BOMA + The Gap: Your 2022 Marketing Plan AU/NZ

Now is the ideal time to create your Marketing Plan for 2022. The planning you do this side of Christmas will have a big impact on your marketing success in 2022.

Join Charles Clark, Marketing Director of BOMA and Viv Brownrigg, Co-founder, Director of Marketing (and Chartered Accountant) from The Gap for this 45 minute webinar.

Viv will share with you:

  • 2021’s most successful marketing strategies for accounting firms.
  • How to ‘right size’ your marketing resources (and spend!).
  • What you can outsource, and what’s better retained in-house.
  • How to create a practical and simple Marketing Plan for 2022.
NB: You can also read a full transcript of this session below.

 

 

 

‘Your 2022 Marketing Plan' Transcript

Charles Clark:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to today's session on Your Marketing Plan for 2020. Thank you for joining us. Before we get started, just one or two small housekeeping elements. So, we are using Zoom today. I'm sure most of you are really familiar with it after 18 months of remote working and lockdown. You can ask questions and we encourage you to. It's really easy. You can just click on the Q&A button at the bottom of your browser, and we'll go through them all on this time at the end of the session.

Charles Clark:

My name is Charles Clark. I'm the Marketing Director of BOMA and joining me today is Viv Brownrigg of The Gap. Before co-founding The Gap, Viv actually built her own accounting firm. So she really gets it. She understands the challenges you have and is really fantastically positioned to talk to you on the subject. So, welcome, Viv. Great to see you.

Viv Brownrigg:

Well, thanks Charles. Great to be here. It's always great to talk about marketing, which is a weird thing to say as a chartered accountant, but it is a passion for me. Yes.

Charles Clark:

So just before we sort of kick off into the main guts of the presentation. For anyone here who is maybe new to Gap or new to BOMA or both of us, just a quick background on our partnership and how we work together. So we met quite a few years ago just when we were basically building BOMA as marketing tool for accountants and bookkeepers. And while we did have a content library, when we saw The Gap's amazing business development system, we were blown away and realised that they could come together and mesh really amazingly.

Charles Clark:

So, basically, The Gap in combination with BOMA delivers a unique opportunity for you to enhance those client relationships, help you drive growth and can really help you maximise efficiency across your practice when it comes to marketing. Now, I'm going to steal this next line [inaudible], and that is actually, BOMA and Gap together is a bit of a marketing campaign in a virtual box. So the two of us together are going to help you save time, get closer relationships with your clients, and help you [inaudible]. So, that's a bit of a heads up on how we work together and Viv, I'll hand out to you now.

Viv Brownrigg:

Thank you, Charles. Excellent. And then we go and just give me a heads up that can see my screen.

Viv Brownrigg:

Thanks, Charles. Thanks for that lovely introduction. So, a lot of accountants and bookkeepers online, and the next 30 minutes, I'll be chatting to you about what I'm seeing in the accounting industry doing with marketing and what we are seeing is working really well and perhaps not quite so well. This is what we're going to cover. We're going to talk about what marketing really is because I think there's a lot of confusion around that. Marketing is sometimes kind of seen as this sort of arts and craft or marketing or the colouring in department. And I think that marketing gets quite a bad rap with some directors in accounting firms, where they're looking for an instant gratification from the marketing spend. An instant ROI. So, I think it's really important that we square that away.

Viv Brownrigg:

I talk a bit about how you can get the right sized marketing resource and therefore what you're spending on your marketing team into your firm because each firm's marketing needs is quite different. And, of course, we've got a lot of choice now in terms of what we do in-house, what we outsource, et cetera, what we buy in, what we ship in, what we make versus what we buy. Maybe have a chat about what firms are outsourcing and what they're keeping in-house because there's definitely some stuff that might go better if we do it, if we resource it internally.

Viv Brownrigg:

I talk about some of the successful marketing tactics that I have seen, and some of that might surprise you a little. And then main event, we're going to get into how you can create a really practical marketing plan next year. And look, you can go onto Mr. Google and you can download thousands of templates for marketing plans. And some of them are massive and you're going to end up with a 30-page marketing plan that you're probably not going to use. So we're going to share with you a one page front and back marketing plan template that comes straight out of our portal. It's really tactical. So it's based on action. It takes a short term view, so we are looking for an ROI and it's extremely targeted. And of course it needs to link back to your business plan.

