Category Archives for "Strategy"

Be the Who the go-to trusted advisor

Be the Who, not the How

In their recent 2019 Small Business Finance and HR Report, OnPay, found that 5 out of 6 small business owners view their accountant as a trusted advisor. But only 53% – about half – say that their accountant knows them very well.

The same study found that small business owners expected that their accountant could help them with:

  • Tax planning & strategies
  • Financial management – cash flow, budgeting, receivables
  • Recommending software/services
  • HR and payroll-related planning

Okay, so how can an accountant position themselves as a trusted advisor?


Be a listener first, and then a problem-solver

It may seem obvious but start by talking to your clients.

To be a trusted advisor, the Who the client goes to for help with their problems, you need to be a good listener. You need to ask good questions.

Go and meet with each and every one of your clients. Go meet them at their place of business, or go and meet somewhere in between for lunch or coffee. Don’t do this over the phone, and don’t do it at your office (the client will view it as an upsell if you try to have this conversation at your place of business). When you meet with them, ask them, “what else is going on with you that we could help you with? and I don’t mean the tax and the financial statements or compilation work but what other stuff is going on with your business that’s on your mind?”

You’ll be surprised by the types of answers the client gives you. At the very least, even if the client doesn’t give much of an answer at the time, it positions you as someone that wants to have a conversation with them, and that’s something they’ll remember for the future.


Be Proactive in Providing Advice

Next, look for opportunities to be proactive in reaching out and providing advice to your clients.


An easy way to stay on top of this is to send out a regular newsletter to your clients. It could have industry information, information regarding tax rules and strategies, business software (accounting, payroll, HR), etc. The point is for your clients to see you as someone that is on top of trends and that is proactive in identifying them. If you’re sending out an e-newsletter you should plan on doing it at least once per month, ideally bi-weekly. [Note: Fixyr provides 52 weeks of enewsletter and social media content for accountants on a subscription basis. If this is of interest to you, please contact us.]

Pass on Helpful Information

Another option is to send out a direct email to your client. This could be a brief message that says something like, “I came across this recent article on [tax structures, business structure, cash flow management, software, etc.] and thought that you might be interested. Let me know if you’d like to discuss how it might apply to you.”

Make a plan to send out an email like this to each of your clients at least once per quarter, ideally once per month. Over time, your customers will start to see you as someone that is proactive and communicative – two of the most important traits of a trusted advisor.


What happens if the customer does ask you for advice?

If you ask the customer what’s going on and they start to share a problem with you, then what? This can be a difficult situation to handle for technical specialists that aren’t used to providing advisory services to their clients. 

  • Don’t jump to conclusions or presume you understand what the problem is
  • Listen to everything
  • Acknowledge what they’re saying
  • Ask good questions for clarification and to make sure you understand the problem and where the customer is coming from
  • Build a shared agenda on how to proceed


Help the client by being the problem-solver

To be the Who not the How, you need to not just have the answer, you have to also be helpful.

You don’t need to have the answers to every question the client may ask you for help with, but you should be responsive and be able to either find the answer for them, or be able to point them in the direction of where they could find more information or who they could talk to that could help them. If the latter, be sure to facilitate the introduction on behalf of the client.


Becoming the Who

By being communicative and proactive, and staying on top of trends, you can develop a better relationship with your clients on your way to becoming a trusted advisor. 

And, as you become the Who, the trusted advisor that business owners go to, you’ll be able to solve business problems for them, and free them up to run their business while developing new services and revenue streams for your practice

Looking for Help?

At Fixyr we believe that “one-size-fits-all”​ marketing is the enemy, that strategy should always come before tactics, and that the best path to success is through a results-focused marketing plan built just for you.

Related Resources

Three Questions Every Customer Asks That Your Marketing Strategy Must Answer

Questions Your Marketing Strategy Must Answer

It’s difficult for business owners and technical subject matter experts to not love the products and services they sell, particularly professionals and subject matter experts. However, one of the biggest mistakes of business owners and leaders of small and mid size firms make is to focus only on themselves and their products or services in their marketing strategy and in their communications and offers.

Yes, the products and services are the part of your offer, but they are only part of your offer and are not the total offer. Your offer must be based on customers and the wants and needs of the market, not on your own desire.

