A McKinsey Report published last month confirms what the accounting profession has known all along: Clients cannot seperate marketing from the product or service; marketing is the product (or, in our case, the service). The experience clients have with our firms is what the firm represents for them.
This is not a major breakthrough but it serves as an excellent reminder for all of us that marketing is not something accomplished by one or two pepople, or even a team of people, who operate seperately from everyone else under a specially designated "marketing" umbrella. Instead, today's marketing is done on the front lines and it is accomplished by every person who interacts with clients.
The firms that work with marketing professionals, either in-house or with outside consultants, have the added benefit of additional guidance and accountability. Marketers take the lead in crafting strategic communication plans and the implementating of branding tacics while influencing both the firm's internal culture and its external community outreach. This clearly gives some firms a critical advantage.
But as the McKinsey Report findings reflect, fo CPA firms to truly engage clients for whom tradiitonal push advertising is growing increasingly irrelevant, we must remember that marketing is everyone's responsibility and everyone must be held accountable. Under this scenario, every staff person at every level up through partner is seen as having a role in drving the client engagement engine, contributing to building sustainable, loyal client relationships.
Have you successfully embraced this concept by spreading the responsibility for nurturing client relationships ac ross the entire firm? If so, we would love to hear what your experience has been.
If not, I ask you - why not?