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professional services marketing digest

Professional Services Marketing Digest

Professional Services Marketing Digest

The Top 5 Most Effective Tactics Used by Aggressive/Progressive CPA Firms for Lead Generation

Posted by Alan Vitberg on Feb 3, 2014 9:31:00 AM

Is Your CPA Firm Marketing Program Ahead or Behind the Curve?

One of the areas we investigated in our recent Survey of CPA Firm Best Lead Generation Practices gave us some insights to what CPA firms consider to be the most effective types of offers and tactics for generating leads. In fact, a few weeks ago, we published a blog post (“The Top 3 Tactics CPA and Consulting Firms Use to Promote Offers for Lead Generation”) showing what firms considered to be the most effective ways that firms use to reach eyeballs to promote or “advertise” an offer: on the website, e-newsletters, and e-mail.

In today’s post, we do a little bit deeper dive and look into what the survey said about how firms are generating the leads – the specific tactics they use to turn an opportunity from a suspect to a prospect – someone who gives the firm permission to market to them. In our main report and Executive Summary we present an overview of what we found, but we thought our reader might find it interesting to see what the most aggressive/progressive CPA firms had to say about the most effective tactics  (the “how’s) of lead generation.

What are the Most Effective Tactics Progressive/Aggressive CPA Firms Use to Generate Leads*?

  1. Networking/referrals                          92%
  2. Industry organizations                        77%
  3. Content marketing                               72%
  4. Company website                                 67%
  5. Seminars                                               62%
  6. Speaking                                                59%
  7. Dedicated business developer              56%
  8. Meet/greet                                             56%
  9. e-newsletter                                           54%
  10. Search marketing                                   51%
  11. email                                                        44%
  12. Public relations                                       41%
  13. Social media                                             38%
  14. Webinars                                                  33%
  15. Blogs                                                        31%
  16. Civic organizations                                  31%
  17. Sponsorships                                           26%
  18. PPC                                                          21%
  19. Direct mail                                                18%
  20. Online video                                            18%
  21. Tradeshows                                              18%
  22. Telemarketing                                        10%
  23. Mobile mktg                                            8%
  24. Paid advertising                                     8%
  25. Cold Calling                                              5%
% of firms self-identifying as progressive/aggressive that rate the tactic with very effective or effective    

Here are a few interesting observations you can use to benchmark how your firm compares to progressive/aggressive firms when it comes to lead generation:

  • The most effective way to generate lead is, and will remain to be networking and referrals. This doesn’t  mean, however, that it should be the only arrow in your quiver when it comes to lead generation
  • Of the top 10 tactics, 4 of them fall into the digital marketing arena. 5 years ago, tactics like content marketing and company website and search marketing would not have made the top ten list, and five years from now, we predict that these tactics will be  #2,3 and 4 in the top 10 list
  • Mobile marketing comes in very low in the ratings of lead generation tactic effectiveness. With more and more people using smart phones and tablets than ever before, it’s time for smart marketers to build a strong mobile presence
  • Of the bottom 10 tactics, traditional tactics such as cold calling, paid advertising, telemarketing, and trade shows are falling off the chart

lead generation surveyAggressive/progressive firms are shifting their marketing resources, budgets and thinking more and more into using digital marketing as a primary driver of lead generation for the firm. But digital marketing also can serve in firm and personal branding roles, as a vehicle for publishing thought leadership, and as a means to differentiate the firm on a number of different levels.

If you would like to get some more information and insights on lead generation - from types of effective tactics to types of effective offers, click here to download our complementary Executive Summary of the 2013-14 Survey of Lead generation Best Practices.


VitbergLLC is a marketing agency specializing in online marketing for CPA, consulting and other professional services firms. Contact us here or call us at 585-425-2552 to talk about improving your digital marketing program.




LeadG2’s Professional Services Team specializes online marketing for CPA, consulting, recruiting and other professional services firms. Contact us here or call us at 585-425-2552 to talk about how you can get more visibility, leads and new business for your firm or niche practice.