Viv Brownrigg:

Then we're going to talk about your ROI on your marketing spend. And I know that Charles, you're going to… If you get any really super interesting questions that you should be asking during the session rather than saving them up for the end, by all means, interrupt me. I don't mind at all.

Charles Clark:

Will do.

Viv Brownrigg:

Yeah. What is marketing anyway? Well, if we get really simple about marketing and there's a bit of feedback that came through in the pre-work such as, “I don't really like yelling my name from the rooftop, so I don't really like saying we are really good at something. I feel a bit bashful about that.” Marketing is just the communication of information. And if you don't blow your trumpet, you're not going to hear any music. So you're not going to get the impact of marketing if you don't communicate what needs to be communicated to your clients and to your future clients, but let's get really specific. And you could see that stack of colouring and pencils down below. No, the marketing department is not the colouring in department, although they are very good at making things sound great, making people feel great, and making things look great, but the purpose of marketing is to create leads. So the rubber's got to hit the road at some point. We need to see leads coming from the marketing department. So we need to make sure we have a goal in that marketing plan that is either going to generate new to business leads or it's going to be some sort of retention strategy.

Viv Brownrigg:

And, of course, if you've got a marketing department or some in-house marketing resource in your firm, you need to have one marketing leader who's obviously reporting to the GM or CEO or in some firms, that might be directly to the director group. So, marketing's just the communication of information. It's how we do that using our own digital voice and linking back to our purpose and linking back to our values. And if you could describe your digital voice, what would it be? For us here at The Gap, we are fun, frank, modern. So everything we write, all of our images, the way we put this session together, there needs to be a bit of fun coming through in it. We need to be Frank and we need to be modern.

Viv Brownrigg:

Thank you. We had a huge response rate. More than 400 sets of firms responding to these two pre-work questions. And the first question was pretty simple. Do you have a current marketing plan? Really fascinating because 52% of you said no, 39% of you said yes, and 9% of you weren't sure. Now, I find that really fascinating. And that shows to me that in those firms, we're not sure whether we have a marketing plan. Either the marketing plan isn't written down, it's not committed to paper, or it's not clear, or it's not being communicated in the right way. So, there's something kind of broken in the communication in that 9%.

Viv Brownrigg:

But for those of you who said yes, we've got a marketing plan, I'd really like you to reality test that when you perhaps get off this session. Is it written down? Is it actually committed to paper or virtual paper? And does it have clear goals in the marketing plan? And do you actually… Can you remember those goals? Four to five goals, no more than that. And do you actually go back to that marketing plan at least every month? Do you update it at least every quarter? Are you refreshing that marketing plan on a regular basis, constant and consistent? If you can't say yes to all of those questions, then I don't think you've got a marketing plan.

Viv Brownrigg:

Okay. So the next question we asked was, what is your biggest marketing challenge? And we ranked these from one to 10. So standing out head and shoulders above the rest was time. Not enough time. And this is where… We don't necessarily have marketing skillsets sitting in the team right now. So, of course, if we don't have marketing skillsets sitting in the team, things are going to take longer. So this is why content solutions such as what The Gap provides, and lots of other organisations doing it as well. Not just us. And marketing platforms such as BOMA, we need to somehow try and take the time and the cost out of marketing because we don't have all of that skill sitting within the team.

Viv Brownrigg:

Knowing how/getting started. The third one is execution. So we know what we need to do. Maybe we've got the plan in place, but we just don't somehow get started. Coming in number four, quite a few of you said the COVID environment. And I have to say that this environment over the last 18 months, whilst people have had to really think about how they market, how respectful and ethical they are about their marketing in a pandemic, that there have been massive opportunities to help clients and future clients during the last 18 months. And a ton of firms have said to me that in the last 18 months, we've really realised how much our clients need us and we've really realised how much we need to communicate information better and sooner. So remember that definition of marketing that marketing is simply the communication of information. So this environment, when your clients need you most, and maybe when potential future clients aren't getting the support they need, then this is an example of how you can add to your marketing gravity and actually get a better ROI.

Viv Brownrigg:

Getting good content. This is a fascinating one because a number of you wrote down… Somebody said, “I'm sick of asking my team to write content.” Now, I'm going to call you on that. Are you asking accountants to write blogs and articles? Now, some of them might be great writers. Some of them might be totally out of their comfort zone. They're accountants. Is this what they best do? So, think about looking at reasonably priced, highly cost-effective content solutions. And there's a number of them out there. You cannot do all of this yourself with limited resources unless you've got a marketing team. And, of course, now we come to budget constraints.

