Marketing Bingo Or Yellow Pages Bingo For Accountants

by Paul Simister on February 14, 2011

Yellow Pages Bingo or Marketing Bingo is my game for checking that your marketing hasn’t fallen into the trap of being too similar to your competitors.

This is a practical example of applying Yellow Pages Bingo to the Accountants market.

In this blog I look at the Yellow Pages for accountants in Central Birmingham.

I find accountants are a good example to use because it’s a service used by nearly all small businesses and many struggle to select the right accountant for their needs.

I’ve split it into three sections – description of the accountancy firm, services and offer – of phrases that are regularly repeated.

Description of firm

  • For the self employed
  • For business and individuals
  • Specialists in local businesses
  • Small business specialist
  • Friendly
  • Professional service


  • Accounts preparation
  • Tax returns /  self assessment tax returns
  • VAT
  • PAYE
  • Corporation tax
  • Construction industry scheme
  • Payroll
  • Book-keeping
  • Management accounts
  • Business start-ups
  • Company formations


  • Free initial consultation
  • Sensible fees

I have to admit that in the latest edition of the Yellow Pages, there weren’t as many advertisements from accountants as there have been in the past. Perhaps the recession has forced some to cut back and others believe that the Internet is a more natural place to look for an accountant.

What happens in any market when every supplier looks the same?

The choice comes to either the cheapest or the most convenient.

Neither is a very good way for selecting a service which could have a very big effect on your business success.

This damages the accountancy firms who do a great job of supporting small businesses because their differentiation factors are not being communicated (see How To Differentiate An Accountancy Practice) and even worse, it damages the small businesses which don’t get the essential finance advice they need to grow successfully.

It’s Your Turn To Play Marketing Bingo For Accountants

Take your pick, yellow pages or websites because both bring local accountants together which emphasises the importance of being differentiated.

Then have a look to see if you can see any examples of accountants who do stand out, who have differentiated themselves.

Or can you just see the clichés – “we are a friendly and professional accountancy practice which specialises in small businesses…

Then Take A Look At Your Own Market & Play Marketing Bingo

My purpose of this blog is not to make fun of accountants but to make a serious point about marketing which in many ways is “anti-marketing” (doing the oppose of what you want) in a service you can relate to. Indeed you may well have struggled with the choice “which accountant should I go to?”

Be brave and take a look at your own website, your own yellow pages advertisement, your own brochure and compare it with your competitors.

If you are saying the same things – blah, blah, blah – then you have a problem and you need to fix it by:

  • Identifying what makes you special and different; and then
  • Communicating it to the market

Paul Simister is a differentiation business coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.

You too can move past your profit tipping point by answering the seven big questions of business success.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Simister April 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

here’s an interesting article from the Telegraph about how Accountants Don’t Understand Marketing

It is based on an article by Robert Craven with plenty of more comments about accountants and marketing

My view would be that until the accountant creates a message that is different from the masses, then more marketing will have little impact.

It will just create the Yawn- “heard it all before” response.

If you don’t know what I mean, think back to a networking meeting and someone introduces themselves as “I’m an accountant (or website designer, graphic designer etc)”.

You immediately think “Well I know what you do” and there’s no need to ask any interesting questions. Sure you might make polite conversation but you’ve got little interest until you can get the conversation around to the important stuff – what you do!


Paul Simister July 20, 2011 at 10:30 am

I was very pleased when Mark Lee, a well known adviser to accountants picked up on my Yellow Pages For Accountants game.

You can read his comments here

I’d very much like to know what you think so please leave a comment on this blog or Mark’s.


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