It’s a multi-layered story as to how I came up with the concept of “timeless marketing.”
And there’s two sides to it, physically timeless and, in the case of the anagram, conceptually timeless. Allow me to explain:
So in November 2017, my beloved granddad sadly passed away. It was something we’d all been prepared for, but even so it was a devastating loss for me and my family.
Now the thing about my granddad was that he never threw anything away. Literally. NEVER. It took us 3 full days to clear out his 3-bedroom house. He had every cheque book since the 70s, all in order with no cheques in them, just the stubs. He’d collected bags of… believe it or not… carrier bags. The beds and toys from my dad’s childhood, who is now 63. Get the picture?
Even so, you’re probably reading this and thinking “ok Tom, but what the hell does this have to do with marketing?”
Well, in our quest to clear my granddad’s old house we stumbled across a suitcase in the attic. And in it, amongst more empty cheque books and bank deposit slips were tax tables.
That’s right. Tax tables.
I’ll do you one better. Tax tables from 1959. In pristine condition!
You can tell they were valuable to him, because he’d kept them with all his other financial paperwork from that year.
Now me being someone who works with accountants I was fascinated by finding these so much that I actually kept a hold of them. I kept starting them in the face, and then it dawned on me: I was actually staring at an example of retro content marketing.
When you think about it, back in that day, those tax tables were a valuable piece of content for my granddad. They’d helped him with his problems and held the answers he needed, which is the premise of content marketing right at its finest. The fact that he held onto them for years, in fact decades, is a testament to the power of content marketing. That’s how content marketing is timeless. One piece of content can be valuable for years to come to your prospective client, but it can only take that one piece of content to ground the relationship with them. I’ll delve more into this later, but it was important that I address how I discovered the idea of content marketing being “physically” timeless to your audience.
Another meaningless anagram…?
Not quite (I hope) … but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Indulge me a little if you will!
As I’ve said before, in the time I’ve worked with accountants, I’ve encountered several who feel they’ve been unable to focus on marketing in their firm, and their reason has always been this: “I don’t have time for marketing.”
When I hear that, I often imagine a sliding scale for accountants. It starts with those who say exactly that, that they have no time for marketing, and ends with those who are 100% committed to their marketing efforts and taking immediate action.
That got me thinking about the concept of putting “TIME” into marketing, and consequently putting “LESS” time into marketing. I stared at those two words for hours, and then I broke it down further. I asked myself: “why do you need to put TIME into your marketing?” and “what happens when you put LESS time into marketing?”
In doing so, and through my research of talking to accountants, I found that there are 4 main reasons that accountants focus on marketing, which happen to spell out “TIME”:
Each of those 4 areas has a counter, which is the outcome of what happens if you put less, or no time into your marketing. And yes, you guessed it, they happen to spell out “LESS”:
Trust is LOST
Interest in your ERODES
Management of the relationship SLIPS
Engagement with you STOPS
And there you have it. It’s not a bulls**t anagram. It’s not even conceptual. It’s fact. In my experience of working accountants, I’ve seen how any marketing they do, be it blogging, landing pages, guides, social media, whatever… it’s always underpinned by the idea of building trust, showing interest, engaging with the prospect and eventually managing that relationship.
Every time those same accountants have stopped their marketing, the results have always been the same. They lose trust. The client or prospect loses interest. The relationship is managed less and eventually, the engagement stops.
That’s why this I’ve brought this content to you. I want to show you the how and why of your marketing. I want to explain the negatives of not putting time into marketing, or even into the relationship.
And as a client of many accountancy firms in the past, I can tell you first hand that I’ve been there. I know what that feels like. It’s not great, but you can prevent it.