What you want, and what your current and potential customers want are not the same. Your marketing strategy needs to be based not on what you want, but what your customers do.

3 Questions That All Customers Ask Themselves When Considering a New Product, Service or Vendor

Whether or not they explicitly state it, every customer will ask themselves four key questions:

1. What’s In It For Me? (WIFM) Time and again customer research has shown that customers want to know what’s in it for them. Your product may have an altruistic purpose or social value, but first and foremost there must be something in it for the customer or the buyer. To start with the customer will want to know if this is for them. Your offer must then include the most important benefits that they will get when they buy your products and services. What problems do you solve for them? In what ways do you make life easier or better for the customer? Do you generate benefits or do you help them to reduce the pain? If they find something valuable or useful in your products and services, they will buy them.

2. What is my investment – my money, my time, and my effort? The second question that customers ask themselves is in regard to the investment that they must make to get the WIFM benefits from your products or services. This could be an investment of money, time, or effort, or some combination of the three. The customer needs to know the benefits they will receive in exchange for their investment.

3. Do I like this company?  Even if your product or service provides strong benefits for the customer, and they know what their investment is going to be, they still need to answer whether or not they want to buy from you.  Another way of saying this is, do they know you, do they like you, and do they trust you? The customer will be asking, “Does this company get me?” When they’re reading your copy, they’re asking questions about whether or not the company gets them. Do they use words that the customer uses? Do they get the customer’s problem? Do they speak the same language? Is the imagery of people they can associate with or they like? Etc.

Think about all three questions. Do some research with your customers and target segments. Find out what’s in it for them, what they perceive their investment to be, and how you can get them to like and trust you. That will give you some of the answers to include in your offer. Rework your messaging and your offer. Afterwards you will:

  • Always have a great offer that resonates with your customers, and
  • Develop your business in the future through your customer’s perspective.

Looking For Help?

At Fixyr we believe that "one-size-fits-all" marketing is the enemy, that you need strategy before tactics, and that the best path to success is through a results-focused marketing plan built just for you.

When Should You Consider Changing Your Plans?

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth

The Prussian General Moltke famously said in 1871, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

More recently in 2012, Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” I personally like the Mike Tyson quote better because of the wonderfully painful visual that it envokes.

At Fixyr we truly believe that you must have a marketing strategy and a plan to execute it. It’s important that you know and agree to where you’re going to focus to prevent you from getting distracted.

But we also know that things change. Forecasts can be off. Assumptions can be wrong. More often than not, marketing plans are overly optimistic in the results they expect to generate. When you put together your strategy and your plans for executing that strategy it was based on the market situation and the assumptions you had made at that time, and the current situation or the underlying assumptions may have changed.

Does this mean you should throw out your plans at the first sign of trouble? Absolutely not.

You should be willing to alter your plans, but always stay focused on your strategy. You should only alter your strategy under certain circumstances. At the same time, you should be flexible in your plans for how you achieve your strategy when it’s obvious that something isn’t working or business conditions have changed.

You need a system, a set of rules, that will help you identify when to adapt and adjust. Here’s a framework of three times to consider if you need to adjust:

  1. Competitors are doing something different or something new – We are strong believers in monitoring competitive threats, but be careful about changing plans too quickly to copy or react to competitor activities. What do they know that you don’t? Do you know that what they’re doing is working? Even if it is working for them, do you know that it would it work in your situation or that you should do something different to react?

  2. Underperforming marketing tactics – This is quite common, but is often more of an opportunity than a reason to change plans. Make sure you understand why a marketing tactic is not performing. The underlying reasons could be easy to fix, or they may be larger more systemic issues that won’t be fixed by changing tactics. Begin by trying to understand what’s going on. Do you have the data to understand which stage of the marketing tactic isn’t performing? Are you able to test different offers, different creatives and/or media? Quite often a series of modifications or improvements to your activities will help to improve performance dramatically.

  3. Assumptions have changed – This is the most common situation when considering changing plans. Are the assumptions that you used to develop you original strategy and plan still valid? If not, what has changed, and what should you change about your plans?

