In every firm, marketing and business development happen throughout the year. Too often, marketing and business development work in silos – each has plans outlining their monthly activities, but their efforts aren’t coordinated. As a result, marketing may be promoting one service while business development focuses on another. You’ll see much better results from both departments if you coordinate those efforts to have marketing support sales.
Here are five things you need to coordinate your marketing and business development efforts.
Communication between departments
At Boomer Consulting, our entire team, including marketing and business development, meet quarterly to ensure we’re in alignment around strategy for that quarter and the rest of the year. Each team also meets weekly – separately and the two departments together — to ensure we’re working toward that strategy.
These regular communications ensure each department knows if we’re launching a new service or have something new coming up, so we’re not scrambling to update our strategy or messaging at the last minute.
As beneficial as planning is, we need to be able to adjust our goals on the fly. For example, we might create marketing and business development timelines at the beginning of the year, but as new opportunities come up, we need to change focus.
Again, regular communication and coordinating efforts between marketing and business development helps here. But having an agile mindset is just as important — we can’t get stuck in the plans we made at the beginning of the year.
A united front for internal communications
Before getting our marketing and business development departments working together, marketing did their own thing, and business development did their own thing. As a result, their internal communications were very disjointed, and there was a lot of confusion.
By working together, we have a united front for internal communications, and the entire team knows we’re supporting the company’s overall strategic plan.
A marketing calendar
Based on our annual strategic plan and quarterly team meetings, we have a pretty good idea of who, what, when and how we plan to market, so our marketing department can plan their calendar around that.
For example, in a CPA firm, you might talk to the tax department and discover that the ideal time to bring on a new business tax client in November. That way, the tax department has time to onboard the new client and assist with year-end tax planning before preparing the return during tax season. Knowing this, marketing may create social media ads or an email campaign to promote the service in September or October. Then business development can work on new leads in October and November.
This can be much more effective than promoting tax services in July and less stressful than onboarding new tax clients in March.
Willingness to try new things
It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing what you’ve always done, but don’t be afraid to try new things with your marketing and business development efforts. Try something new like paid ads on LinkedIn, advertising on a local website, or releasing a lead-generating white paper. Then, track progress to measure your results — are you getting enough clicks, are people reading your white paper and heeding the call to action?
If one particular promotion or strategy was successful, add it to next year’s calendar. If another one flopped, try something different. Refine your coordinated strategy year over year to reach more potential clients.
Do you want to fast-track your firm’s success in the areas of marketing and business development?
The Boomer Marketing & Business Development Circle is a peer group of top marketing and business development leaders in the accounting profession who are committed to aligning marketing and business development initiatives with firm strategy. Apply now to get plugged into the Circle and start growing your firm.
As the Solutions Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Deanna works to help clients and prospective clients identify their dangers, opportunities and strengths. Once these are identified, she works to develop a personalized game plan for their firm to focus on the area, or areas, they need to improve on most. These areas are critical to a firm’s success and future-readiness; Leadership, Talent, Technology, Process and Growth.