It's All About Lists! (But who has time?)
After busy season it is a great time for "spring cleaning" - and this means taking a good look at the information in your databases as well cleaning out files, desks and common areas around the firm.
Whether you use a sophisticated CRM platform or a simple excel spread sheet, if your information is not updated it is just about useless for you. Keeping up with ever changing addresses, phones, cell phones and emails for clients, business colleagues, centers of influence and others in your community can truly be mind boggling.
I suggest you try using the 'divide and conquer' method. In other words, instead of seeing the challenge as one big insurmountable issue, divide your lists by partner - and ask each one to simply review their client data first. Once they have provided corrcet information (especially the email addresses!) then you can move on to having them review details for their general business and referral contacts. Their administrative assistant can frequently help with this, and often the information is readily available on the Internet. You might even cosnider assigning this task to a summer intern. Once most of the blanks are filled in, the partners role will be greatly reduced and you are likely to get more cooperation from them.
Without current information, you cannot reach your target market to promote programs and events, share essential information or keep a connection with people who are important to your firm. After you are confident you have correct contact information, you might try to gain further information that can be used when targeting your marketing communications and delivering more effective client service messages. At a minimum, this includes knowing the client's industry, banker and attorney. Just these few simple details can enable you to be much more effective, to ensure that the right information gets to the right people, and help to position your firm as a thought leader in the community.
Always keep in mind that other firms are targeting your clients and your contacts. So if you don't have accurate data, your message may be lost while your competitor gains the attention of your audience. Want to avoid that? Get working on your spring cleaning and get your lists in order.
Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, will lead a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.