Viv Brownrigg:

Number seven is really interesting because a number of you said that “I believe what we need to do,” and I get the impression this was coming from some of the marketing people in some of the firms. “I know what we need to do, but I am not getting alignment from the director group.” So that's a bit of, I guess, a warning shot where the business plan comes first. The marketing plan has got to align to the business plan for the business.

Viv Brownrigg:

Resourcing, just getting people. Getting a return on my investment in marketing. I hear you. And the last one, I'm shy. I don't want to stand on top of the building and say that we are great when we are. But as I said, there are lots of smarter ways to market without feeling that you are somehow being arrogant or that you are making claims about yourself or your firm that you feel uncomfortable making.

Viv Brownrigg:

Okay. So, one of the questions that a number of you wanted us to talk about is getting that size of marketing department just right because each firm in the room has got a different need of its marketing department. Some of you are looking for high growth. Some of you are looking for much modest growth rates. Some of you are just looking to retain your existing client or customer set. So, what you need in-house is going to be different. The great thing is today in 2021, coming into 2022, we have a lot of choice as to how we right-size our marketing department. We can contract out. We can bring resources in-house or we can use a contracted marketing agency to facilitate a rebrand or a brand refresh, for example, to facilitate your… Establishing your core values to actually help build a website or refresh the website. There's a number of things you can get a contracted marketing agency to do, and they can do some really heavy lifting in those sorts of departments.

Viv Brownrigg:

We can do things onshore here. We can offshore them. So, for example, here at The Gap, I think it's Fiverr that we are using to get some particular videos, some short videos done for our website very soon. And that's been a very cost effective way do it. And also we don't have any spare marketing resource in-house at the moment. So with that particular skill, because that is a particular skill, so we can onshore, we can offshore.

Viv Brownrigg:

We now have the ability to buy some pretty high quality stock content solutions. I'm not sure how many different libraries you have there on the BOMA platform at the moment. I know that you have the Wolters Kluwer library, which is all things kind of tax and compliance. And then you have other providers such as The Gap in the business advisory and the business development space. There is the ability to now go and spend modest amount of money on high quality stock content solutions because the people who write that content are technical or conversational writers. So they're qualified writers. This is what they do for a living. Your people aren't necessarily going to be able to get that content out very quickly at all. It's going to be potentially much more expensive for you to produce that content in-house.

Viv Brownrigg:

And obviously there are specialist education marketing solutions, and we are not the only ones out there. We have 25 webinar and seminar business education kits where you can go out on a one to many basis and run a webinar. For example. All the content there on how to grow your numbers, all the content there on how to grow the business, all the content there on knowing and understanding your financial reports, for example. So, you don't have to do everything in-house is the message. So, what are you good at in-house? And what are you not good at in-house? What resource do you not have? What do you need to buy rather than make? And, of course, digital marketing platforms, this is where BOMA comes in.

Viv Brownrigg:

There is quite a bit of consolidation of cost you can make by not having to use other scheduling tools. And you can push out your posts, your articles onto social and through EDMs, and you can schedule all of that stuff. And you're going to take quite a bit of time and cost out rather than fiddling and doing it across all your social platforms and everything else you're doing. So, these things can really help reduce the amount of in-house marketing department you need.

Viv Brownrigg:

You might need a 0.3. And how do you get a point… You might need a 0.1 of a full-time equivalent as a marketing resource. How do you get that in-house in a way that's cost effective? So, this is where we start to think about what we can outsource, what works well to outsource, and then conversely, what's probably better to resource internally.

Viv Brownrigg:

Well, obviously, we can outsource strategy facilitation. If you are a larger firm wanting to put perhaps a five year marketing strategy in play, maybe you are looking for a brand strategist. These are things where we can get expertise in to help us. And branding and design is another example of that. Your website refresh is another example. And getting somebody to help with social, but there's a couple of exceptions that I'll come to shortly on doing social posts. There are certain things I think you should do in-house because it's what makes you real, it's what makes you human, and it's what displays your digital voice, whatever that is.

