I was recently asked to serve as adjunct professior for a day at NJIT, speaking to students about Marketing 101. Reading their assigned text reminded me of the importance of up front research. All too often it is easy for CPAs to have a brilliant idea and then jump into finding a market for their new service. Instead, and for greater success, why not take the time to research your targeted audience (existing and future clients ?) and consider finding out what they most want from you. You can use focus groups and surveys to gain opinions and insights before you start promoting your specialty.
This works especially well for service providers like CPAs, attorneys, engineers and even the medical profession. Dr. Emily Altman is a good example of this. Seeing a growing need in the Baby Boomer demographic, she has been able to evolve her traditional dermatology practice to include a specific focus on non-invasive options for creating a more youthful, healthy appearance. The adults born after World War II exhibit unique characteristics, acting and feeling younger than previous generations. Capitalizing on this, skin care and make-up companies are developing products that provide great solutions. Doctors like Emily Altman are doing the same.
What can you do with the information you gather from your firm's clients? What do they want that you have not been delivering? Are their needs changing with technology advances, global expansion, or the slow economy? If so - are you changing your approach in order to develop and market the services most relevant for them?