I was talking to our intern Ben yesterday, mostly about 80s pop music and Bon Jovi, but some of it was work related.
He was looking at who was following us on Twitter and made a very astute observation.
“Lots of these people call themselves digital marketing experts, but we should not separate it out. Is digital marketing not just marketing? It’s all the same thing, getting information about a product or service in front of potential clients?”
Quite clever is our Ben.
Why do marketers have the urge to separate every element of a campaign into umpteen specialities and disjointed campaigns. Do you really need a content strategy, mobile strategy, social media strategy, digital strategy and email strategy?
All of these things need to deliver an overarching objective with the same vision and outcome. It is when we start seeing digital separated out from direct mail, telesales and networking that we lose the advantage that marketing gives.
Whilst it has been tradition to rely on referral marketing within the accounting industry, Partners and Managers within Accounting Firms are starting to seek help with Digital Marketing.
Many firms are feeling the pressure to do more marketing than they have ever previously done. Whilst I agree it’s time for firms to step up and learn and implement, they should not panic about the term digital marketing.
We should not be intent on enlisting buzzwords, but in fact intent on delivering the same experience through digital marketing mediums as you do through the more familiar channels.
Until people start to merge digital marketing with marketing you will miss the opportunities that marketing really brings. If you think it’s about marketing you are missing the point. It’s about the clients.
The actions you need to take before you start marketing your firm (positioning, niche, brand) are only taken so that your firm can bring more value to your clients.
The only reason you should choose certain marketing channels is purely to fit in with the needs and behaviours of your prospects and clients.
“Digital, it would appear, is sexy, and everyone wants in on the act. In reality, however, digital is old news… The distinction between physical and digital is rapidly becoming irrelevant” — Nigel Hollis
I think the reason why people persist to suggest that digital marketing is like a form of magic from Hogwarts is because it is still so misunderstood by many firms.
But this should not be the case. Digital is so ingrained in your client’s lives that it is now part of their every day, and not something separate for them.
It is almost impossible for a consumer to remember a life before digital.
Experiences are more than just the use of offline and online marketing. Clients don’t think “Ohhh I’m going to engage with Brand X in store and then separately continue my engagement through social media”.
No, they go to a store, have a great experience and automatically express that enjoyment through Twitter or Facebook.
The same can be said with how people interact with a service based business. A firm who helps overcome a problem via the phone can receive a tweet to say thank you. A meeting at your offices can result in your firm getting tagged in a Facebook update.
This magic happens when we create a great experience and give clients the opportunity to ingrain their interactions with your firm into their lives.
For them it’s a natural act.
Yet despite the importance of integration of strategy, many people are still insisting on breaking online marketing (digital) away from traditional marketing.
The world is digital. It has merged with non-digital and this “marketing” forms amazing experiences and builds lasting relationships with clients, prospects and networks. It has been a long time since digital became a bolt on.
Let’s think differently. Marketing is not split into two mediums of traditional and digital. Marketing is Marketing. It’s about providing value to clients. End of.
P.S. When you’re ready… here are ways we can help you with marketing and growing your accounting firm:
1. Grab a free copy of our eBook 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm. It’s full of ideas that help you attract leads and convert them into clients.
2. Join our Facebook Group Marketing For Professional Advisors and connect with other accountants and advisors who want more time, clients and profits.
3. Join our Implementation Programme specifically for accounting firms and be a case study. I’m putting together a new group so if you (and/or your team) would like to work with me on mastering your marketing just send me a message email@example.com put Case Study in the subject line.
4.Work with me and my team privately. If you would like to work with me and my team privately and have a bespoke marketing strategy designed and implemented send me a message firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me a little bit more about your firm and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details.