  4. New opportunities – Does this new opportunity help me to achieve my strategy better, faster, or cheaper than what I have planned? If so, what would it take to pursue and implement this new opportunity, and – this is the most important part – what will I remove from my plans to make space and free up time and resources to implement or pursue this new opportunity? Have you sufficiently thought through the new opportunity? As a general rule of thumb, wait 3 months. If it’s still a good idea 3 months later, it’s worth changing your plans.

Before dropping or changing plans, make sure you understand why you’re changing, what you would differently, and what you will stop doing as a result.

And always keep an eye towards your strategy. There are many paths to get there, but make sure you don’t go off in the wrong direction.

Looking For Help?

At Fixyr we believe that “one-size-fits-all”​ marketing is the enemy, that strategy should always come before tactics, and that the best path to success is through a results-focused marketing plan built just for you.

Build Your Center of Influence Network

Build Your Center of Influence Network Strategy

If you're a B2B (business-to-business) firm, having a strong Centers of Influence (COI or just Influencer, aka Referral) program is a proven long-term strategy to help you succeed. 

What we're not talking about here is hiring Instagram celebrities to promote your brand. 1) that's ridiculously expensive, and 2) probably not appropriate for most B2B firms.

What we are referring to is other professionals and trusted advisors that also work with your customers. By tapping into your Center of Influence (COI's, also just Influencers) you can build a strong, supportive network of synergistic businesses that will send each other referrals. 

You may be doing this already. Many successful businesses, salespeople, and entrepreneurs do so naturally. If you're not, get started, and if you are, think about formalizing your approach and watch your results accelerate.

How to Build a B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy

Putting together a B2B influencer marketing strategy is a multi-step process. It's similar to creating other customer marketing or lead generation programs, but the objectives are different.

1. Set Your Goals

The first step to creating a strategy is to define your goals. What do you want to achieve through your Center of Influence? Some common goals:

  1. Create Awareness for your Firm
  2. Build knowledge of the services you provide, and what your point of differentiation, competitive advantage, or your unique value proposition is
  3. Position yourself and your firm as trusted advisors for the types of customers you focus on
  4. Generate new business referrals

MORE INFORMATION: Your Center of Influence strategy can also be a strong contributor to becoming a recognized expert. Read more about it here:   7-Steps to Becoming a Recognized Expert

2. Define Value

It's also important to think about how you can provide value back to your influencer. What information can you provide them that will be helpful to them when they are dealing with the customer? Think beyond just generating leads. The more value you can add to the relatioship with the influencer, the more likely they are to see you as a trusted contact that they will want to come back to over and over.

3. Find Influencers

Next, think about who your customers' influencers might be. If you are dealing with business owners and entrepreneurs consider other professionals they deal with. 

  • The "Holy Trinity" Center of Influence - Banker, Lawyer, Accountant. Most business owners and entrepreneurs deal regularly with these three types of organizations, and view them as critical to the success of their business.
  • Depending on the types of customers you deal with, perhaps also consider Financial Advisors, Estate Planners, Commercial Insurance Brokers, Benefits Advisors, Commercial Realtors
  • Look for influencers that deal with the same type and size of customers that you do. Finding a legal counsel for a Fortune 500 firm is great, but if you deal with start-ups, neither of you will get much value out of the relationship.

4. Build a List/Database of Influencers You Want to Connect With

Use local search listings, LinkedIn, Chambers of Commerce, BNI networking groups, Business Improvement Associations, and other similar sources to find out who your target influencers are. 

Within mid-size or larger firms, look for different entry points. Often a Managing Partner or President is not the individual that's dealing with customers. Find the ones that are. 

Enter this list into your CRM tool so that you can begin to track and measure results. A CRM is also a good tool to remind you that you need to reach out or follow-up with individuals on your list.

5. Connect with Influencers

You’ll then want to contact the influencers and connect with them individually, one at a time. It's important that they see you as an equal, and not as someone that is trying to sell something to them. This is very important. 

What might this process look like? 

