As you probably know, good accountants are trained to focus on efficiencies – ways your company can streamline workflow and save time in order to increase profitability. So then what happens to your accounting when you hire a marketing person to run that department?
Brilliant marketing opportunities – that’s what.
Nearly a decade ago, as Blue Star grew, I convinced my husband (and marketing expert), John, to come join me. It’s a good fit, right? Design and marketing, they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, except…there is a lot more to running a business than peanut butter and chocolate. The amount of work on hand meant we had to divide and conquer basic business functions. I took design and sales. He took marketing and accounting (and a few more unwanted tasks, I’m sure.)
He mastered accounting like a pro, got us through the ups and downs, and created enough financial breathing room to allow us to grow. Although our creative talents brought us business, it was his newly acquired accounting skills that kept us IN business. And all along the way, John always made sure to keep his marketing hat on.
Perhaps going against the grain of a natural born accountant’s need for efficiency, he slowed our financial process down to incorporate a very smart marketing and branding opportunity. He began a practice where our staff takes the time to write a small personal message with each invoice that gets mailed out. A “Hello, hope you get a chance to enjoy the weather this weekend” or “We really appreciate the business you’ve been sending lately.” We take the time to ask for feedback on the job we’ve done, to complete a survey about our business, remind clients to read a new blog we’ve posted, or request a referral opportunity.
At Blue Star, we understand what sets us apart from our competitors is our custom, personalized interactions and long-term relationships with our clients. These practices have become a part of the Blue Star brand, establishing our presence in the minds of our clients. We know that the job and our relationship doesn’t come to a screeching halt the moment we hand over the final design or website. The client experience continues all the way through delivering an invoice – and sometimes collecting on those invoices – and that's very often some of the most painful parts of the job. What better way to make the money part of what we do less painful than to include a happy little note or a bit of cheerful conversation?
John recognized we could use that moment not just for a marketing opportunity, but also as a way to strengthen our relationships, teach clients about a new service, or provide insight and value based on our experiences in the business and as people. It has been a clever and inexpensive way to communicate with our clients. Not to mention that invoices are the one piece of collateral that our clients have to open and read.
Think about all the ways you communicate with clients, from answering the phone to delivering an invoice. Where else can you add a happy little message or bit about your brand?
At Blue Star, we found an opportunity to connect on our invoices, and proved that accounting and marketing are two great functions that function great together.
Just for fun: