1 simple way accountants overcome their 2 greatest marketing challenges - Showtime Digital

1 simple way accountants overcome their 2 greatest marketing challenges

06 May 2019 Read 93 times

As an accountant you have a multitude of services you offer to prospective clients. With the range of clients being SME businesses to larger entities, High Net Worth Individuals through to high net worth families, each have different needs and see your service from a different perspective.

If you are targeting HNWI's and want to know how to engage them this article will address this for you. If you already know this and are at the point of defining how to go to market this article would be more suited to you.

Challenge 1- Every other accountant does marketing this way!

From a marketing perspective each service has its own inherent challenge. Take the core service of accounting for example; the industry finds it a challenge to prove its unique differentiation.

This is evidenced on website homepages of accountants which state -

  • ‘We’re small enough to care and big enough to do it all’
  • ‘We do accounting so you can do what you do best’.
  • ’We give better service because we care’.

And depending on the office location you’ll see the obligatory drone view of Melbourne’s Southbank or, if you’re in Sydney, it’s a shot of the Harbour.

Tell me I’m wrong.

And if someone does read the services pages, it’s often built to rank in a Search Engine and not for humans, so the prospect gives you another X against your name.

  1. Website image X
  2. Headline X
  3. Page copy X

3 strikes, you’reeeeee OUT!

Challenge 2 – Buyers just don’t convert like we want

The second challenge is if a prospect does call you, the sale can be dragged out, or there may be no outcome at all (better the devil you know).

This is because 50% of B2B buyers have poorly defined criteria and because of this 53% of B2B buyers will postpone their decision. This article on how to start quality conversations with B2B buyers delves into the subject in detail.

This fact is not something marketing agencies want to tell you and it's not something you want to hear. It's a reality and you can still find the quality amongst the quantity.

 

How do accountants overcome these 2 marketing challenges?

As one of many accountants in a vast pool of consumer options, your goal should be to move away from conforming to the rest of the sector and transform yourself over time to find significance in the mind of the consumer.

While that might seem scary right now as a first step an excellent way to overcome the 2 challenges above is to simply educate B2B buyers earlier on in their awareness process.

This will help you walk through three key milestones –

  1. It will give your organisation a personality
  2. You’ll understand what you stand for and why you do what you do
  3. You will better align the accountant/client relationship

In the past you may have had an offer you wanted to take to market and wondered how you would be best to do it. Which digital asset would you need to make your campaign successful?

There are three types of digital assets you can consider; a website, a microsite and a landing page. In Image1 we’re going to look at which asset works best with the services accountants provide.

Image1

Accounting – When people think accounting what are they looking for? All of service, tax planning or a trusted advisor at arm’s length? This is such a broad category it’s best to promote from your website and people can make their own determination that you’re a good fit.

Please, please, please, be mindful the website is written for your clients and not a Search engine. The last thing people want to see is “Accounting Melbourne’ as a page headline.

Wealth Management – Once again there should be a heavy leaning to the website due to its complicated nature and broad meaning. The main challenge you’ll have is the low volumes of visits, so from a data perspective I wouldn’t waste time building a separate asset.

Instead focus on language and on-page elements which have meaning with the consumer.

Self Managed Super – This category is broad but if we look at the subject from the consumer perspective there’s a lot of confusion. Due to its complicated nature people have many questions and they explore the answers prior to calling you, if at all.

We’ve found it best to separate this category from the main website to stop confusion and use FAQ’s to educate first. A free download works well as a first interaction.

Bookkeeping – For two reasons you should create a separate environment for bookkeepping. A microsite or even a landing page would suffice.

No1 it’s a simple service and secondly there's a degree of consumer anxiety involved. Due to the weekly or monthly contact SME’s enjoy with their bookkeeper, there’s a degree of anxiety around not knowing the health of the buisness. This contrasts with the quarterly or even yearly relationship some SME’s have with their accountant.

For this reason, give the service people are looking for. Once you have built trust then you can have the bigger conversation around lodging BAS and about tax time.

Life insurance – The recommendation for life insurance or any insurance which is sold by accountants with another service (ie. Professional indemnity) is for this to stay within your website as a Services page.

Taxation – This suggests a personal service for employees (ie. H&R Block). The B2C environment comes with its own challenges, price being one, the need to produce testimonials and social proof the other.

Non-bank lending – If you provide funding to your clients this may simply be a conversation as the need arises. If you do promote it to your existing database it doesn’t require much explanation. Even the online providers like Prospa and OnDeck have simple digital environments.

Part of the reason for this is the anxiety of the SME buyer. As we saw with bookkeeping, the higher the consumer anxiety the simpler the asset needs to be.

Invoice finance – As a form of funding, invoice finance is known by many names and it can be confusing for the consumer, even more so than the fintech offerings. With the questions your clients may have, the environment will need FAQ’s, client testimonials and maybe a calculator to sell it properly.

Property sales – As a considered purchase this will require several EDM’s and opt-in emails before creating a standalone microsite which has property valuations, neighbourhood map, artist impressions and building plans etc. Of all the digital environments this is the most visually sophisticated.

The great point about this microsite is once you do your presales you can take your learnings from the exercise and launch this to the wider investor community. This will increase outcomes in the second phase of the sales process.

Many of the services noted here will require EDM and newsletter promotion before creating a standalone asset.

To be different and encourage buyers to convert with you remember to start your conversations early, especially if you are looking for new clients online. This helps you weed out those business owners who carry over their bad experiences from the previous accountant and are not in line with your team’s ethics.

We hope you've enjoyed some of the insights we've gathered over the years. If you need any assistance Contact Us.

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.