The Unmuted Marketer

Sounding Off on Real-Life B2B Marketing Mistakes, Missteps and Miracles


Marketri Blog

July 22, 2014

Don’t be Vanilla! A Spotlight on Accounting Firms that Dare to be Different through Marketing

Sure, most professionals have heard the term ‘Big 4 accounting firms’ and even know that it stands for KPMG, E&Y, PwC and Deloitte.  Once you step off that ledge to the second tier of accounting firms, there is still brand recognition, especially among firms untainted by merger activity such as Grant Thornton.  But, take one more step down to mid-sized accounting firms, the competition steepens and brands just seem to blend together like a perfect milkshake.  As the leader of a mid-sized firm, what can you do to stand out from the crowd, or are you destined to simply be…vanilla?
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July 1, 2014

From Marketing vs. Sales to Marketing + Sales

The passage of time brings the two closer than ever in professional services
Some years ago, I felt compelled to write a blog post about the differences between marketing and sales, after years of hearing my clients use the terms interchangeably.  I thought it would help professional service providers – including accounting firms, law firms and engineering firms – to better understand what we, the marketing department, did in marketing and generally what their roles were in performing sales.  I concluded that when the two terms were piled in the same sandbox, it seemed that the responsibility for leads and revenue generation was unjustly scooped over to the marketing department.  
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June 30, 2014

Marketing vs. Business Development – Why It’s Critical for Law Firms to Know the Difference

The terms marketing and business development are frequently used interchangeably, especially by law firms that utilize both to grow their businesses. To set up each department, it is critical that firm leadership knows the difference between these two roles. While both marketing and business development cover similar ground and ultimately contribute to growing your law firm’s business, each has different strengths and each department should have distinct responsibilities.
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June 6, 2014

The Gloriously Imperfect World of Professional Services Marketing

world2My first day at Ernst & Young (circa 1990) – a big moment in this young professional’s life!  Everything had to be perfect, so I quickly ran down the list.
  • Freshly polished patent leather pumps – Check!
  • Silky sheer control top panty hose – Check!
  • Perfectly pressed black suit – Check!
  • Creamy white blouse with large shoulder pads – Check!
  • And, pearl earrings, of course – Check!
(We won’t mention the permed hair for purposes of this blog post)
My shaking hand pulled the shiny gold door handle of the sparking clean glass door of the class A office space at 1225 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Washington DC and my career in professional services had begun! 
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Topics: Marketing

June 4, 2014

Has Your B2B Company Taken a Good Look Past the Mirror Lately?

looking_past_mirrorMost companies set revenue and income goals annually as well as give employee performance reviews and prepare a budget. Some even develop tactical marketing plans, an effort we certainly applaud. While these are all solid business practices, there is a critical piece missing from these yearly “to dos.” Without this action, the entire house of cards could eventually tumble down (either one by one or a single unraveling). What, do you ask, could possibly be so important? The answer is: commitment to a maintaining an external view. Companies need to look past themselves and truly focus on the environment around them. This is especially important for firms that have strong employee retention. For these companies, the business world oftentimes becomes what is going on inside the office.

“What just flew by? It may be your competition.”
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Topics: B2B Marketing

June 3, 2014

4 Ways Inbound and Outbound Marketing Can Work Together

work_togetherIt’s not exactly breaking news that inbound marketing is the reigning king of conversation (and recommendations) in the marketing world as of late. So does that mean that good ole’ outbound marketing is dead? Not the way I see it! While inbound marketing has tremendous benefits and a lower cost per lead compared to outbound marketing, I believe these two approaches can actually work together to create a more successful marketing strategy. People often think of these two marketing approaches as silos, operating as separate entities, but you would be surprised at how these two strategies can complement each other. Let’s look at a few examples.
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Topics: Marketing

June 3, 2014

Fear-Based Accounting Firm Marketing - Don't Fall into the Deadly Trap

fear_basedThe greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.

~Sven Goran Eriksson
SCREAM. RUN. HIDE. PROTECT. Fear is a pre-programmed emotion that acts as an instinctual response to potential danger. While being afraid can be a healthy response in real life, it is usually a detrimental one when it comes to business growth, marketing decisions and success. 
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Topics: Marketing

June 3, 2014

How Much Does Marketing Cost? Insight into what your professional services firm should pay for marketing.


Everyone knows the price and exactly what to expect when ordering a McDonalds #4 meal. A mani/pedi (that’s a manicure/pedicure combination for you men out there) – expect to pay $40 + tip. How about an iPhone? It’s pretty easy to know what your all-in price will be when getting your smart phone. So why is it so hard for marketing firms to answer the simple question, “How much does it cost?” Since “marketing speak” can be confusing at times, I’m going to use the analogy of grocery shopping to explain why the “cost of marketing” is difficult to answer.
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Topics: Marketing

June 3, 2014

Stop! Don’t Hire a Professional Services Marketing Professional Without These!

dont_hireOne of the things that I love most about LinkedIn is its ability to function as a completely updated Rolodex. Someone gets promoted, you get dinged. Someone changes jobs, you get dinged. Before LinkedIn, I never realized how often my fellow marketers move around! Since I am connected with many professionals in the legal, accounting and engineering industries, my statistically invalid conclusion is that turnover is high in professional services marketing.
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Topics: Marketing

June 2, 2014

Crazy or Shrewd? Why I Turned Down Over $100,000 of Marketing Consulting Work

Yes, it’s true.  I turned down at least $125,000 worth of marketing consulting work in the past 18 months.  And, I’m not crazy or dumb – at least I don’t think so.  I’d actually like to think I’m smarter, shrewder and more honorable for my actions, but I’ll let you judge for yourself.  So, why would any business owner in his/her right mind turn down new business?  Well, one reason for declining work could be that I’m looking to take my yoga or tennis game to the next level instead of growing my business.  While my serve and volley could definitely use some serious help, that isn’t the reason.  Another possible rationale could be that these business prospects are on the unpleasant side.  Nope, that’s not the case either.  I was actually, for lack of a better term, bummed-out that I couldn’t start or continue working with these companies because I sincerely liked the people.  Okay, no more suspense……  I turned down an amount of work that could have paid for my daughter’s education and left me enough to make a serious dent in my travel bucket list because the marketing that these companies wanted to do wouldn’t work.
So What?  Take the $$$$.
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