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Hit your target with effective marketing.

Financial advisers can build up their practices by clearly identifying the clients they want and targeting their marketing campaigns to reach them. Here are some points to keep in mind.

* Identify your target market in detail. A clear focus produces the best results It's easier and less expensive to reach a well-thought-out target, such as workers trying to save for retirement while paying for their children's college education and parents' nursing home care, than it is to pursue an overly broad group, such as those between 50 and 70 years of age with more than $250,000 in investable assets.

* Know your target. Focus less attention on age, income, gender and other impersonal characteristics, and more on personal interests and concerns, such as funding for a secure retirement, business succession and estate planning.

* Tailor your message. Provide key customers information on how you will address their interests and concerns and help achieve their financial goals.

* Watch reactions closely. Track the pieces of your marketing literature that stimulate the greatest interest among your target market and hone your materials to increase response rates.

* Use new technology to speed testing. It no longer takes months to find out how well a marketing plan design works. Technology makes it possible to simultaneously test up to seven variables, such as headline wording, offering terms or type face and quickly determine the combination to which the target market will best respond. Incorporate those elements in your marketing materials.

Editor's note: The AICPA offers a free CPA Marketing Tool Kit to help members promote their practices and services. To learn more, visit
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Title Annotation:Monthly Checklist Series
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Previous Article:Buying or selling, CPAs must know the details: here's how to make the right tax choices in the purchase or sale of a business.
Next Article:With integrity and fairness: an interview with Mark W. Everson, Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

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