Viv Brownrigg:

You can outsource your online assets so you can purchase in content. So, for example, a good example of that with our 25 webinar and [inaudible]. When our Gap members, and if any Gap members are in the room, I know that about half of the firm's online today are Gapees, so hello. If any of you are not doing this when you run your webinars, make sure you do. But whenever you run a webinar… And I saw one of our firms today is running a webinar on know your numbers. So whenever you run that webinar, make sure you get a recording. You're going to top and tail that recording. You might cut it down to five segments, short segments, and hello, boom, you've got some marketing assets that you can stick up on your website, and you can repurpose those in many ways. Because you were able to outsource that content, you've now got some marketing assets, and you can start to build up a reasonable number over time.

Viv Brownrigg:

You can outsource targeted lead generation campaigns where there is an ROI calculation and you were looking for a particular result and a minimum result, and for example, paid ad campaigns. Search engine optimisation, we can outsource this. Actually managing an event, whether it's face to face event or whether it's first-time when you've never done a webinar in-house for your clients, you can outsource these things to people who have done them and to specialise in them.

Viv Brownrigg:

And what you're noticing now, when you look at this list, strategy facilitation, branding and design, website and social, writing content, targeting lead gen campaigns, search engine optimisation, event management, you cannot expect one person to have all of these capabilities. It's just not possible. And this is why we've got spoiled for choice now. We can actually go out and we can target what we actually need and we can give a 0.001 of this and 0.1 of this and a 0.1 of that. So we've actually got choice now. We don't have to have these resources in-house.

Viv Brownrigg:

There are some things that I think that are better retained in-house because this is how you build your brand. This is how you display the human side to your business, your digital voice, whatever that is. The first one is in the moment social posts. Your social post depending on your platforms that you are using. For example, if your clients are hanging out on Facebook, they should not all be about work. They should not all be about your services. They should not all be about what's happening in the tax world. They are often about what's happening in your firm. Special things that your team are doing. Special milestones in your business. Something special that a client has done in their business.

Viv Brownrigg:

And so, these are in the moment social posts. So these, I believe, should be done in-house. And because by the time you get that out to an external contractor or to an agency, the moment's gone and it may not come back in your voice. So find someone young and in your team who loves social media and trust them and give them a budget. How many hours per week, maybe they post two, three times a week. That's it. And make sure that they are going to post appropriately, make sure they understand your digital voice, and make sure they are working within the marketing departments as somebody who knows what they're doing.

Viv Brownrigg:

Dynamic content is something that you need to post yourself. So, for example, something major happens. So here in New Zealand, two Fridays ago, as our government was announcing the new traffic light system which will come into play once we hit 90% vaccination, talked about the, I think, 40 or $50 million of SME funding for advisors.

Viv Brownrigg:

And so, one of our great firms, actually immediately later that afternoon, I think by 5:00, that was out on Facebook. And it was a dynamic post. They couldn't have sent that out to an external agency. By the time it had come back and they proofed it, the moment would've been gone and it was extremely effective and that's a very passionate organisation. And I'm sure if they were to describe their digital voice, that word passion would be in there because they actually put in their post, “This is amazing. This is so important. There's all this new funding. Get in there, guys. We'll help you with your business plan. Get in there. It's going to be partially or fully funded.” They made it about the clients, but they were really passionate about the way they posted about that.

Viv Brownrigg:

So if it's dynamic content rather than evergreen… Evergreen content, it doesn't date. And so, this is often the content that you buy as part of a stock content solution. It's evergreen content, but dynamic content, you need to think about creating yourself.

Viv Brownrigg:

Delivery of education. So when you are teaching your clients, know your numbers. You really want to be doing that yourself because you want to be the hero. Now, for some of your events, whether they're online or whether they are face to face when we get to that place where we're able to do that, sure. Bring in other speakers, but you still need to be the hero. So, don't shy away from delivering education. And I will say to you that tons of our Gapee firms are delivering webinars now. And it is the introverts' paradise because here I am sitting safely in my office, sitting behind my desk, I'm totally comfortable, and you don't even have to have your video switched on for the first few. Just switch them on for the Q&A session, but this is a beautiful way to market. Absolutely beautiful way to market.

Viv Brownrigg:

Please don't outsource to another organisation unless you are deeply involved in establishing your purpose statement, your core purpose or establishing your values. Those have to come from deep within. Those things sit beneath the surface and we can't outsource them. Yes, we can get a facilitator to extract them from us, but they have to come from within. They have to deeply matter to your organisation, to the owners, to the board, and ultimately to your people.

