This article is my regular round-up of marketing and business promotion issues plus other interesting things over the past week. It provides access to tools you can use right now to promote your firm plus software that will help those endeavours.

Try something new today.
“Little hinges swing big doors.” – W. Clement Stone

Marketing ideas from Marketing Profs

More marketing ideas and tips have been published by Marketing Profs:

From: e.marketingprofs.com

Free eBook: The Content Marketer’s Guide to Webinars

Here’s a FREE comprehensive webinar guide for all experience levels from Online Events. This eBook will benefit anyone involved in webinars – marketers and non-marketers alike – and includes topics such as:

  • How to get started from a technical perspective
  • Best practices and tips for engaging your webinar audience
  • How to strategically structure your program to generate leads
  • The best way to squeeze the most leads out of webinars

View a preview at: onlineevents.adobeconnect.com/_a655548740/p84thy240kg

5 Keys to Social Media Measurement For Every Network

From Simply Measured If you’re a social media marketer, you’re spread pretty thin. You create editorial calendars, visual assets, content, plan campaigns, set goals, and measure results. This task-list could sound familiar to any marketer, regardless of their arena. The difference for social media marketers is that you’re operating in an ever-changing landscape, and your area of responsibility is growing… constantly. In fact, the recent survey of social media marketers found that 23% of all marketers measure and report on at least six social networks.

The new FREE whitepaper, The 5 Essentials of Cross-Channel Social Media Measurement, highlights the most important needs and functions of measuring social programs that span several networks.
Read more: simplymeasured.com/blog/2014/08/13/5-keys-to-social-media-measurement-for-every-network

Building a Global + Local Social Media Strategy

From Get Simply Measured. In today’s digital world, brands can easily take their marketing efforts global on social media. The biggest challenge can then be localising strategy and messaging. Learn how to balance global and local tactics to find the right geo strategy for your brand.

Download this FREE social media guide to learn:

  • The key differences between a global and local social strategy
  • How to find the right mix of global vs. local tactics for your brand
  • Ways to measure whether your current geo strategy is working

…and much more. Click the link below to download the full guide!
Source:  get.simplymeasured.com/global-local-em.html

Five Essential Steps to Project Success & Profitability

From Financial Force. Effective project performance is vital to customer satisfaction and profit, especially in the professional services industry. While much has been written on this subject, sometimes it helps to just cut through the clutter and focus on the fundamentals and best practices that mean the difference between project success and failure.

This independent white paper will give the reader practical and actionable advice on how to run projects on-time, on-budget, with great quality on a predictable and repeatable basis.

Download this FREE independent report now and learn how your organisation can achieve a more agile project management process.
Source: mkt.financialforce.com/x0X000012v60I3M0vp1dGBt

Native Ad Success Requires Research and Strategy

From Business News Daily.  Ads are everywhere in today’s world, and nowhere are promotional messages more prevalent than on the Internet. Until recently, online advertisements only came in the form of display units: pop-ups and banner ads that are often intrusive and only distract from the user experience. Today, a growing number of companies are choosing a more seamless, natural approach by creating and running aptly named ‘native ads.’

“Native ads appear around a webpage’s main content with a look and feel that matches the design and layout of the website,” said Ash Nashed, CEO and founder of digital media technology company Adiant. “This design makes the ad simple, unobtrusive and easier to consume than displays ads. We consider native ads a seamless preview to content and offers, and less like an attention-demanding ad that can be disruptive to consumers. These features translate into better engagement with consumers.”  Aaron Goodin, CEO of content discovery and engagement platform Snap Skout, explained that there are six types of native ad formats, as published in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Native Advertising Playbook earlier this year.
Read more: www.businessnewsdaily.com/6991-native-advertising-tips.html

Free Guide: How To Attract Valuable Crowds To Your Webinar

From Click Meeting.  61% of marketers consider webinars their most effective marketing tactic. The audience should always be the focal point when planning, launching and promoting a webinar, and there are many effective methods for attracting valuable crowds and ensuring optimal conversions.
Download the free guide from: www.clickmeeting.com/promo/attract-valuable-crowd-eguide

How secure email and e-signatures can accelerate your practice

From Sharefile. There is an easier way for you and your clients to share confidential data on any device. This simple FREE guide explains how. In this white paper, you’ll learn the types of features to look for when selecting a file-sharing service for your business and how you can improve security when sending and receiving confidential documents.

Contents:

  • Find a file-sharing service built for business
  • Send large files with ease
  • Protect your confidential files without complicated installation
  • Use custom reporting to track files
  • Get mobile access for on-the-go users

Email attachments and consumer-grade file-sharing services lack the security needed to keep your files, and your clients’ confidential information, safe. Take advantage of this free white paper from Citrix to see how to select a file-sharing service that meets the needs of your business.
Source: sf-mktg-pages.sharefile.com/AccountingTrack1LP.html

Talent management starts with vision at the top

From a Blog posting by Scott D. Wiley, CAE, President & CEO, The Ohio Society of CPAs.  There is a strong and recurring theme dominating conversations among CPAs in Ohio and CPA association executives: how do we leverage talent to drive growth in our organizations and in the profession?

The talent equation is one that businesses everywhere face as they seek to build their bench strength across the organisation. In the recent member value survey, Ohio CPA leaders in all sectors identified talent management among their top three business challenges. What’s driving the concern? An increasingly complex business environment and the undeniable fact that while there’s a full pipeline of accounting graduates right now, our profession is losing ground in retaining CPAs in the 3-5 year experience range. These young professionals who invested the time to earn their CPA license are in many cases leaving the profession without a trace. It’s a trend we’re seeing in Ohio and one the AICPA reported during recent visits with larger regional firms.