  1. Send them a LinkedIn connection request. If they are not active on LinkedIn give them a call, send them an email, or if you know who they are, approach them at a business or chamber event. The point is to make an introduction and connection.
  2. Follow-up shortly thereafter with a follow-up message thanking them for connecting and suggesting that it would be beneficial to connect in the future
  3. Send them an email suggesting you meet for a coffee or lunch
  4. When you do meet, introduce yourself but spend as much time as possible getting to know the other individual. Find out about them, their firm, and their own interests
  5. At a later date, reconnect with them and repeat the coffee/lunch
  6. After 2-3 face-to-face meetings (and 3-5 messages/emails before and in-between), or until you feel comfortable that you have built rapport and comfort, suggest that you meet at your offices or business to discuss getting to know each other's businesses better and how you can work together
  7. At your office set up an informal meet and greet with your firm's key customer facing staff. Invite your influencer contact to bring their team. You can have refreshments and make it more of an informal mingler. Keep introductions and your firm presentation brief, and have a clear start and finish time. This could also be done at a restaurant over lunch, or a nearby watering hole. Any place that both firms will want to bring their teams, and where there could be an opportunity for your folks to mingle. 
  8. Follow-up with information about your firm, and list off 2-3 ways that you would like to work together. This could be in looking for joint presentations or speaking engagements, joint customer/prospect hostings (lunch, golf, game, symphony, etc. - whatever is of mutual interest)

6. Reward and Measure Results

Once you've begun to deepen the relatioship and have started to work together, you're not done. Now’s the time to measure and track results. That way you can see what’s working and what’s not with your Center of Influence network and marketing strategy. And, you can make changes for next time. If you get results, if you start to see referrals being sent your way, and if you are successful in generating additional business, be sure to show recognition to your Influencer and be sure to look for ways to reciprocate.

7. Repeat the Process with other Influencers

Repeat the above steps with other influencers that you've identified. As you can see, this process will take an investment in time on your part in order to make it work. But it will work, and it will provide you with a strong foundation. Your Center of Influence / COI / Sphere of Influence / Influencer Network / Referral Sources will contribute to building a strong awareness of your firm, and help your business to grow and thrive.

Looking for Help?

At Fixyr we believe that “one-size-fits-all” marketing is the enemy, that strategy should always come before tactics, and that the best path to success is through a results-focused marketing plan built just for you.

Related Resources

Are you looking for more information on how you can build your Centers of Influence strategy? Here are some helpful resources that we've curated for you:

Business Development for Professional Services

Sales is different for Professional Services practices than it is for other types of B2B firms. How so? 

Nowhere else is it more important or evident that your customer wants to do business with a real person, that is someone they trust

While the stages of the Marketing Hourglass are still the same – Know=> Like => Trust => Try =>  Buy – how you approach them will be slightly different for Professional Services than for other types of firms.

Let’s look at how to get started.

Educating and Informing versus Selling

As a professional services practice, your approach to business development will be very different. You don’t sell, you educate and assist the business. You don’t “Sell”, you provide solutions to the customers problems.

  • Don’t talk about the products you sell; talk about the problems you solve.
  • Talk about how the business will work with you as you solve those problems.
  • Tell the business what they get, not what you do. Explain the benefit to them of  what you do.

What You’ll Need Before You Start

Before you get started on your business development, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right tools in place. Somethings that you’ll need are:

  • Clear Messaging & Defined Ideal Customer Profile – you should have completed these as part of your marketing strategy
  • Website, Online Profiles and Listings, CRM, and Email Marketing – you should have completed these as part of establishing your Total Online Presence
  • Telephone – number, answering system and voicemail
  • Sales support materials – you should have the following prepared, printed and ready for distribution: business cards, individual practitioner bios, company profile, services descriptions/brochures, client testimonials and/or use cases. Note: not having printed materials when you need will lead to lost opportunities, or the risk of being perceived as not being professional. You do not have to spend a lot on printing, but make sure you have hard copies of these materials at the ready when you need them.


The first stage of the Marketing Hourglass is Know. This is creating awareness of your firm, and familiarity with your services offered. There are 3 ways you will generate new prospects.

  1. Outreach – You are actively reaching out to prospective clients that you have identified through research. This could be picking up the phone, or sending out letters or emails. Most professional services practitioners find outreach to be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You could use a third-party firm that specializes in setting up appointments for you
  2. You get found organically – Prospects contact you because they have a problem and they have seen information about your firm, you, your content, or the problems you solve. They find your content online, through searches, or see and hear about you at speaking engagements or conferences. For most professional services firms, this is the preferred and most predictable method of generating leads. 
  3. You are referred – Referrals could come from Influencers (Centers of Influence), from previous customers, or from your networking activity. If you’ve been in business for awhile this could be a great source of leads for your practice, however it takes time to build up a referral base, and referral volumes may not be enough on their own to sustain your practice. 


