5 ways to tank your firm’s marketing budget


Don’t miss this month’s social media on a budget “Tax Talk” scheduled for July 27. Marketing does not always come naturally to us as accountants and sometimes we can get stopped before we start in terms of how to go about our marketing strategy.

Other times, we can become overzealous to use every solution available to us in the hopes that something will stick. Neither is a great option to maximize your efforts.

Here are five ways you can blow a marketing budget quickly without a good return on your investment.

Paid lead generation

Lead generation definitely has it place, and in the right circumstances can be a great fit, however, this is often not used strategically and can end up costing more than it brings in. The problem with the majority of lead generation resources is that they are not specific to your audience.

To have a strong marketing strategy, your team must first have a good understanding of the kind of client you are trying to attract. If a lead generation service can’t attract the type of client that fits that model, it might not be for you.

Saying you want to attract more business clients is too vague. You need to be able to define things like you want to attract more closely held S Corporations with more than $1 million a year in revenue and shareholders who also need individual wealth management.

After that level of identification, you might be able to identify lead generation tools that work, but most will not be able to be that specific and will just drain your resources.

Tacky email marketing

Let’s be honest, none of us read the emails that come in with subject lines that look like “Huge 20% Promo.” It is like they arrived in our inbox with an obnoxious neon sign that says they someone escaped our junk email box. Your email marketing needs to be tactfully crafted if you actually want your audience to read it.

Otherwise you’re paying for your content to get thrown in the trash. Subject lines that contain thought provoking questions are often the best performers for open rate.

In addition, your emails need to be formatted for mobile more than anything else, which means they should not contain a large number of images or be too word.

Not collecting contact information

Along with tacky emails, how many business cards have you thrown in the trash? It probably has been about 15 years since the last time I saw someone with a rolodex, although I sometimes think about trying to bring them back. Business cards are less popular than ever. Many people have switched to the “digital” business card which is a preset contact in your phone with all your information you can text to a number when you’re standing having conversation with someone.

This does a couple of things; first, it gets you their contact information right away so you can follow up, and second, it provides them with your contact information in a manner that will not get thrown out. Going to trade shows, networking events and other places where you’re seeking to make new connections is a waste if you are not actively collecting contacts.

Trying new strategies before modifying existing ones

In a world of instant gratification, we can be too quick to pull the trigger on things before strategically thinking things through. Marketing strategies often take time to fully blossom. Obviously you don’t want to continue dumping money into a losing campaign, but if you are not getting the return on your investment that you had hoped for, it usually is less costly to try tweaking what you already have before jumping head first into a new strategy. If you have already tweaked a couple times and you’re still not seeing the results, then you can consider a new direction.

Not matching prospects interests to your website

When was the last time your website was refreshed? Are you still trying to be everything to everybody on the internet with the hopes that the exact right client will magically land in your lap after a well-timed Google search? In general, SEO algorithms don’t work that way, and your website need to showcase you as the obvious choice to the clients you want coming through the door. Make sure your content and profile on the web makes it clear who you’re looking to serve and why you’re the best choice for them.

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