Viv Brownrigg:

I just want to talk briefly about some of the tactics that have been most useful this year in 2021. And I'm not going to talk about paid ads. Some of this is not digital although I will tell you that out of a lot of these successful tactics, there's come a lot of digital assets, which have sitting up on a lot of websites and being repurposed in numbers of ways. So, ultimately, there is a digital angle. The client experience wins every time. One of our Gap firms based in a small town near Taupo, and I'm not going to tell you where because it's a relatively small town. And they've got a new office in that town that's a satellite office. And out there for three mornings of the first month with their coffee [cup]. And the amount of potential new business and new business that has come across the line, the number of clients coming to see their coffee cup, the client experience absolutely wins. And that experience may be an online experience as well. So think about how your online meetings are working with clients at the moment.

Viv Brownrigg:

The COVID response has been phenomenal to see the different ways that firms have managed. All busy as hell. I know that, but the number of times I have seen, and this has been from some Gap firms. You send them an email and you get an automated response. It may be seven days before I respond to you because I'm pretty busy with COVID. Well, I think we're all pretty due to the environment or as a result of that announcement by our New Zealand government two Fridays ago, I saw two contrasting examples of a great marketing response and perhaps a more generic marketing response. The great response was that firm I told you about, out goes a full debrief on how that funding works. “Get in. It's wonderful. If you need help, sing out. By the way, if you need help, just sing out anyway.” Contrast that with another firm that said, “Interesting announcements today. Click here. Here's a link.”

Viv Brownrigg:

So the client's got to do the work. They've got to distill the information themselves. Isn't that what we are for? Aren't we the trusted advisors? So the way you respond to COVID is massive. And to your client's needs right now is a massive opportunity to help them. And every time you help them, every email, every physical interaction, every online interaction, every meeting is a marketing opportunity because you're helping your clients. And so, that's a marketing opportunity.

Viv Brownrigg:

Better meetings. Because we've gone online… This is a really interesting thing. Because so many of our meetings are now online, whether we are in lockdown circumstances or not, what we are finding is that firms, and certainly many Gap firms because we've written a lot of structure and process to go around this, are getting better and better at running those meetings. So ask yourself, “What is the meeting experience like for your client?” Now, if you're meeting online, you can't make them a flat white. Okay, that's not going to work, but do they get pre-work? Do they know what the agenda for that meeting is? Do they have to do pre-work? Do they have to read the annual accounts and answer some basic questions so that you know what their challenges are and what they want to achieve in their business before the meeting? How great is that meeting? Do they get actionable minutes off the back of that meeting? How can we actually make that experience better because firms who have great… Clients who have great meeting experiences, they go out and they tell their mates who are in business. And, of course, we still get a huge amount of new business from referrals.

Viv Brownrigg:

Content of value. I don't need to say that. I'll give you an example. For those of you who are Gap firms and have got, therefore, access to our premium library, which has got more than 450 articles and invites to events and stuff like that in there, I'll give you a great example of a content pathway that you could drip out over the course of two, three, four or even six weeks. So, for example, content pathway is a series of articles aimed at getting your clients to take action and improve something in their business. So seven causes of poor cash flow. So an overview article and then an article on each of the seven causes of poor cashflow with some tips and tricks that they can go and implement in their business, or come back to you for help, which is going to bring work back to the firm. So, content needs to be of value. There's way too much homogenised, generic, non-specific, non-actionable content out there. So you've got to ask yourself, could my client take action in their business off the back of this content? Could they do something that improved their business?

Viv Brownrigg:

And last of all, what we've seen this year, actionable education, whether it's an online webinar, whether it's a face to face event, a lot of them have been webinars this year for obvious reason where your client can go off and do something. So they must get something from that webinar and all of our webinar kits. For those of you who're designing your own webinars and all of our webinar kits, we always suggest that the firm has a freebie. Something they give their client. If they're doing a webinar on cashflow, it might be a cashflow improvement checklist. It might be a way to improve their data management process, for example. Give them something so that they don't feel like they're being sold to convert… Counterintuitively, that'll bring them back to you.

Viv Brownrigg:

Okay. So I'm going to talk a little bit about the planning hierarchy. And then we are going to rip into this example of a marketing plan. Okay. We start with the annual business plan. Why, what, how. One year goals, 90-day goals, actions.

