Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cupid's Targeted Marketing

Cupid is the most famous Valentine symbol, known for aiming his arrows at Gods and Humans causing them to fall deeply in love. Perhaps we can call Cupid one of the first targeted marketers!

Like Cupid's arrows you should target your firm's marketing efforts by developing niche specialties. The place to start in selecting a niche is to conduct a marketing audit of your firm. The key areas on which to focus are the following:

An analysis of your firm’s client base. Segment your clients by SIC/NAIC codes. Then, for each industry, calculate the standard cost, fees billed, yield, percent of standard, average fees billed, average hours billed, average billing rate, and number of clients. Also, analyze your client base by sales volume, geographic location, and services provided. Graph this information to give an accurate picture of your client base. This will show you in which industries you are spending the most time, earning high fees, experiencing high collection rates, offering a variety of services – all opportunities for niche market development. It will also show unprofitable industries, those you should avoid.

An analysis of your firm’s current services and skills. In addition to traditional accounting, auditing, and tax services, what services is your firm competent in providing? What services does your firm provide that your competitors do not provide? Do your partners and professional staff have the skills to build a niche or should you consider hiring an industry specialist?

The trends affecting your clients. Talk with experts and clients in the industry to understand its service needs and hot buttons. Trends that influence an industry niche can create opportunities for additional firm services, expand the scope of services to existing clients, and provide services to new clients experiencing the same trends.

What I've learned so far is that Cupid is a story of love and niche marketing is a successful strategy for CPA firms.

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