Introduction to the Top 10 Series
It’s tough out there as a SME. So much competition; so much to do, so little time.
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 2 on maximising your reach. See our earlier blog on perception. Tip 3 will be out soon. We hope you enjoy reading it.
Tip 2 – Maximising your reach
Location, location, location
So, we’ve already looked at getting your messages and key differentiators decided upon. It’s now time to make sure that the placement of those messages is optimal. We want to ensure that as many as possible of your target audience get to see, hear and experience them in the most cost-effective manner.
The vital aspect here is understanding the different audiences you wish to communicate with, and where they can be reached. To demonstrate this, just consider how you would best reach private tax clients versus commercial business finance directors. They are worlds apart in what they are seeking, what key message they are likely to respond to, and what mechanism of contact is both legal and effective.
It is a good start point to document each audience type as an avatar. This is a fictional character who represents each client group; the way they think, their primary concerns and requirements, their geography, earning capacity and a whole lot more. By creating this avatar, you gain some insight into the activities they are engaged in, as well as the places they go, media they interact with and locations and methods by which you may successfully interact with them both online and off. It is often worth doing some qualitative and quantitative research at this point to give your assumptions some proof-testing.
The vital aspect here is the due consideration. Without some forethought, the outreach activity you undertake and the placement you make of your materials and messages is likely to be wrong, and therefore less effective.
Once you have the proper understanding of your audience, you can set a plan for the twin elements of ensuring that you are findable for them in the places they hope to find you (e.g. web searches, relevant social media, and networks), as well as ensuring that you have selected outbound messaging in places where you know they are active (e.g. magazines they read, events they attend etc.).
Spread your assets
As a final point it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. This happens a lot when it comes to lead-generation focused marketing – when a company relies on one location or one method of promotion. Your chosen methodology might well be working (now), but in the event that the well dries up, it is always wise to have more than one mechanism in place. As an example, if you were reliant on your website as the sole online presence, when it gets hacked and is taken out for a week as a result, it has a bigger impact than where other marketing approaches and online presence are there to provide at least partial cover.
Not All Customers Are Equal
As a final point, its worth recognising that not all customers are equal. You may well have more than one target audience to deal with and the segmentation of these different groups is an important aspect to get right. Whilst a unique selling point for your business is likely to be of interest to all audiences, the points of difference that each audience react to positively may well differ. As an example of this, your prior experience with electrical contracting firms is likely to be of less interest to a gym than an electrical contractor. The separation of key messages that are specific to different groups is a useful exercise and will help improve your authority with separate audiences.