Viv Brownrigg:

Your marketing plan must align to that business plan. Now, a number of you don't have a business plan. So, it's very hard for your directors to be aligned to your marketing plan if your marketing plan doesn't align to the business plan because there isn't one. So, it must align to the business plan. You should have potentially a growth goal in there, and that should talk about your existing clients or your new to business clients or both. Remembering marketing to existing clients is going to grow your business as well. It's not just about new clients. Sometimes a good strategy is to have a smaller number of clients with a greater annual spend. You may have a retention goal. You may have a rebrand goal in there. You may have a couple of other goals as well. And then, of course, we get into our activity plan, our campaigns, our actions, and our timing.

Viv Brownrigg:

So I'm going to show you a very practical marketing plan. And this is based on the marketing plan template that all of you Gapees will see in the marketing plan bridge in our portal. And so, here we have our marketing plan. And we start off with our purpose. What is our purpose statement? Leading small business owners to achieve the three freedoms. And then we've got our ideal client and the services that we'll provide. And then we've got our… I'm just going to bring up these first six and I'll talk to them. So purpose, ideal client.

Viv Brownrigg:

Now, a number of you in your pre-work said that you were struggling with identifying what your ideal client is. And this does come back to your purpose statement. So, think about what businesses, what they aspire to doing, and perhaps where they are in the sand pit. So that might be size of client. So, here I've got businesses who set goals and want to achieve them with aspirations to grow and/or improve their business. Not everyone wants to grow. Compliance services are a given, but not the main event. Gross revenue typically between 550K and 3 mil per annum. So that's quite a broad range. That doesn't mean we're not going to take clients outside of that range. Of course, we are, but our marketing is targeted towards that.

Viv Brownrigg:

And our services. We've got accounting, tax and compliance is almost the given. It's the afterthought. The main event is that business advisory, space planning, cashflow improvement, reporting, accountability.

Viv Brownrigg:

Our unique selling point. We want to help our clients achieve time, money, and mind freedom by providing advice and education to improve and grow their business. Our positioning and our promotion strategy. So, our promotion strategy is, how will our clients know that that is our purpose? How will our clients know that we offer those services? That we are not just a tax shop. So we're going to do that by doing regular educational webinars and events. And some of those will be face to face events when we can. We'll also be serving up content pathways, downloadable resources. We are going to really focus in on a couple of different meetings styles to actually really get our clients talking about how much value they get from spending an hour with us in an annual accounts review meeting, or 20 minutes with us in a momentum call to go over the management reports. We are really going to get people talking about that. And, of course, we'll be marketing the business at the same time. We are actually going to set up a client community group because it turns out that we have a lot of clients in very different industries who do like to share their wins and their ideas, whether it's how they look after their teams or whatever.

Viv Brownrigg:

Now, of course, you've all got a workbook there. I'm sure you've all downloaded… The workbook is in the chat pane, isn't it, Charles?

Charles Clark:

I'll just pop it in there now. One second.

Viv Brownrigg:

I thought you'd already done that. No worries. So, here are our goals, our 90 day goals. We're going to reinstate our annual accounts review meeting process. Now, this particular firm hasn't been running an annual accounts review meeting process. I've deliberately put this in this manufactured marketing plan. And I've done it because that is the most major marketing opportunity missed. So they've got a marketing KPI there of 30 meetings in the first quarter. And they've got some action that needs to be taken, who needs to do what, and by when.

Viv Brownrigg:

They're going to complete a brand refresh, a website content refresh. And so, I've got some goals around some downloadable resources. They're going to complete three educational webinars in the next 90 days. And they've got some modest numbers in terms of the number of registrations they expect to get. And of course not everyone turns up, so the number of attendees they expect at each event. And they're going to get their free business review service in place for those Gapees in the room. You know what I'm talking about. That's the complimentary client review meeting process.

Viv Brownrigg:

So you can see this is a targeted marketing plan. It's not a 30 page marketing plan that focuses solely on brand and brand strategy and complex resources because, for me, sure. If you are a large accounting firm that is wanting to reposition its services, its product offering, the clients that are… Its ideal clients. Sure. Maybe you need something more strategic, something more high-brow that really takes a three to five year view, but honestly, for most accounting firms, I have found that this targeted dynamic approach works really down really well. And it means that you've got some KPIs here where you are going to be able to show your directors the return on investment on the marketing. That's the marketing team and the external marketing spend. Whether it's content you buy in, whether it's platforms you subscribe to, or whether it's external organisations that you use as well.

