Articles by Jack LaRue

Practice

How to Build a Better Call to Action

Marketing expert Jack LaRue of Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting offers some tips that can make your marketing campaign calls to action more effective.
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Marathon Marketing

I've found that marketing is a lot like running. It's better to do a little of it consistently than do too much all at once. If you're out of shape, trying to run ten miles in a day won't solve your problem. It'll just make you sore less likely to get out there tomorrow.
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Ten Ways to Boost Your Referrals

What's your most powerful new business tool? For almost every accountant I talk to, it's word of mouth. But when I ask them what they're doing to grow their referrals, I'm often met with an uncomfortable silence.
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Gifts That Keep on Giving: Choosing the Right Business Gift

Nearly all of us give business-related gifts from time to time. Maybe you need to thank an employee who has gone above and beyond, or maybe you need to thank a client. Whatever the reason, choosing just the right gift can be a challenge.
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The 'Stuff' of Marketing: Collateral Pieces

Collateral is the "stuff" of marketing: brochures, postcards, fact sheets, and the like. Collateral pieces are tangible things that we're all familiar with, so they're easy to talk about.
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Creating Must-Read Marketing E-mails

E-mail is one of the most widely used marketing tools. But with so many marketing e-mails out there, it takes skill and practice to cut through the clutter. Here are a dozen tips that will help you do just that.
Practice

Logo Logic

A logo is probably the most visible – and versatile – branding tool there is. And when you consider the most famous logos, like the Nike swoosh or McDonald's arches, it's easy to see how valuable they can be.
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The Tools That Build Brands

What identity do you want your firm to have? What do you want people to think of when they hear the name of your firm? Once you've identified your firm's desired positioning, the next step is to plan the branding strategy that will make it a reality.
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[Blank] Your Way to a Better Brand

Imagine that your firm comes up in a conversation between two business people. One says, "Smith and Jones, CPAs, sure, I've heard of them. They're the [blank] firm." Now, what do you want the [blank] to be? That's brand positioning.
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Platypus Marketing

At some point in your career, it's likely that you've been involved in a project that seemed to meander endlessly without any real direction. It could be a marketing project or just about anything else. In marketing, there's a name for a project like this: the platypus.
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Low-Maintenance Marketing

You may not have time to do any active marketing, but right now is a great time to be doing passive marketing. As the name suggests, passive marketing doesn't require any action from you once it's in place.
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Marketing Strategy: It's the How

How is your firm different? Since the "what" of your firm has already been defined, it may be a good idea to take a close look at the "how" of your firm as a way to set yourself apart from the competition.
Practice

Sell the Dream, Not the Data

It's easy to see the power of emotion in purchases like cars and jewelry. But in the tax and accounting world, purchasing decisions are made based on hard numbers and data, not emotion. Right? Not necessarily.
Education & Careers

Five Ways to Write Fearlessly

I talk a lot about writing things - e-mails, firm brochures, websites, and the like. I talk about how they don't have to cost a lot and they often aren't difficult. But the fact is, sometimes writing is difficult.
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Who Are Your Real Competitors?

Don't overlook what might be your strongest competitors - the ones that aren't accounting firms at all. It all depends on your definition of what constitutes a competitor.
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What Did You Expect?

It's not that any of us purposely want to mislead our customers, but most of us are optimists. We want to communicate what we hope to deliver, and we often fear that under-promising could disappoint a customer.
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The 40/40/20 Marketing Rule

The 40/40/20 rule says that 40 percent of the success of your direct marketing campaign will depend on your list selection, 40 percent on your offer, and only 20 percent of your success will be attributed to your creative execution.
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How's Your 'Other' Audience?

Often, your staff will take your marketing message to customers and prospects, and they're almost certainly the ones who will deliver on the promises your marketing campaign makes. Take some concrete steps to make sure they get it.
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Be the Firm across the Street: We Fix $6 Haircuts

Figure out a way to change the game and compete on your terms. reinforce your core positioning, and force your competitors to react to you.
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The Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is a description of your business that you can rattle off in thirty seconds or less. It should capture attention quickly, be memorable, and leave your audience open to asking for more information.