Internet Marketing is Effective say local Accountancy Firms
In May 2015 WSI Internet Consulting conducted a survey of Accountancy firms in the Eastbourne and Hailsham areas.
This was an online survey of 12 firms with 10+ employees in which we asked them about their attitudes and use of internet marketing.
Q: What is your Current Internet Marketing Status?
50% of respondents do have an internet marketing plan and have a budget to support this.
Q: What percentage of your Total Marketing Spend is allocated to Internet Marketing?
Of the 50% who replied in the affirmative to the previous question, the percentage of total marketing spend allocated to online marketing is between 10 and 30%.
Q: In the Next 12 Months do you Plan to Increase your Online Spend?
50% of firms either plan to increase their spend on internet marketing or are considering an increase.
Q How do you Acquire New Clients Currently?
Referrals and word-of-mouth were the most common means of acquiring new clients with all respondents using this method.
Networking followed with 67% favouring this and 33% utilising PR activities.
17% are active in search engine optimisation to achieve higher ranking in search engines and 17% use email marketing methods.
Other sources of business include seminars and telemarketing.
Q: Which Medium Provides Most Business Leads for you?
100% of respondents agree that offline methods provide most business leads for them currently. This is supported by the high emphasis on referrals / word-of-mouth and networking.
Q: How Important is Your Website in Generating New Business for you?
Interestingly 67% feel that the website is either Invaluable (17%) or Quite Good (50%) in providing new business. 33% think that the website provides business leads “hardly-at-all”.
Q, Your Attitude Towards Internet Marketing?
67% of firms currently use an internet marketing expert to manage their online marketing.
33% would like to utilise internet marketing methods more but just do not have the time.
17% would like to use utilise internet marketing methods but do not have the budget.
17% do not think it is applicable to their business.
Q: How Often do you Publish News Online?
17% publish some form of news article every week and 83% every month.
Q: Which Social Media Networks do you use for your Business?
LinkedIn is the most used network with 83% of firms using.
Facebook and Twitter are next with 50%
YouTube at 33%
Google+ at 17%
17% do not use any social media networks at all.
Summary and Conclusions
It is clear from the results that traditional marketing and lead generation methods are the favoured means of generating new business. This is probably due to the nature of the localised business focus seeking new clients from within the Eastbourne and Hailsham areas. However the majority feel that the website is beneficial in generating new business probably as a result of prospective clients checking out what a firm offers and portrays online as a result of word-of-mouth or networking interest.
Where online marketing will be effective is with prospective clients who operate out of the local area and are either looking to move to Eastbourne / Hailsham, or have business interests there. Those accountancy firms who are seeking new clients from overseas will rely heavily on search engine marketing and “being found”.
It is also clear that local firms, on the whole, recognise the need to build awareness using social media networks. As LinkedIn is the B2B platform it is not surprising that it is the favoured medium for accountancy firms. This is further supported by the regular posting of articles online on a monthly and in some cases, weekly basis.
We would like to run this survey again next year to measure any change in attitude and to extend the survey base geographically. If you have any questions or would like further information please contact us on 01323 724159 or firstname.lastname@example.org