Viv Brownrigg:

So, on that particular note, and of course we put it all together. And on that note, talking about ROI, annual marketing plan, get that in place before end of balance state, quarterly… It must tie into the business plan. So business plan first, marketing plan second. Quarterly reviews at the absolute outset and be prepared to be dynamic because marketing is a very dynamic process. Things work, things don't work. Three to five KPIs know more. Scheduled activities, constant and consistent wins the race, test and measure, and reset. And on that note, Charles, I think we need to go to questions.

Charles Clark:

Brilliant. Thanks, Viv. So everyone, you should see the link I shared just a few minutes ago that Viv was referring to. So a couple of questions in here at the moment. As we said, if you've got questions from anything that Viv has been talking about, so much great stuff in there, do let us know. So the first question Viv is, along with leads, what importance would you place on the purpose of marketing to also help grow and strengthen our organisation's brand?

Viv Brownrigg:

Oh, totally. Marketing is one reflection of your brand. It is a complete reflection. It's a mirror your brand. So, for example, part of your brand is your core purpose. So if your core purpose is to lead your small business clients to run a better business, and you are not marketing that. If your marketing efforts aren't actually saying that, if you're not saying that to the outside world, if that isn't coming across in your website, then you're not living into your brand. You can't be. So, yeah. Your core purpose, your values, your brand, your digital voice, your marketing, all of those things have to be consistent and they have to be constant.

Charles Clark:

Fantastic. And then a quick… It's a question from earlier from someone who arrived a little bit late. Yes, we will be sharing a recording of this tomorrow. And then an interesting question, and I might take first stab at this Viv, and then hand it over to you.

Viv Brownrigg:

Sure.

Charles Clark:

But this one is, does one get penalised for using stock content by Google in terms of search results? I've heard lots of different answers from lots of different marketers. So, in our experience, we've actually done quite a lot of research on this because obviously we have content in BOMA. And from what we have seen, and this includes speaking to Google contacts at Google itself, the answer is no. There is no negative penalty from it. You don't necessarily… You are maybe then competing against other people who have posted exactly the same content that you have, but I suppose the great thing in Boma with… Or the content in BOMA is that it's all completely customisable. So you were able to customise it. You were able to put your own perspective, your own tone of voice on it, your own opinion on a piece of content that you've used. And that's not even counting the fact that you can, obviously, you can adjust the titles, you can adjust the images and anything like that.

Charles Clark:

So, there's no negative penalty. And if you want to make sure that your copy isn't the same as other people's, we just suggest that you customise it. And that's what most BOMA users do is that they put their own perspective on the sort of the factual elements that we have that we've sort of got in our library. And this is, I suppose, for the more factual content. For the content that maybe Viv has, which is more about invitations that's probably not so relevant. Viv, what do you think?

Viv Brownrigg:

Oh, no, it's totally irrelevant. First of all, the content… I'll give two examples of Gap content. One is the 450 plus articles that are sitting up in the BOMA premium library. First of all, change the title, swap out… Change the intro, change the outro, swap out the images when you're using the BOMA platform. Put your own spin on it and make sure your digital voice comes through. If there's sort of a funny sort of quirkiness to your firm, make sure it comes through. Get it in there. It's still going to be mountains quicker than writing the stuff yourself or even coming up with the topics.

Viv Brownrigg:

Another example is our webinar and seminar kits. And so, this is a common question we've had from our Gapee firms is, change the title, know your numbers. Change it to understanding your financials. Change it to understanding my numbers. Call it whatever you like. By the way, the interesting thing is that if small business clients are out there looking on your website to see what your webinar recordings are and comparing them to another firm and saying that you've run the same session because the videos look similar, then you've got another problem on your hands because your clients are actually surfing around looking at other websites. It's more likely other accounting firms who notice what you're doing. So just change the titles. Put your brand on. Swap out the images and change it up. It won't look the same, but it's still going to be miles quicker than actually writing that webinar kit yourself. Yeah.