What is your objective in the area of developing relationships with new clients? How many do you want to attract? What industries do they represent? Do you have a sales pipeline?

Examples include:

  • Client-specific marketing plans
  • Practice group marketing plans
  • Individual marketing plans
  • Sales pipeline development and implementation


What is your objective related to how often and with whom you will proactively develop relationships with?

Examples include:

  • Identifying opportunities for the firm and individual professionals
  • Networking programs for practice groups
  • Networking training and best practices

Trade and Professional Association Involvement

Every professional should be active in his/her industry association (Professional bodies, Financial Planning Association or Bar Associations) as well as at least one industry-based association attracting prospective clients or referral sources. What is your objective in this area?

Examples include:

  • Assess firm’s involvement and ROI with associations
  • Create association strategies to become high profile members by pitchingprofessionals to write articles and speak at upcoming events

Like & Trust

It can take a considerable amount of time to go from Know through Like and Trust until a business is ready to Buy. Be patient and nurture your leads for future business. 

Market Research

Define an objective related to incorporating market research into your practice before meeting with a new prospective client or referral source.

Examples include:

  • Big opportunity research on companies and peopleCreate client dossiers for new business

Nurture Prospects

It’s important to understand that there isn’t a single formula to Nurturing Prospects. Keep in mind that the objective is to move the prospect through the Like and Trust stages. You must ensure that you establish Rapport with the prospect, and that you build Trust until such time as the prospect is ready to take the relationship further. Your nurture process will likely use a combination of the following, staggered over time.

  • Direct contact – via telephone or face-to-face
  • Newsletters – sent out via mail or email
  • Email marketing / marketing automation – sending the prospect white papers, research studies, articles that you’ve written, or other content pieces such as infographics, and case studies, or information on government policies and programs that businesses like theirs can utilize
  • Seminars or webinars

Try / Buy


What does trial look like for a professional services firm? The Try stage of the Marketing Hourglass could take the form of:

  • Market Comparisons
  • Participation in a benchmarking study
  • Samples of work you’ve done for similar types of customers
  • Providing a Quote 
  • Finding a “foot-in-the-door” lower value service you can provide so that the prospect establishes a commitment with your firm and gets to know you


Depending on the type of customer you are dealing with, when they are ready to move to the Buy stage of the Marketing Hourglass it could be as simple as you submitting an Engagement Letter to the customer that outlines the scope of work, your committments, pricing proposal, and business terms.

Proposal Development

If you are responding to an RFP (Request For Proposal) be prepared. RFP’s can be very time consuming, and if managed properly, may lead to lower close rates. What objective do you have in the area of increasing your ability to efficiently respond to requests for information about your services?

Examples include:

  • Create a proposal archive
  • Develop efficient proposal response processes
  • Design professional and visually appealing proposal responses
  • Write proposals for new business
  • Develop and rehearse proposal presentations 

Keeping on Track

Business development can easily go off the rails. You need to implement a system to keep it on track. 

  • Use a calendar tool. Set aside time every day.
  • Schedule activities from your CRM
  • Keep your efforts organized and scalable – Build templates that can be customized and reused in the future with other prospects to keep effort minimized


If you implement a business development program for your professional services firm, you can expect to generate more leads, nurture more leads through the Marketing Hourglass, and ultimately convert more leads to customers.  

Execute and Optimize to Drive Marketing Results

Execute and Optimize to Drive Marketing Results

You've completed your strategy and planning. While strategy is critical to success, strategy without execution is just theory. Now it's time to execute and optimize to drive your marketing results to the next level. This is where "the rubber hits the road". 

Keys to Successful Marketing Execution and Optimization

Plan Out a Year. 

You should map out a year’s worth of projects, campaigns and processes and break each month into a theme, and each project into weekly action steps. Each action should be assigned to a single person to be responsible for completing.

Review progress regularly. 

On a monthly basis make sure that you remain on track. On a quarterly basis, review your progress and revisit what's working and what isn't. Determine if you need to make any course adjustments.

