Advertising for Accounting
The hardest thing to sell is a secret, that’s why effective advertising and marketing efforts are essential, regardless of the industry you operate in. Yes, the accounting realm is not exempt from this rule. In a world where numbers are everything, it is important that the additional cost of an advertising campaign is justifiable. However, keep in mind that costs are not everything.
According to a Feb, 28 2011 survey entitled, “Accountants and Small Businesses are Optimistic About the Future”, 73% of small business owners ranked marketing and advertising as high in importance; 57% responded by saying that their focus will be on offering additional services.
Smaller accounting firms, personal bookkeepers, and tax specialists may only engage in passing out business cards and word-of-mouth to spread their presence; this can be cost effective, extremely efficient, and fit their needs.
One way I find reputable accountants is by using the community help feature for QuickBooks’ software. I notice the number of accountants who respond to questions that users post. If I see that the accountant is very knowledgeable of their craft, I will visit their website and look at the services that they offer. This does two things: They have free traffic to their website and possible referrals. This gives them a great strategic position because they are listed on a website for accounting software, and can respond to questions where they have expertise.
Advertising and marketing strategies can hone the right-brain of the accounting department in various ways. The costs of additional advertising can be matched with the increase clients, and the possibility of additional revenue. In other words, if there is an increase in clientele from your efforts, it’s feasible to say that economic valued has been added to the firm.
Another way to look at this situation is what if the extra funds spent on marketing creates a better brand and image for the company? Again, this is another example of a value-adding activity that can be contributed to the entity’s goodwill.
It’s imperative to note that every cost does not need to translate into quick sales, but more importantly, value-generation. It would help to adopt the mindset that expenses are not mere expenses, but rather investments; don’t spend on advertising, but invest in advertising. As stated before, we cannot always measure the intangibles like goodwill, branding, reputation, and customer service. That’s why it is important to not go overboard in analyzing the cost of advertising. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the best way to get your company out there.