Even before COVID-19, savvy marketers noticed a noticeable trend in buyer behavior. Relationships alone no longer drive the decision to sign with a company. Now, B2B buyers do extensive research online before contacting a company.
This new reality makes it more important than ever for accounting and financial services firms to be visible where prospects are looking for information and help.
The research gave us particular insight into the practices of the fastest growing and most profitable CPA firms. In this article, I’ll share how digital marketing can increase leads and your bottom line.
What is a digital marketing transformation?
Digital Marketing Transformation is the reimagining of marketing and business development functions for the digital age. With digital marketing, a business can target audiences quickly and affordably. Typical channels include websites, email marketing, social media, webinars, and video. A digital marketing strategy is part of a company’s overall plan to generate leads for business development.
Many digital marketing projects aim to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of new customer acquisition by responding to changes in customer buying behavior. Others are developing new product and service offerings, new pricing models, or customer experience improvements.
Digital techniques have the advantage of extended range, reduced costs, and the ability to pivot easily if needed. But be warned: Make sure you have the talent on staff before you start. Don’t be afraid to outsource for a successful launch.
The results speak for themselves
Can you achieve your business goals through digital transformation? Hinge’s digital transformation study found that many professional services companies are highly successful:
- Customer satisfaction increased in approximately 70% of transformations.
- Operational efficiency improved in more than 76% of companies.
- Awareness, a key marketing performance indicator, improved in 69% of digital marketing transformations.
- Increases in turnover were observed in 64% of cases.
- Net benefits increased in approximately 61% of transitions.
These numbers are even more impressive when you put them in proper context. These results include everything companies achieving digital transformation, not just the “successful” ones.
Three types of transformations to consider
Wondering where to start? Here are three types of digital transformations to consider:
1. Leverage the power of digital marketing. During the pandemic, many professional services firms have noticed a drop in return on investment with traditional marketing techniques.
Print advertising and conferences no longer generate new business as they once did. Instead, prospects view your business online. Be sure to give them the information and experience they expect and need to increase their income.
Every traditional marketing technique has a digital counterpart. Face-to-face meetings can be moved to social media. Webinars can replace the need to attend numerous industry conferences and events. Websites can showcase your business and give potential customers an inside view of what it’s like to work with you. Created content hosted on your site and published on social media will increase your business visibility and authority.
2. Develop digital products. During the pandemic, many buyers have sought out digital services to meet their accounting needs. The development of new online products or pricing models can generate new business.
When providing these services, keep in mind that today’s customers demand a seamless customer experience. They want easy access to all their information and intuitive navigation to find the services they need. Make it easy for your customer to use your digital platforms and they will come back for more.
Online services will never replace the expertise of a dedicated account representative and the relationships they build with long-standing customers. However, online services can introduce your business to a wider audience. If your digital experience is easy to use, these new customers will turn to your business as their needs grow and evolve.
3. Develop a digital pipeline. You can drive business development with a digital pipeline – where leads are generated and nurtured, opportunities identified and qualified, and new customers closed through digital techniques.
Wouldn’t it be easier if your prospects came to you? At Hinge, we get over 85% of our leads through inbound techniques, including thought leadership campaigns and created content. Because these leads respond to our work and our way of thinking, they are “self-qualifying,” which makes them easy to close.
What information could your principals offer to clients and prospects?
One last thought
The question facing your business is no longer should you use digital marketing, but How? ‘Or’ What to do it well.
Digital marketing often generates a better return on investment. You can measure metrics and engagement and quickly switch to more creative solutions that help you stand out from your competitors.
It is easy to argue for the use of advanced digital techniques. And making the case is often the first step to successful transformation.