Your Brand is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself
It’s December 24th: your laptop is this close to getting shut for the next few days and the festivities are calling your name. Hopefully, you have your shopping list complete. But, if you don’t? Get ready to squeeze in one more space for yourself on your list: your brand.
Your brand is one of your greatest assets and it goes beyond your logo, favorite colors, or your Instagram grid: it’s you.
For women in accounting, it’s important to know how to craft and market your brand: that’s how you attract high-quality clients and build multiple streams of revenue!
So, over the summer we spoke with Candice Kelly, a marketing extraordinaire, about how you can market your CPA firm. Who is Candice?
Candice has a 20-year long marketing career, starting in the hotel industry and working her way up to Director of Sales and Marketing for several different Hilton and Marriott hotels, among others. She founded Anza Keita LLC, her marketing firm, in 2011 after marketing in the hotel industry for more than a decade.
She’s also a dual entrepreneur and founded a business, so she can offer the best-demonstrated practices that any business or professional service provider can maximize.
So let’s go to it! First things first, we’ll be discussing some of the key ingredients marketing—and your brand strategy—requires; otherwise known as the four Ps of marketing.
The four Ps of marketing are:
At first glance, this is pretty straightforward. Your product is what you’re selling. In this case, your financial services and expertise.
But, it’s also so much more than that!
This element of marketing isn’t just about listing your offer; it’s about defining your service in terms of differentiating it from others in your industry and how it’s positioned in the marketplace.
How do you define your product? You do this by basing it on the type of problem your service solves.
Now, many people may need your service. But, are they willing to pay for it? This leads us to our next P.
You guessed what: now, we’re talking about your price.
Price isn’t just about how much you charge for your product. It’s also about covering your expenses as a business professional woman and making sure that you’re turning a profit so you can be sustainable.
And, when we talk about pricing and what people are willing to pay, it’s important to remember that people can be very interesting in how they act. A lot of the time, we’ll pay for things that we don’t have to pay for—but that bring us an added value.
A person may need and want that product and service you’re offering, which is great! But when you’re looking over this part of your marketing strategy, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
Are people willing to pay for my service?
Is it affordable?
What added value am I bringing?
Next up: placement. The third P is defined by distribution: how is your service provided?
A distribution strategy allows you to target a certain demographic and provide your company with exposure outside of an advertising agency.
So, where are your customers?
Where are you selling your services?
Placement is how you get your product in front of your audience’s eyes. You want to be where they are—or else, the phone won’t be ringing.
The final P of marketing is promotion. How do you get the word out to everyone?
Promotion can get a little more complex and is made up of a few different elements—six, to be exact—that focus on building awareness for the product or service you provide.
Here, you’re not just getting your product out there, but you’re making it well-known.
And no, this isn’t just advertising. Instead, advertising is just one of the six elements that make up this key factor of marketing.
The six elements are:
Advertising: typically mass-informed and can take any shape, from broadcast and television to radio and digital
Direct marketing: this is direct mail like email or a text message that you have to sign up or subscribe to; this is more demographic-based and targeted than advertising
Public relations: an opportunity to promote your business where you promote goodwill to your community; here, you’re extending your brand wherever you go and bringing awareness to who you are and your services
Publicity: this is usually more event-based or other specific strategies for bringing awareness; some examples are giving interviews or writing guest post articles to draw attention to your brand
Sales promotion: strategizing about coming up with an incentive to convert your pipeline customers from the discoverable informational stage of the buying cycle to the transactional stages where they’re making purchase-related decisions or decisions towards purchasing your product or service
Personal selling: a very traditional, but effective, method for promoting your business; this involves in-person selling that focuses more on nurturing a long-term relationship
So, now you’re equipped with the four Ps of marketing and can start planning how you want to present your brand to your market.
But, how exactly do you do that?
Join us in the new year, where we’ll be talking all about marketing strategies for your CPA firm!