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Why digital resources fail to deliver.

Websites can look fantastic and there is no shortage of suppliers of websites, portals, data analysis, one-off experts for SEO and social media. There is also no shortage of enthusiasm within practices. So why is it that few practices are happy with the results generated by their digital resources?

Of recent times, we’ve asked our clients why this is still the case and we have arrived at some conclusions. We explain the problem and offer a solution.

Digital resources consist of three components: namely, the website (we now call them digital offices); a range of interactive content, such as articles and portals, that add extra value for clients and give a reason for the practice to regularly communicate; and the actual use of these resources (the practice’s role).

The relative effectiveness of these three is 5%, 35% and 60%.

Ironically, implementation is the reverse. That is, websites are seen as the big player, interactive content is often confined to just a newsletter, and the practices try, but manage to do very little.

As such the problem is obvious. If 60% of a job isn’t done then little can be achieved. So, why do practices have trouble using these resources?

It isn’t for want of trying. Staff such as an accountant, the receptionist or a partner is given the job but none have the time. Or a new service is purchased, an App for example, that the practice has been told will fix the problem, but it doesn’t. Or an expert is employed to run a campaign, social media for example, but it also fails.

OK, so there’s a major problem within every practice but why is it important to fix it? This is the second crucial part of the problem.

Practices everywhere want their digital resources to generate new business but for it to come from the ‘obvious’ sources, or so they’re told, of social media and search engines. An analysis of a practice’s new business tells a totally different story.

90-100% of all new business for every accounting and financial planning practice comes from client referrals and referral partners. Only 5% comes from search engines and 2.5% comes from social media. Most effort and investment within practices is into the latter two.

All roads point to the reason that digital resources don’t deliver because of how they are understood and used in a practice.

The weakness, therefore, is that the practices themselves don’t have the time, the expertise or the focus.

The only solution then is to employ a resource that actually becomes part of the ‘team’ rather than remaining on the outside as a marketing consultant does. This provides the ‘time’ needed. The resources must also have the expertise to know what they’re doing as they need to manage the website, manage content, talk to the practice, and know how to motivate current and potential clients.

Finally, as noted above clients and referral partners are the main game, so this resource must also be able to focus on and analyse clients and be able to coordinate referral partners into a powerful supplier group to each of their respective client bases.

AcctWeb and PlannerWeb are the only businesses in a position to do the above and the results are quite amazing.

AcctWeb and PlannerWeb work with over 350 accounting and financial planning practices and have done so for almost 20 years.

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