Today, the agile methodology is being applied to all areas of business. Proponents maintain that these more rapid, easier-to-accomplish changes increase the speed, quality, flexibility and effectiveness of the work being done, providing faster, more immediate value to customers.
This process can be helpful when it comes to accounting practice marketing because an agile model has proven to be the best defense against a constantly changing, unpredictable market and is an excellent growth driver.
So, how is agile used in marketing by accounting firms? It’s being adopted as an operational practice for developing and modifying marketing solutions and campaigns to more effectively address the current trends and preferences of a target audience.
By constantly monitoring strategic marketing results and tweaking their messages and channels, marketers can quickly respond to opportunities and drive faster, more significant growth. In fact, according to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, firms that utilize agile marketing practices saw revenues increase 20-40 percent.
There are four key principles that form the foundation of an agile marketing strategy:
1. Keep your finger on the pulse of your target market
Constantly monitoring your target audience is not just smart from a marketing perspective. It makes good overall business sense as well. That means keeping your eyes and ears open to any changes in your target audience’s preferences and current trends that could affect what types of accounting services are in demand. As your target audience adapts to changes in their markets, you need to revise your message and strategic marketing program to address these.
2. Test drive new ideas to keep things fresh
Remember, today’s marketing ideas and solutions are good for the present, but tomorrow could be full of surprises. Always be ready to try a fresh approach with new messaging distributed over new channels that might enable you to target more efficiently and achieve better results.
3. Monitor, measure and manage your marketing
Automated digital marketing and analytics platforms make it easier for accounting firms of all sizes to track and adjust their marketing campaigns as needed. There is a wide range of applications available to automate the delivery of campaigns and messages across a variety of channels then provide client tracking and message performance data to help you make adjustments based on results.
Regardless of the specific software solution you choose, the important thing is to use it. If you’re not regularly tracking results and adjusting your marketing to optimize your campaigns, you’re on the road to diminishing returns. A changing business environment requires your firm and its marketing to change with it if you are to succeed.
4. Review your marketing efforts often
Many accounting practices create annual marketing plans, but the business world moves at hyper-speed these days, and an annual plan can be ancient history after just a few months. No truly effective plan can be devised to last an entire year without some changes. To keep pace with the speed of evolving markets, consider reviewing plans quarterly.
Many factors can affect your marketing strategy – market conditions, competitor and partner activities, client and prospect demands. These are just some of the things that can require regular tweaking to your strategy and plan. By increasing your marketing reviews, you can keep aware of periodic changes in the factors that can affect your plan and adjust accordingly.
When it comes to marketing, an agile approach is becoming essential. By aggressively adopting agile practices, accounting firms can transform their marketing departments into flexible, fast-moving teams that continually drive growth.
Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is managing partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to...