Market Focus: Accountants: Play the Numbers Game
What’s more, because CPAs typically earn a high household income, and generally are sound credit risks, according to Michael Cerami, vice president of corporate alliances for CPA2Biz, they are “viable candidates for higher-end consumer products such as travel, luxury autos, financial services products, and other services that target an affluent demographic.”
Dialing for Dollars
All kinds of marketing channels work for accountants: phone, Web, e-mail and direct mail. “We try various methods of targeting accountants; when we do campaigns; they’re integrated campaigns with direct mail plus e-mail and phone calls as well,” says Scarpero. “Banner ads and ads in trade publications are other ways to target them,” she adds.
Cyber marketing may be a good way to go: Rothchild has found that response to e-mail and Web channels has increased dramatically over the last several years, and 60 percent to 70 percent of CPA2Biz’s new product orders now are coming in through its Web site. CPA2Biz now uses its other channels, from catalogs to e-mail messages, to drive prospects to the Web site to buy. It even has put its catalog online in a rich media format so prospective customers can flip through it on the Web.
Another fact CPA2Biz has discovered is that CPAs respond better to multi-item marketing than to marketing for single products or services, possibly because they’re so busy that they appreciate the convenience of seeing many products featured in one place. “We’ve transitioned to multiproduct communications,” says Rothchild. “For example, for a government education course, we’ll group 20 to 30 relevant titles together rather than one single product.”
When it comes to messaging, CPAs are more interested in substance than flash. SourceMedia’s Accountants Media Group does ad studies for its advertisers, and Lynch reports that the cool, eye-catching ads with a good deal of white space perform the worst. “They may get attention, but CPAs by the nature of their personalities want information,” he explains. “They like their ads to be somewhat text heavy. What they want to know quickly is what is your product, what it can do for them and how it can help them with their practice or help them make more money.”