Having an effective digital marketing solution in place for financial and accountancy firms is difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing–in fact, a study conducted by the Hinge Research Institute in 2017 found that attracting and developing new business is the number one challenge for financial services.
In Propero’s state of the industry report conducted in 2017, 92% of financial services respondents indicated that in order to get ahead, they needed to embrace proactive digital marketing. Contrastingly however, we discovered that a staggering 50% of financial firms don’t allocate a marketing budget. This is surprising information as it demonstrates to us that the financial and accountancy sectors recognise the importance of marketing, yet aren’t actively moving towards implementing it.
Propero is well-practiced in marketing for financial and accountancy firms, which means that we know what a firm needs to have in place to start seeing results. Here are four common marketing problems and the solutions that you need to have in place—or at least be thinking about—before you can implement an effective marketing strategy:
Digital marketing problem: Poor brand recognition
Brand importance is key: from Kylie Jenner’s single tweet that caused Snapchat to lose $1.3 billion from the company’s market value, to KFC’s excellent handling of their chicken shortage. When faced with the crisis, KFC demonstrated how strong their brand is by ensuring they were communicating the same message, language and tone across the board. This, during a time when they would typically lose consumers, meant that they maintained their brand integrity and ensured consumer loyalty.
Those companies that have poor brand recognition have a harder time retaining loyal clients. In the professional services sector, loyalty is extremely integral for ongoing business and so having a strong brand is equally as important.
Digital marketing solution: Know your brand
Your brand encompasses the way you are viewed by others, the way your employees behave, and the value placed on you by stakeholders and the world at large. Arguably, brand is more important for financial firms than any other type of professional service in the current climate. Since the financial crash in 2008, consumers have lost faith in financial services (PwC, 2014), with this being particularly highlighted most recently in KPMG’s relationship with Carillion during its breakdown.
Having a recognisable brand is important for any company. Take Apple as an example–any advert is instantly recognisable not only because of the logo, but the font, the colour scheme and even the language used. Consumers tend to use brands that they recognise because they know they can trust them.
Digital marketing problem: Struggling to build digital relationships
The explosion of technology means that building business relationships is harder than it used to be. Particularly in the professional services sector, the traditional method to attract new clients meant investing time in building relationships that would lead to business. However, thanks to the advances in today’s technology, the amount of time spent building a relationship has shifted to how often you have ‘touchpoints’ with potential clients. While this is more efficient and cost effective, it is still important to do it right. Those who do not leverage channels of communication properly (like social media) will get left behind.
Digital marketing solution: Leverage social channels
In our state of the industry report, we found that out of those surveyed, 100% of financial firms that have no social media presence do not receive any business referrals per month. This is supported by the fact that studies have shown social media marketing has a higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, simply because it humanises a company. Social media gives companies a channel to communicate directly with their client base, and perhaps more importantly, a channel for prospects and clients to communicate directly with companies. Social media needs to be leveraged well by financial and accountancy firms to make sure that the relationships they have built and want to build are successful and long-standing.
75% of finance firms that don’t leverage online marketing tools receive no new business enquiries per month:
Digital marketing problem: Unsuccessful marketing
Unsuccessful marketing is common if you don’t have a clear set development goals. If you don’t know where your firm is headed, then how will you get there? Ensuring that you have a well thought-out strategy in place means that you’re less likely to carry out low-value, low-strength marketing activities that keep you busy, but lack in concrete results. Goal-setting keeps you focused and pushes you to succeed.
Digital marketing solution: Goal-setting
Make sure you set specific, measurable and attainable goals with a deadline in mind:
- Be specific and stay away from ambiguous terms like ‘more social influence’ and ‘better ads’, as these terms don’t tell you anything about how you will actually achieve these goals.
- When you have measurable goals in place, you can monitor how well your strategy is doing and this lets you know if you should keep things how they are, improve upon them or start a completely different strategy altogether.
- Always set attainable, realistic goals as there is nothing worse than trying to achieve something that is not possible. It leads to a defeatist mentality and erodes motivation for trying a new strategy.
- Deadlines mean that projects and initiative cannot be pushed to the back of your mind. With a deadline in place, it generates an important sense of urgency to motivate you to complete your goal.
One tip to bear in mind: when you’re devising aims, make sure that you are working closely with your business development team so that you are sure the goals you are working on correlate with where the business is headed.
Similarly, when you approach a marketing agency with the aim of expanding your business, it’s important that you have outlined clear goals for your firm. This will not only help the agency understand exactly what you want to achieve, but it will also enable you to hold them accountable for results.
These three common problems and solutions are key to getting your foot in the door for successfully marketing your firm. To have a significant return on investment, you need to properly invest in marketing. Our survey discovered that 79% of firms that allocate £20K+ per year to marketing receive between 1-20 new business enquiries per month, while 50% of these firms receive 20+ new enquiries per month. Firms don’t have to necessarily spend this much on marketing per year, even £1K-£5K will make a drastic difference. These statistics show that the ROI in marketing is worth it for your firm.
Propero will help you set up a good marketing strategy and ensure you achieve a higher ROI than you are now. If you are a serial enquiries, then reach out to us on our website, or if you’re not quite ready to reach out, then sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we can do for you.