Marketing Bingo is my game for checking that your marketing hasn’t fallen into the trap of being too similar to your competitors.
This is a practical example of applying Yellow Pages Bingo to the Accountants market.
When I wrote this article (originally posted on my Differentiate Your Business blog in February 2011) I looked at the Yellow Pages for accountants in Central Birmingham.
I find accountants are a good example to use because it’s a service used by nearly all small businesses and many struggle to select the right accountant for their needs.
I’ve split it into three sections – description of the accountancy firm, services and offer – of phrases that are regularly repeated.
Description of firm
- For the self employed
- For business and individuals
- Specialists in local businesses
- Small business specialist
- Professional service
- Accounts preparation
- Tax returns / self assessment tax returns
- Corporation tax
- Construction industry scheme
- Management accounts
- Business start-ups
- Company formations
- Free initial consultation
- Sensible fees
I have to admit that in the latest edition of the Yellow Pages, there weren’t as many advertisements from accountants as there have been in the past. Perhaps the recession has forced some to cut back and others believe that the Internet is a more natural place to look for an accountant.
What happens in any market when every supplier looks the same?
The choice comes to either the cheapest or the most convenient.
Neither is a very good way for selecting a service which could have a very big effect on your business success.
This damages the accountancy firms who do a great job of supporting small businesses because their differentiation factors are not being communicated (see How To Differentiate An Accountancy Practice) and even worse, it damages the small businesses which don’t get the essential finance advice they need to grow successfully.
It’s Your Turn To Play Marketing Bingo For Accountants
Take your pick, yellow pages or websites because both bring local accountants together which emphasises the importance of being differentiated.
Then have a look to see if you can see any examples of accountants who do stand out, who have differentiated themselves.
Or can you just see the clichés – “we are a friendly and professional accountancy practice which specialises in small businesses…
Then Take A Look At Your Own Market & Play Marketing Bingo
My purpose of this blog is not to make fun of accountants but to make a serious point about marketing which in many ways is “anti-marketing” (doing the opposite of what you want) in a service you can relate to. Indeed, you may well have struggled with the choice “which accountant should I go to?”
Be brave and take a look at your own website, your own website, yellow pages advertisement, your own brochure and compare it with your competitors.
If you are saying the same things – blah, blah, blah – then you have a problem and you need to fix it by:
- Identifying what makes you special and different; and then
- Communicating it to the market