24 July 2006

Access to accountants

I was with a couple of accountants at dinner tonight and the conversation moved towards reading material. I've got to declare a professional interest here, some of my clients have products that need promoting to the accountancy community and we have already looked at using professional magazines as a way of delivering messages about new products.

The bad news for companies like ours is that, if my dinner companions are typical, access to accountants is a lot more tricky than putting an ad in a professional magazine. Neither of them read the primary journal which claims to have the widest readership amongst accountants in the UK. They subscribe, they look at the cover but they don't read it.

This takes us into OTS (opportunitities to see) territory again - how can you get a message into a segment when the journals which are claiming greatest reach don't appear to be getting eyeball time from the people they are claiming as readers? This problem isn't going to go away - I've got messages about two different kinds of software and a well-defined target audience. All I need now is access.

What's more distressing for those of us who like web access is that they didn't use the web to inform themselves about technical changes in their area. I can see that this is going to be awkward. It's obviously time to buy a list and write a few letters or flyers.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Dennis Howlett said...

This struck a chord with me. I have an accounting blog (www.accmanpro.com) and I can count on the fingers of less than two hands the number of even vaguely useful accounting blogs there are out there let alone websites that are accessible and useful. I concentrate on the technology side of things but I also give ethics a fair airing as well. I answer all my personal email, I have a linkroll of other accounting related blogs, I'm getting a decent number of hits per month and I'm ranked in the top 10,000 on technorati.

This is the first time I've ever self-promoted in a blog post but hey - sometimes you need to say things so people know where you're coming from.

4:18 am  
Blogger neilmcintyre.ca said...

I still like reading the articles in CAMagazine (www.camagazine.com) each month. There are accountants out there who read the professional mags!

2:28 am  
Blogger davidmaister said...

I share your experience and frustration, but I wouldn't try direct mailing - that doesn't work either.

There's little substitute for meeting people at industry conferences, through speeches and seminars.

That can drive people t your website, where you can give away helpful material.

(See my article "adventures in modern marketing" http://davidmaister.com/articles/2/97/)

4:45 am  
Anonymous Stuart Jones said...

Thanks John for raising this issue. It certainly made me act.
http://3ca.blogs.com/my_weblog/2006/08/think_about_you.html

By the way I was fascinated by Sandhurst Donkey Derby. My son passed out of Sandhurst a couple of years ago but never mentioned this particular race!

6:19 pm  
Blogger John Diffenthal said...

Thanks Dennis for your comment. I should point out for other readers that Dennis is highly prolific and has some excellent material on his blogs and his accmanpro.com blog is well worth a read.

3:42 pm  
Blogger John Diffenthal said...

Neil - thanks for your comment. I didn't mean to suggest that no accountants read professional journals - simply that distribution figures were not necessarily a good indicator of readership.

3:43 pm  
Blogger John Diffenthal said...

Stuart - thanks for your comment, I didn't intend that my post would encourage anyone to give up their subscription, but it is a pretty good indicator that many professionals don't do much reading of their journals beyond the front cover.

3:46 pm  
Blogger John Diffenthal said...

David, you're probably right. It's always best to proceed on the assumption that people don't read what you write and don't listen to what you say. I'll just have to struggle on somehow.

3:47 pm  
Blogger Ken said...

The simple fact of the matter is the magazine is nothing more than the organ of the ICAEW.

The ICAEW has proven itself unconnected with its its membership, and Accountancy (given its one sided coverage of the merger fiasco and Durgan Debacle) has gone the same way.

That is why the membership don't bother reading it.

Ken Frost FCA

http://www.icaew.info

3:58 pm  

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