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Distinguish Yourself- Four Accounting Marketing Tricks That Actually Stand Out

     It's tough for your accounting practice to distinguish itself. Your prospects are exposed to about 4000 ads a day and to be effective your ads must differentiate itself from the bacground noise. You're quite likely thinking that figure doesn't seem correct. This is altogether normal. We all filter what we see. When we're overwhelmed by useless information the mind has a mechanism for filtering most of it out. From a promoter's standpoint, your job is to find a way to bypass these filters so they stick in the mind of your target.

There are a few tricks that can help. These are well known to the advertising industry, but not many consumers are more than peripherally aware of them.

The first thing we need to look at is your marketing mindset. Nobody has to watch your ads. Most advertisements make the mistake of demanding attention, when they should instead attempt to earn it.

The first step to earning attention is to provide a product your desired audience is going to care about.

From there you can go several routes:


A lot of the most successful commercials in history have been just plain fun to watch. They can be funny or wacky like the new "Old Spice" ad campaigns or they can be charming like the old "Coca-Cola" polar bear ads; they can even be frightening (political ads prefer this strategy) or dramatic (car ads love drama). A good sense of humor or flair for the dramatic can take you pretty far in advertising.

Not convinced? Just think about viral Internet sensations such as the Bed Intruder song and Double Rainbow guy. So look at your commercial. Now look at those videos. Now back at your commercial. OK, I'm done with the Old Spice references, but seriously. YouTube's viral videos can go a long way to illustrating what people want to watch, and these principles can be translated into your ads pretty easily.

Be Inspiring

This ones trickier. In order to inspire you need to connect with your audience on an emotional level. Sports relies heavily on inspirational advertising, as do sporting goods. Perhaps the best example of an inspirational ad is Nike's "Just Do It". Ads like this resonate with us emotionally, and emotional connections not only hit home hard, they last. As an accounting firm this is perhaps your best strategy, but it's also the hardest.

User testimonials can help. So can messages from the staff and CEO.


Your commercial can also take on the role of educator. Inform your viewers of what, when, why, why not, and how to do something.

For example, take the commercials for Progressive Auto insurance, which combine humor and fact.

Use The Demented Avengers

I don't generally reccomend this strategy for an accounting firm, but no article on these techniques would be complete without it. It's a powerful secret, but it needs to be used very carefully or it could backfire on you.

Outrage should not be undervalued. Just understand that if the fire gets out of control, and it very likely will even if you know exactly what you're doing, you'll find that when you're running an accounting practice there actually is such a thing as "negative publicity".

There is a safer way to exploit conflict and anger, however, and while the message won't spread as fast it will also be far more constructive.

Sometimes your competitors will create an environment where anger can be your best friend. Look for the signs. When your competitors start making their customers angry it's pretty safe to go for the throat.

A perfect example of this are the famous "apple and PC ads". You remember, a good looking and clever young "apple" character schmoozes with a dorky older "PC"? Those drew on the failures of Windows Vista to build a base for Apple's new line of Macs.

More recently, Microsoft has hit back by declaring "I'm a PC" proudly in its own commercials, so be careful with this. Everything can eventually be used against you!

This advice will set you firmly on the straight and narrow track to offering first-rate, filter-bypassing advertising. Once you find a campaign that works it's all right to be persistant, but don't let complacency take over. Folks might get bored so you must keep it innovative. Don't just mix up your advertising, mix up your advertising approach as well!

Article Source:

Brian O'Connell is the President and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the United States' largest website firms oriented exclusively to accounting websites.

Posted on 2011-03-18, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,

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