Agility is more than a mindset… It’s a process too!
I was sitting on the porch of a cabin in the Ozarks just after dawn, sipping a hot cup of coffee, watching the sun starting to peak over the mountain range when I saw the red-tailed hawks dancing above the tree line.
I pondered their grace and beauty (or “thunk on it a bit,” as they say in the Ozarks), but it was their agility that was stunning. Swooping. Diving. Turning. Reacting.
And when it came time to write this week’s blog post, I thunk about what it means to be agile when it comes to marketing and the possibilities for employing this approach in professional services firms that help their clients deal with regulatory and compliance issues.
Agile Marketing in the World of Professional Services
When it comes to seizing opportunity and generating leads—especially from legislative, regulatory, or accounting standard changes—your firm could probably be a whole lot more agile in marketing and business development.
Over the past few years, the concept of “Agile Marketing” has received a lot of attention. It’s not just a description of mindset and culture—agile marketing is actually a marketing discipline and methodology.
(If you want more information on agile marketing, check out PwC’s 2014 report, “Marketing at the Speed of Agile: A CMO’s Guide to Applying Agile Methodologies to Transform Marketing”)
Agile marketing is about speed to market, and a willingness to try new marketing strategies and tactics in a rapid fire manner. It’s about aligning marketing, subject matter experts, and business development resources around short-term marketing plans for lead generation. It’s about “sprinting” and “scrumming” and always maintaining focus on customer wants, needs, issues, or pain points.
The CPA Firm’s Roadmap to Agility
Your firm’s path to become more marketing agile starts with education. There’s an abundance of free resources on agile marketing you can find with a simple Google search. I hope that you’ll take away a couple of critical insights from your search: (1) It’s a structured discipline with a core methodology, and (2) it’s a commitment, not a passing fad.
Then, make a decision about whether or not it’s the right move for your firm.
Next up: Do a pilot with one niche practice. Y’all know (head is still in AR) that I’m a huge advocate of niche marketing and don’t think that all niches deserve the same level of marketing support. So, be selective.
Put together a “Quick Response Marketing Team” composed of one marketer, one niche practice leader, and one business development resource. Of course you can mix, match, combine, and substitute team members, but here’s the secret sauce: (1) Keep this team small as “many people” and “fast” don’t play well together in the marketing/business development ecosystem, and (2) give them the autonomy, authority, and accountability for making agile marketing magic.
With a Quick Response Marketing Team in place, it’s time to be on the lookout for new legislation, regs, changes to accounting standards, new tax code, etc., and when they show up, decide if it’s strong enough to merit agile marketing resources.
Truth be told, you can also build an agile lead generation campaign around a key event or news story. For example, if a huge, painful data breech makes the news (like it does on a daily basis) and you have an IT security niche practice, or there’s a spike in IRS audits and you have a tax rep business niche… you get the drift, right?
Now, you can start agile marketing with these 8 questions:
- What’s the opportunity for us and our clients/prospects?
- Who is being impacted and how?
- How can we solve their pain... what do we want to sell them?
- How are we going to get visibility for our capabilities and solutions, and who is going to do it?
- What top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) offers do we need to generate leads?
- Who will build and produce these offer?
- How and who will promote these offers?
- Who will be responsible for connecting with leads and nurturing them through the sales funnel?
Ready to Get Agile?
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post, “10 Hot Regulatory Compliance Issues (and Solutions) CPA Firm Marketing Programs Can Use for New Business.”
Voila. Ten ideas for an agile marketing lead generation campaign and the roadmap I just discussed make for a great new business recipe.Get that Quick Response Marketing Team together and launch that agile lead generation/marketing campaign. Swoop. Dive. Turn. React.
Just like the hawk.
And if you need some help, give me a call. We can kick around some ideas and thunk on it a bit.