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Is Traditional Business Development and Marketing Dead in CPA Firms?

Posted by Alan Vitberg

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Feb 24, 2016 10:51:33 AM

Mixing Traditional and Digital Strategies is Key to Achieve Branding and Lead Generation Objectives

Tango_balanceI was talking to a Chief Marketing Officer at a large CPA firm the other day about the difficulties she was having with getting partners and firm management to buy into a digital marketing program.

“I just can’t get partners and subject matter experts to get on board with digital marketing,” she said.

(Truth be told, it was more like a cross between a wail and a moan.)

“… getting content for a blog out of them is next to impossible, and getting them to commit to a digital lead generation campaign is like pulling teeth!!! Only worse!”

My insight: pretty typical. Alternatively, I’ve heard this situation described as herding cats, rolling a boulder uphill, and drawing to an inside straight.

But exactly why should the partners and senior management of a firm commit to digital marketing... especially if the good ol’ tried and true ways are doing the job of building the brand and generating leads?

The answer is simple but has many overtones of complexity that touch upon attitudes, perceptions, firm politics and even the demographics of the firm. Here it is:

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Regardless of industry or the demographics, you can’t ignore digital because of how pervasive and impactful it’s become as part of the buyer’s journey.

Consider a couple of the key ways that marketing is changing: the dramatic rise in the use of mobile devices; search results based on the quality and quantity of content rather than keywords; the evolution of marketing technology in areas like analytics and marketing automation; the creation of virtual communities in places like LinkedIn; the ability to influence purchase decisions with social media;... and so on.

But just like firms can’t ignore digital marketing, they can’t abandon traditional marketing because it has worked in the past and will continue to work in the future. In fact, 80% or more of new business comes in through traditional means like referrals and networking.

But what happens when that percentage starts to decrease – and it will – as a result of changing demographics and ever greater investments in digital marketing?

It’s all a matter of finding the right balance. It takes two to tango.

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Topics: digital marketing, inbound marketing


LeadG2’s Professional Services Team specializes in online marketing for CPA, consulting, recruiting, staffing, and other professional services firms. Contact us here or call Dean Moothart at (407) 913-7091 to talk about how you can get more visibility, leads, and new business for your firm or niche practice.

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