Track performance of key marketing metrics, including:

  • Marketing budget - actual vs forecast
  • Marketing campaign performance - budget vs actual, projected results budget vs actual
  • Marketing tactical performance - website traffic, search engine rankings, number of email subscribers, emails sent, emails opened, click through rates, conversion rates, number of booked appointments, number of proposals or pricing quotes submitted
  • Volume of Leads Generated and Cost Per Lead (CPL)
  • Sales - revenues, by product/service, by customer or segment
  • Marketing costs per sale made, aka Cost Per Acquisition
  • Marketing ROI - marketing costs versus incremental profit generated
  • Key Marketing Metrics Every Marketer Should Measure
  • Content Marketing Metrics​​​
  • Marketing Dashboards for Visualizing Performance​​​

Create Efficiencies. 

Once your system is in place, make your processes repeatable. Standardizing these processes and turning them into templates will help your team execute effectively and efficiently every time, no matter who’s driving the work. Save time, reduce effort, and reduce mistakes or rework by ensuring that the right steps and checks are performed in the right order.


Optimization is the difference between a marketing program that is effective, and one that is outstanding. To truly drive performance track results from you marketing activities through each step of your campaigns. Starting at the weakest performing point, begin to test and monitor different creatives and different approaches. Monitor results, and stop weak performers, and continually optimize the winners. Repeat this process regularly.

Lastly, Create a Continous Cycle for Ongoing Success

It can be very easy to let your plans to execute and optimize fall to the side. You have a critcal client deliverable that requires all hands on deck, a flu epidemic leaves half your staff bedridden or something else comes along and you just don't get to the marketing. This is where you need to ensure that you've built the discipline within your firm to execute, to monitor results, to adjust plans and optimize. Turn execution into a habit, and make it a continous part of your business operations. 

TIP: Implementing an ongoing system for marketing execution can be time and resource consuming. We provide everything from coaching to guide you through the process and make sure you stay on track to fully managed marketing execution programs where we take care of all of the elements of implementation for you. Get started on the path to success 

Increase Profitability by Boosting Customer Retention

Grow your customers to increase profitability

You’ve heard it before. It’s cheaper to keep your current customers than it is to find new customers. It’s true for many businesses, especially in the services business where the cost to generate a lead and nurture a relationship always seem to be increasing in cost.

Marketing to your current customers, or to customers after the sale is the bottom half of the Marketing Hourglass. Turn those customers into Repeat buyers, and to sources of Postive Reviews and Referrals for your business.

Marketing Hourglass

If you've never considered marketing to current customers after the sale, now is a good time to build a cohesive strategy for customer retention.

Let's look at how to get started.

What is customer retention?

The activities a business uses to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer.

Customer retention strategies enable you to both provide and benefit from more value from your existing customer base. You want to ensure the customers you worked so hard to acquire stay with you and continue to get value from your products and services, and the relationship with your firm.

In general, the higher the value of each sale or the frequency of purchase, the more the effort you should spend on customer retention marketing. Ideally, you are able to increase both. 

Customer Value = Average Sale x Purchase Frequency

Once you compare your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) for new customers with the value of your current customers, it should become apparent how much you should be investing in your customers to retain them.

Why you should care about existing customers.

  • Higher profits. Since your existing customers trust you already, it gets easier to convince them to become interested in even more of your products or services through up-selling and cross-selling. In fact, Gartner Group statistics tell us that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.
  • Better conversion rates. Existing customers have already bought from you, and if you keep them satisfied they are more likely to buy from you again. You’ve already established trust, and built a relationship with them, which makes it easier to identify their needs and predict their moves.
  • Less expensive marketing. You’ll spend less time and effort finding new customers and convincing them that you are the one they should buy from, which means – less expenses. 

How Can You Boost Customer Retention?

Now that we've confirmed the value of retaining your customers, what strategies and tactics can you employ to do so?

Deliver incredible service and ensure your customers are satisfied

This goes without saying, but an unsatisfied customer is unlikely to purchase from you again. 

Nurture the relationship with the customer after the sale

Schedule regular touch points with the customer in your CRM or marketing database. Use a variety of mediums from telephone calls, in person visits (if appropriate), emails, and traditional mailings. Depending on the value of the customer, invest in hosting opportunities, or send them company-branded promotional items.

