In my view the best marketing book for accountancy firms that I read is well worth you reading, Contagious by Jonah Berger. 

It’s an awesome book on word-of-mouth marketing because it connects with the most powerful aspect of marketing accountancy firm – referrals.

Here’s a question the book poses:

“What percentage of word of mouth do you think happens online?  In other words, what percent of chatter happens over social media, blogs, email, and chat rooms?

If you’re like most people you probably guessed around 50-60 percent.  Some people guess upward of 70 percent, and some guess much lower, but after having asked this question of hundreds of students and executives, I find the average is around 50%.

And that number makes sense.  After all, social media has certainly exploded as of late.  Millions of people use these sites every day, and billions of pieces of content get shared every month.  These technologies have made it faster and easier to share things quickly with a broad group of people.

But 50 percent is wrong.

Not even close.

The actual number is 7 percent.

Research from the Keller Fay Group finds that only 7 percent of word of mouth happens online.

Most people are extremely surprised when they hear that number.  “People spend a huge amount of time online!”  And that’s true.  People do spend a good bit of time online.  Close to two hours a day by some estimates.  But we forget that people spend a lot of time offline.  More than eight times as much, in fact.  And that creates a lot more time for offline conversations.
We tend to overestimate online word of mouth because it’s easier to see.”

The results of our (soon to be published) Marketing Audit Report back this finding up – client referrals are 100% more effective at creating converted leads than any other aspect of marketing. Long live word of mouth referrals!

So what’s your favourite marketing book for accountants in 2013 – the ones we should all read to inspire us to greater growth?

Or have you read something that’s positively impacted your firm that’s not marketing? Please share it would you?

Paul Shrimpling
Remarkable Practice

Creator of ‘Business Bitesize’ – cultivating a greater flow of new clients for your accountancy firm through profitable word-of-mouth –

Author of ‘Bamboo Marketing For Accountants’ – the route map to marketing success for accountants in practice –