Introduction to the Top 10 Series
We understand the challenges of life as an SME. Below is the continuation of our first industry specific marketing tips series. It looks at accountancy and how to get more and better business. Ten separate blogs will take on one each of our 10 key marketing objectives in turn. Below is Tip 3 on growing your database. See our earlier blog on maximising your reach. Tip 4 will be out soon. We hope you enjoy reading it.
Tip 3 – Grow your database and regular connection
Making the most of being found!
It’s a great thing to be found online, or to have your message heard or read by the people you want to receive it, but it’s is only part of the battle.
Unfortunately, we don’t always react like Pavlov’s dogs to the ringing marketing bell; we don’t always receive a marketing message and buy instantly, even when we were the ones initiating the enquiry.
I know, it’s frustrating! But let’s be honest. How many times have you:
- Visited a website and researched a service or product and not bought it immediately?
- Read an interesting advertisement and thought, “that sounds really good, but not right now”?
- Just been doing some research for a later date, with no immediate desire to buy at all?
It’s the nature of marketing that it isn’t a one contact sport. It takes effort and ongoing communication to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right offer, for the right client.
So many marketing platforms are failing to capture data or exchange assets when potential customers are showing an interest. So many are only offering contact via a form, email or a phone number in the event that the customer is ready to buy right there and then.
It is a massive oversight for many accountancy firms. Instead of nurturing people who are warming to your business, you are missing this opportunity and starting from scratch. But the good news is that it’s pretty simple to correct.
The easiest way to do this is to create ‘funnels’. A funnel is simply an anticipated sequence of customer actions that can be influenced and progressed to the next stage intentionally.
The first step for a website, social media account, or even a printed advert is to obtain details and permission to continue communication. Depending on the nature of the client (domestic or business) the level of permission required under GDPR can vary, but with the right approach, there is no reason why a first contact can’t lead to a first data record and an ability to follow up.
Starting an ongoing conversation
There are many ways of encouraging this interaction to happen, and from an accountancy perspective, these most often are in the form of helpful guidance articles, offer of an exploratory chat or meeting or some other value add engagement that isn’t a direct sale.
This isn’t to say that enquiry forms are bad, far from it. They are simply targeting the ready-to-buy individuals exclusively whilst the majority of first-stage marketing recipients are not in that mind-set. They are more often researching, sounding out options, or looking for some piece of information as a precursor to a buying process.
Getting the data critical to effective marketing
Without an audience to communicate to, you have nothing. The crucial next step is to follow up.
Depending on the nature of the information and the permission provided, there are a multitude of options here, but the unifying theme is this – don’t let them forget why they were interested in you. Seek to add value to the relationship in order to build trust, be there when they are ready, and add some credibility to your value proposition before they move into a potential buying scenario.
There are lots of ways to stay in touch and striking a healthy balance between relationship building, education, promotion, and advice is useful. Maintaining contact leads to a heap of business over time and it’s also easy winnings, as the vast majority of competitors in your industry only stay in touch with their clients and not with their prospects!