The Unmuted Marketer

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


Marketri Blog

September 29, 2014

Independent Accounting Firms: Stop Marketing Like it's 1999!


Cause they say two thousand FOURTEEN

Party over, oops out of time


ACCOUNTING FIRM like it's 1999  



Sorry Prince for using a "tweaked" version of your "Party Like it's 1999" lyrics to kick-off my blog about accounting firms using musty, unimaginative marketing tools, tactics and campaigns. While the song brings back pleasant college memories for many of us and makes light of ineffective marketing, it actually is a serious matter with potentially grave outcomes for independent accounting firms.  Why do I care about this topic?  More importantly, why do you need to put down what your doing and read this post? The short answer is I care about your firm's longevity and so should you.

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September 25, 2014

The Only Content Marketing Advice Professional Services Firms Need To Know


Do not read another blog this year on content marketing.  This post has everything you need to know. Now, please don't jump to the wrong conclusion - I'm not a know-it-all or think I'm big stuff.  In fact, the knowledge I'm about to share isn't even mine.  I attended INBOUND, HubSpot's annual conference, and took really good notes, a skill that I mastered in college. So, go ahead and bookmark and favorite this page right now as you are about to hear exactly what you need to do to succeed at content marketing from some of the nation's top thought leaders.

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Topics: Content Marketing

September 21, 2014

Martha Stewart - The Only Bad Apple at INBOUND 2014

 HubSpot's annual conference, INBOUND, was over-the-top fabulous....except for one bad apple. There were insightful break-out sessions and a line-up of many high-profile keynote speakers such as Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell and the one and only, Martha Stewart.  I was particularly interested in what the lifestyle guru had to say since she had grown a company from nothing into an multi-million dollar (yes, I'll be cheesy for a second) orchard. I got in line early and scored a great seat. Eagerly, I took out my notepad and pink pen to capture all the juicy business tidbits.  Thirty minutes into her speech, I quietly slipped  them back into my bag.  Making vegetable juice was the only key takeaway.  And quite frankly, I'd rather eat my kale than drink it!  I pondered, "How could a highly successful business woman be the one bad apple at INBOUND?" After a fleeting moment of disappointment, I assumed that just like cooking a new recipe and having it flop, there surely must be lessons to be learned.  
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August 19, 2014

Want to do a Professional Services Video but Scared it will be a Snoozer?

Follow EMG’s Lead and Dare to be Different!

The second most popular search engine after Google is YouTube. Why? Video is powerful. It’s emotional. It moves us. It makes us laugh, cry and buy. We know this in our personal lives, yet so many professional services marketers in 2014 are still relying on the old “talking head” video formula, if they’re using video at all.

 Videos Drive Results, Including Lead Generation 

 Times are changing—and accounting firm, law firm and A/E/C marketers who perfect short-form video will be very successful indeed. As far back as 2010, a Google and Forbes Insights “B2B Trends in Mobile & Online Video” study involving 306 U.S. executives found:

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August 7, 2014

Signs that Your A/E/C Marketing is “Old School”

While our kids may think old-school is nerdy, doing things the old-fashioned way doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.  For instance, I still love handwriting notes in meetings and reading an actual book instead of a Kindle.  When you get to be a “seasoned” professional (yours truly included), some old-school habits are hard to break.  But in the field of marketing, it’s not always good to stick with the status quo.  At a minimum, you should evaluate the effectiveness of your various marketing collateral (print and digital) and activities.   To get you started, here are some signs that your A/E/C firm’s marketing may be a bit out-of-date. 

  1. Your website isn’t self-administered: Most modern websites are built on user-friendly open source platforms, such as Word Press, which enable you to update copy and photos on the fly.  If you are paying a developer $100 per hour to maintain your site, consider a re-launch into the modern age. 
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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