  • Trusted Advisor - The classic book by David Maister and Charles Green. Develop such a deep relationship with the customer that they implicity trust you as the go-to source.

Introduce your other products and services 

Probe your customers needs and find ways to expose them to your other products and services. A long-term customer should be aware of the range of products and services you provide. Depending on your business, consider bundling products and services together (that make sense for the customer). 

Keep top-of-mind awareness with the customer

Add the customer to an email or newsletter distribution so that they regularly see your firms name, and information about your industry and services. Follow the customers' businesses on social media, and encourage them to do so with you in return. 

Look for ways to add value to the relationship 

This can vary from industry to industry, but a significant way to deepen the relationship with the customer is to provide value added beyond the products and services you sell. This could be related to your recognized expertise, or information from your industry or suppliers.

If there is a renewal or repurchase time frame, make sure to begin reaching out to the customer well in advance

When it comes time for renewal, there should be no effort for the customer to do so. You've already confirmed with them the value of your services and the relationship you have with them, and so there is no effort for the customer to consider whether or not they should renew with you, or even to consider a competitor.

Feature the customer and the work that you've done for them, or ask them to be a client reference

Ask the customer for permission to feature their business in a case study. Most customers will feel flattered by the gesture, and very few will mind the additional exposure for their business. 

Make it easy for the customer to refer you additional business

A satisfied customer is much more likely to send you referals. Look for ways to make it easy for them to do so. Come straight out and ask them, or give them loyalty or repeat purchase discounts if they do so.

TIP: Your customer referrals can also be a strong contributor to your strategy to become a recognized expert. Read more about it here: 7-Steps to Becoming a Recognized Expert


Even if you implement just a few of these strategies properly, you can expect to deepen relationships with your customers, increase their retention rates, and ultimately make them more profitable for your business. 

What is Marketing Strategy and how will it Help Your Business Thrive?

What is marketing strategy?

"The overall purpose of strategic marketing planning, and its principal focus is the creation of sustainable competitive advantage."

- Malcolm McDonald

A Long-term Game Plan or Roadmap

Your marketing strategy is not meant to be a one-time exercise that you complete, and then leave to sit on a shelf collecting dust. If that's what happens then you've just wasted a considerable amount of time and effort. The purpose of having a one is to guide your business over multiple years. It's meant to provide guidance for products and services, pricing, your annual marketing plans, and your tactical marketing campaigns and activities.

Your marketing strategy is your long term game plan. It's who you're going to focus on, how you're going to win business, and how you're going to attract customers. It's going to guide how you create your marketing plans. 

A comprehensive marketing strategy will include your value proposition - your competitive advantage in the market. It will include who your target audience is, and the key elements of your brand. Your marketing strategy is a constant from where you create your marketing plans. Now and in the future.

Marketing strategy => marketing plan => campaign plans => execution => win!

What it does

Your long-term marketing strategy will develop a sustainable competitive advantage. Your marketing strategy is the foundation of all your future marketing plans.

What it does:

  • Identifies the markets and segments you want to compete in. It answers the question: Who is the target audience?
  • It clarifies how you will sustain competitive advantage. It answers the questions: What will be your value proposition to your target markets? and, How will your value proposition be unique? Ideally your unique value proposition is also quantifiable by your target markets. 
  • It defines how you’re going to market your products and services
  • Keeps you on track

How it helps:

  • Win new customers
  • Increase sales
  • Encourage your existing customers to spend more
  • Better establish your brand on the market and increase market share
  • Confirm your tone of voice and brand identity
  • Reduce churn and strengthen customer loyalty
  • Reduce wasted or inefficient efforts in on markets, segments, and messaging that does not help your business achieve it's objectives
  • Guarantee your business stays focused and current

To build an effective strategy that’ll support future marketing plans, you need discipline, time, and focus.

The process may sound complicated, but it's not as difficult as you may think. Many businesses skip this vital step because they are either intimidated by the perceived effort, or they are unsure of what to do and how to do it.

If the above sounds complicated, we can guide your business through a methodical, step-by-step process that will put you on the path to success. FIXYR - Marketing Strategy Review