Kelso Consulting's Tim Prizeman leads the expert advice for SME accountants in this month's edition of Accounting & Business, the ACCA Journal.
The article looks at how accountancy firms, who inevitably have numerous competitors offering similar-sounding services , can stand out and be noticeable and memorable.
In his usual to-the-point style he says "Most accountancy firms build their brands around client-centricity, trust, value, quality and proactivity. But simply stating these is not going to make you stand out as everyone says the same thing.
"Asserting client-centricity and great service is as useful as trying to win clients by boasting about having lots of PCs... it is to be expected. Even if your client-centricity is off the scale, prospects can’t verify your claim until they experience it as a client."
Part of the problem is often of accountancy firm's own making, with a generic business strategy leading to me-too communications.
Creating a strong value proposition you and your partners buy-into as the focus for your communications and business strategies is needed, and creating a distinctive proposition can be hard work, and accountancy firm's are unlikely to achieve it without external facilitation and creative input.
However, many accountancy firms of all sizes have achieved it. One of our favourites is the radical and aspirational approach EY has taken, summed-up in their tag-line Builders of a Better World.
The other problem is accountancy firms often mistake their marcomms plan, which provides tactical communications about services and events, with the sort of strategic approach to communications that will build a strong reputation that will help with all aspects of marketing and recruitment. Accountancy firms need both, but rarely do.
Click here to read the article in ACCA's Accounting & Business.
For more details about building a strong communications strategy for your accountancy firm, click here for our forthcoming webinar.