see numbers to evaluate successes? That’s what partners want too!
Develop relationships with partners and treat them like YOUR clients. You must position yourself as an initiator rather than a responder. Be proactive and offer YOUR partners the service they offer their clients. With a client service approach, you will find that presenting marketing ideas which will benefit and grow the firm will be much more receptive and acquiring buy-in will be a more pleasant experience.
- The need to understand and implement SEO
A website is your most important communication vehicle. We all hear about the importance of having a website that explains our value proposition and offers solutions to prospects’ and clients’ most pressing challenges. However, accounting marketers want to know, “How can we leverage our current website and get found online? How do we leverage our site by driving visitors and ultimately closing business?” The answer is search engine optimization (SEO). Once an option in a website redesign, SEO is now an essential component to a competitive, consistent and powerful growth brand.
In SEO, the ability to add descriptions, keywords and tags within your content management system (CMS) is important to the overall success of this tool. Keeping content fresh and strategically written to include your clients’ and prospects’ most important keywords or search terms will help drive traffic and leverage and promote the powerful information you provide online.
When you and your firm are considering marketing work, whether it be a new website or a collateral suite, do not forget about the strategic branding portion. Research is essential in driving the creative direction. Once the research is complete, it can be carried and integrated into any marketing tactic, creating a strong, consistent brand. As smart, strategic marketers, it is important that we our marketing is strategic, targeted and measurable.