Charles Clark:

I was just actually going to add to that. Oftentimes when we get asked this question, and as Viv sort of alluded to, often accountants will look at each other's social platforms or websites of their clients. But one thing we do see is that for a piece of content in BOMA and we know what's popular, it's popular for a reason. And the reason is that it's delivering value and insight and support to your readers. So if we put out something that's talking about the new rules around property investment, which came out in the last couple of weeks, that is incredibly timely. And the fact that… As Viv said, you haven't had to go and write it from scratch yourself, but you can get something out within a couple of days that is going to support your clients. And as we said, you can obviously put your spin on it, but it's much easier to edit something than write it from scratch. So, a lot of marketing, as Viv said earlier, is about consistent and timely support. And so, the ability to go into a library like BOMA's and The Gaps and find the right information for the right segment of your audience at the right clients.

Viv Brownrigg:

And that property investor tax change is a really good example because what's more useful to a client? A long really wordy technical article that took you hours to produce or that short Wolters Kluwer piece which was really digestible because there's a expert content writer who knows how to write that stuff in a way that a small business might have a crack at understanding it, or even worse, “Hi, there's been some big changes to property tax investment rules. Click here.” And then they go into this bloody website where it's really freaking complicated.

Viv Brownrigg:

Well, that's not really helpful. And it's not really marketing. It's not your voice it. So if you can get good stock content and then add your voice over the top of it, then you're doing really well. And then write some dynamic pieces yourself for those in the moment things that are happening in your own firm for special things that are happening with your clients. For client case studies, for the team member that has just started, and you put a bottle of champagne on their desk the first day. Those sorts of things. Do that in the moment stuff in a dynamic way. But I actually think that you can pick up a 400 or 500 or maybe 200, 300 word article, which a lot of our articles in the platform come at that sort of word count, and you can run your digital voice over it in 30 minutes. And you've got a beautiful article that you're really happy with, but then it's not going to look like the stock content.

Charles Clark:

I think one other thing just to add there is that a lot of… And Viv has sort of nailed it with the dynamic is that while it's great to use BOMA and get content, you always… You know your thing best. You know your clients best, and mix and match. And the great thing is that with BOMA and The Gap, you have the controllers in your hands and you can decide how much time you want to spend writing new content, how much time you want to spend using our content. And that is all about driving efficiency and enabling you to… Whether it's spending more time with your clients or getting new clients, or whether it's knocking off early on a Friday because you've had it with lockdowns and you'd actually like a bit of a longer weekend. Because the idea here is efficiency.

Viv Brownrigg:

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Here we are in the [inaudible]. Yeah, I'm sorry. Soon, buddy. Soon. Really soon. Oh, we got two of our team up there in the UK and we just really feel for everyone up there. So, our heart goes out there, guys. Any more questions before I move on. I know we are getting to time, Charles, so I just want to make sure we do finish up.

Charles Clark:

There's one from James, but I'll forward that onto you directly, Viv.

Viv Brownrigg:

Okay, great. Next steps for those of you don't know enough about us and want to learn more, you can do a free trial. Jump on one of our websites. There's an exit survey coming your way as you exit the session. Any Gap firms out there who don't have access to our premium library, it's because you haven't unlocked a code. So contact us. Give us a call, drop us a line on email, and we will get that sorted for you. Parting thought to the shy, retiring ones out there who said, “I don't want to stand out there on the top of the building and say that we are great.” You don't have to do that. Marketing is really just about sharing your passion. What are you really, really passionate about? I know that all of you are really passionate about looking after your clients. So, how do you tell them that? You tell them that by getting the information to them that they need so that they're getting support they need particularly right now.

Viv Brownrigg:

And this is where we've seen massive winners and, I guess, some losers over the last 18 months. Some who've responded so well to the situation we are in and have been living through for a good time now. So marketing is really just about sharing your passion. What are you passion about? Share it. If you don't blow your own trumpet, nobody's going to hear any music and you're not going to hear any either.

Viv Brownrigg:

So, that's it from us. Thank you guys. Thank you, Charles. Thank you for inviting me to come on this session. And the workbook there, it's got the template in for those of you who aren't Gap firms for actually coming up with that marketing plan. I know I whisked through it fairly quickly, but every marketing plan will look different. Every single one will look different and it should look different because each firm's needs in terms of new to business leads, in terms of growth from existing clients, et cetera, is different. So, sing out if you want to know more.

Charles Clark:

Viv, thanks again so much. I really enjoyed it and everyone, we'll see you on the next session.

Viv Brownrigg:

Great. Thanks guys. See you soon.