That’s troubling when you consider the profession’s most experienced members also are retiring at a faster rate each year. It’s expensive to recruit and train talent and many organizations are turning to outside consultants for a comprehensive model to address their talent concerns. CPA firms, in particular, have great technical expertise at the top ranks, but many are realizing that these same leaders need help in how to develop people and keep them for the long haul.
Read more in this interesting article:  www.ohiocpa.com/news-interests/news/2014/08/11/talent-management-starts-with-vision-at-the-top

Five steps for marketing your practice

Not sure how to market your practice? Want to promote your accounting services, raise awareness of your brand and outline your ‘unique selling point’ to prospective clients? Then you need to make marketing part of your practice’s overall business strategy.

A FREE Xero five-step plan guides you through the marketing process with practical hints and tips to help you start making your practice the one that clients come to first. There’s also an appendix which outlines some of the more common analytical tool used by marketers. Get this free download from the source link below:
Source: www.accountingweb.co.uk/xero/jun14/560448/five-steps-marketing-your-practice

Should You Fire Your Worst Customers?

From Boston MA: Is firing your worst customers actually a good idea? In many instances, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Yes, turning away revenue can hurt, but the truth of the matter is there are always costs associated with onboarding and servicing customers, and the ones who are unhappy or who aren’t a good fit in the first place can quickly become more trouble than they’re worth. Add on top of that the risk of a bad/disgruntled customer detracting from your brand, and the decision to part ways is usually an easy one.

Do You Know Who Your Worst Customers Are?
The problem is that while it’s never an easy choice to cut the cord, it can be an especially difficult call to make for early-stage companies, who are still actively building their brand and trying to optimize their customer acquisition process. To make matters worse, early-stage companies also rarely track the costs of maintaining a customer (or even a cohort of customers), and by neglecting to do so they lose out on data that can be extremely valuable and illuminating. For example, it is not uncommon to find that 10% of your customers account for 70% – 90% of your customer service costs, even in an early-stage business. Many companies decide to hold off in investing in customer service tracking tools because they are short-sighted and do not see immediate benefits from it. But putting it off can often come back to haunt them. Sometimes not knowing the cost of maintaining a particular customer group can lead a company to think they are more valuable than they actually are. It can even lead to them steering their go-to-market and customer success strategies in misinformed and misguided directions. It can be an extremely costly mistake.
Read the full very useful article at: labs.openviewpartners.com/customer-segmentation-fire-your-worst-customers

Keys to retention: Career advancement, strong leadership 

From the USA: many companies are ill-prepared to face talent retention challenges as the global labour market grows more competitive, two new surveys show. Employees often perceive limited opportunities for career advancement with their current employers and lack confidence in their organisations’ leadership, the results of two surveys by global consulting firm Towers Watson indicate.

Employers that fail to address these problems risk losing their best talent, as opportunities for employees to leave their companies appear to be increasing. Forty-eight per cent of 1,637 employers from across the world participating in Towers Watson’s Global Talent Management and Rewards Survey said hiring activity has increased compared with last year; just 15% said hiring activity has decreased. And 35% of employers said turnover was rising, compared with 18% who said turnover was decreasing. The most coveted employees often are the ones who are leaving; respondents said they are having difficulty retaining high-potential employees (56%) and top performers (54%).
Read more: www.cgma.org/Magazine/News/Pages/201410721.aspx

Free E-Book: Rocket Matter: Total Firm Management Through Better Technology

Over the years, thousands of firms from a wide range of practice areas, locations and backgrounds have adopted Rocket Matter law firm management software to run their practice. These firms have seen myriad improvements in billing and invoicing, document assembly and management, calendaring, contact and task management, and much more. They’ve also improved their bottom line, in some cases dramatically.

The case studies in this FREE E-Book span a broad range of practice areas including real estate, business litigation, intellectual property, family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy, and personal injury. The firms and lawyers profiled were encouraged to share real world examples of how they use Rocket Matter. Challenges are outlined, and solutions and benefits detailed.
Download the FREE E-Book from: www.rocketmatter.com/e-book-rocket-matter-case-studies

Amazon prepares online advertising programme

From The Wall Street Journal: Amazon is gearing up to more directly challenge Google’s dominance of the online advertising market, developing its own software for placing ads online that could leverage its knowledge of millions of Web shoppers. Initially, Amazon plans to replace those ads on its pages that Google chiefly supplies with a new in-house ad placement platform, said people familiar with the matter. In the future, that system could challenge Google’s $50 billion-a-year advertising business and Microsoft’s, they added.

The Seattle-based retailer already has a limited business placing ads on other sites. In a sign that it has larger goals, Amazon is testing ways to expand that program with new types of ads. “Amazon could use the data it has about buying behavior to help make these ads much more effective,” said Karsten Weide, an analyst at researcher IDC. “Marketers would love to have another viable option beyond Google and Facebook for their advertising.”
Read more: www.thepassivevoice.com/08/2014/amazon-prepares-online-advertising-program

Martin Pollins

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at Bizezia
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He holds a number of directorships and has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX.

He was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996.

Martin Pollins ran his own firm based in Sussex and was the first Accountancy firm in the UK to advertise on television and Martin went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK's first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (one of the largest networks of lawyers in the country).

Martin started work on the Bizezia concept in 1996, developing the broad range of information resources and products over the past 18 years.
Martin Pollins
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