Market ‘with’ your target audience, not ‘at’ your target audience.

As published in The Q Review Spring 2020 Magazine.  Follow the link to Subscribe and receive your FREE copy each quarter!

Those that are long time CapitalQ Community Members will remember the time when, like most accountants, we didn’t market at all. And they will likely remember when that changed.

Implementing an effective marketing strategy was something I always wanted to achieve for CapitalQ.

I always felt accounting was one industry, of many, that markets itself very poorly. So, I wanted to be the beginning of the change.

At the same time, it was very important to me and our Team that we develop our skills and knowledge beyond the traditional accounting skill set. To add to our knowledge and experience of marketing and business building so that we could make an even greater contribution to the success of our Community Members’ businesses.

And I decided the best way to develop those skills and knowledge was not through enrolling in some formal study program at a university or other professional training organisation, nor was it just through reading books (though I have done a lot of that as well), but it was to get into the trenches and experience marketing and proactive business building first hand

Since that decision, we have tried just about everything both within CapitalQ and my other business interests including –



  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Blogs
  • Lead generation guides and checklists
  • Social media (See the “Get Social with us” box on this page)
  • Yahoo native Ads

So I bet you are wondering, which worked best, and which didn’t work at all.

Well, frustratingly for both you and us, that is not as easy to answer as you might think.

That is in part because there are really two main forms of marketing – Branding and Direct Response.

And one of the biggest differences between them is that one can be measured, the other can’t.

Branding is the big unknown. It is virtually impossible to measure.

Sure, if you are Coca Cola you can hire a highly paid market research company to survey people and try and determine which they recognise first, your can or Pepsi’s.

But even for the big boys, it is still very difficult to know what return they received on their branding efforts.

Direct Response is much more measurable, and frankly must be measured to ensure you are getting a return on your marketing spend.

…one of the biggest differences between them is that one can be measured, the other can’t.

But even with all the technology available to us, it still takes a lot of work, which in our case remains ongoing, in order to accurately and meaningfully measure much of your activities, including those online.

Everything you do as a business contains some element of branding, what you do and how you do it is your brand.

So each item listed contains an element of branding.

But focusing on our specific marketing activities, we feel the items in Bold are primarily branding activities including The Q Review, our TV Ads, our vehicles, our signage, our Blogs and our online guides.

These items are primarily attempting to create awareness of our business. Some of them also provide useful, hopefully usable, information and value to our target audience that helps develop their view of, and trust in, us.

The items in Italics are more about trying to induce the recipient to take action, to undertake a direct response, to our attention grabber and the inherit call to action.

Watch out for Part 2 in coming weeks…