My regular readers will know I’m with David Ogilvy when it comes to where to get your marketing ideas:

“Originality. The most dangerous word in the lexicon of advertising.”

Do what has proven to work for others. But exactly who should you be stealing marketing ideas from?

A trap I see a lot of firms falling into is copying big corporations. The logic is seemingly sound: big corporations make lots of money so their marketing must be great.

Maybe their marketing is great or perhaps they have other competitive advantages. But what massive companies do often does not translate to small accounting firms. It’s like trying to follow an Olympic marathon runner’s training program when you’ve just taken up jogging.

Additionally, you’re likely trying to achieve different things. Big companies often run “brand awareness” campaigns whereas most accounting firms don’t have a brand (a logo is not a brand). The goals of most firms are selling more to existing clients and winning one or two new ones each month. The strategy and tactics to achieve these goals are totally different.

For relevant marketing ideas, look to successful firms closer to home. Which firms can you see that are growing fast? Look at their website and social media and note what they’re doing. Even better, ask one of their clients why they chose that firm.

This will be far more useful than trying to imitate what Coca Cola or Apple are doing with a budget that is an infinitesimally small proportion of theirs and totally different aims.

Taken from my weekly email newsletter, the Bizink Bulletin.