Right target, wrong message.

Right now, it seems that any marketing conversation involves at least some mention of GDPR. And as we approach the 25th May 2018 deadline, there is still lots of confusion. But from a marketing perspective, GDPR is about the accurate and responsible use of data. And we applaud that.

There is one marketing aspect that can and often gets overlooked, and that’s targeting. And for the sake of clarity, targeting is about understanding who is most likely to buy your product or service. Who is your marketing aimed at? That could be men or women, or people of a certain age or demographic, or perhaps managing directors of companies turning over between £2m and £25m.

Then there are the marketing channels you’ve chosen which are an effective means of reaching the very people you want to sell your services and products too. It could be some kind of direct marketing, social media, radio advertising or email marketing, and it could also be a mix of any of these, plus the long list of other channels.

And finally, you’ll need to understand how the messaging – those crucial words, messages and creative content – are going to entice those potential customers to look at your business, and then buy from you.

Here’s an example of targeting

From our world of email marketing, here’s an example of how we go about targeting and then creating the messaging that’s going to deliver the engagement and sales our client is looking for.

In this example, our client is a firm of accounts that operate in the Exeter and surrounding area.
It’s important to remember that there are different ‘rules’ for each and every marketing channel. For example, in the world of social media, Facebook and Instagram, you’re delivering a message to your market that the recipient has not asked for. So whatever you’re saying or selling, it needs to work in a millisecond. You’ve no time to explain anything. The message has to be instant, desirable and compelling, or you just get swiped!

In the world of radio advertising, you’ve a little more time, as the listener is not in control in the same way. So you might have 30 seconds to introduce and extol the virtues of your product of service.

So back to our firm of accountants in Exeter. They work with small to medium size businesses turning over between £200,000 to £10m and because they like to visit their clients, they operate with a 1-hour drive time from their offices in central Exeter. They also have a specialism of working with companies in the hospitality sector.

Our job is to provide the relevant email marketing contacts that could potentially buy their services, within the geographical constraints we have been told about. So here’s a thought, who is the right person to buy accountancy services? Is it the Finance director, the Managing director, or perhaps the Sales or another director? Well, it could be any of the above. What’s important is that the messaging is correct for each individual job title.

Finance Directors are focused on P&Ls and the ledger. MD’s tend to have a more holistic view of the business and might welcome more involvement from a firm of accountants.

Email marketing often affords the luxury of providing access to different people in a specific company. It’s very helpful, so long as the opportunity is not squandered!


So what can we say about our firm of accountants in Exeter? What will seduce the MD or FD into picking up the phone and asking for more information or a meeting?

You might get the targeting right, but in our experience, this is where things go wrong!

Perhaps you could use some of these subject lines and messages?

“The firm of accounts that really care”

“The firm of accounts with 60 years of experience”

“We won’t talk jargon – we’ll talk your language”

“We’ve four offices in the area”

“We’re client focused”

We don’t think so! The question you need to ask is “What message do we need to put in front of the MD or FD that will elicit the response: “That’s interesting, I’d like to find out more”?”. Messaging is never about you – it’s about your customers!

Try some of these: (Note that they all touch on the pain points companies might have. Some examples are also aimed at the hospitality trade – one of our client’s specialisms)

“5 tips to mitigate against corporation tax”

“What would 20% more profit look like in your business?”

“What if your accountant really did understand your business?”

“Casual workforce pay – the rules explained”

“Why hospitality accountancy is so challenging”

Get the targeting right and crucially get the messaging right too and you’ll deliver engagement and sales from the people you want to do business with.

And if you’re interested in any of what you have read above, give us a call, we’d be happy to help.