When it comes to growing your practice, without a proper marketing plan, any plan is going to be a haphazard, inefficient, “let’s try this” effort that will be a waste of both time and money.
What’s needed is a systematic approach that includes developing marketing goals, a strategy to achieve them and a tactical plan to implement that strategy. This article will discuss seven critical considerations that need to be addressed to create a truly effective marketing plan and budget:
1. Establish Your Business Goals
Start by determining where you can deliver the best value and what market segments will be the easiest to grow for your practice. Develop your overall strategic goals; for example, do you want to grow your firm? By how much and over what time period?
Beyond the numbers are other things to consider, such as what are your accounting service strengths and weaknesses? What areas of your firm and its services are the best candidates for growth?
2. Identify Your Target Audiences
These are the groups of people you need to reach to execute your marketing strategy. For example, small-to-medium size manufacturing businesses or restaurant owners. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s important to determine who the stakeholders and decision-makers are within that segment. For example, do you need to reach CEOs, CFOs, business unit managers or someone else who influences the final decision?
Once you’ve established your target audiences it’s time to research them so you understand the “pains” they might have and the “cures” they’re looking for. There are two basic types of research you can do:
About Lee Frederiksen
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 become more visible and grow.