Accounting Services Case Study

In this example, we use a typical business to business relationship where the service is well known and the competition is well established.

The Company

The company in this example provides accounting services to other businesses. They are located in a major city. They have 2 principals who run the business. 2 certified public accounts (CPAs), other than the principals. The remainder of the staff consists of 5 junior accountants and 10 bookkeepers. They have been in business for over 5 years. They have tried to differentiate their services from other firms, but have been challenged to make it work. Here’s how a marketing strategy could help them.

High Volume

Defined as have 10,000+ transactions per month

Medium Volume

Defined as having 1000 - 9999 transactionsper month

Low Volume

Defined as have under 1000 transactions

Market Segmentation

B2B markets are typically segmented by size either by revenue or by number of employees. In this case, it’s   a bit different, as it is the number of transactions that drive cost. In this case, it might be better to segment by industry, because some industries, like retail, will have a more transactions than others. It is important to segment the market by the right metric.

Key Business Facts

  • Maximum transaction per month was 65,000
  • Maximum number of audits was 5 complex or 15 moderate
  • High volume customers required a dedicated team
  • Firm had low overhead because it did not dedicate resources
  • It allowed flexible schedules, whichenabled speed
  • Fee’s: Large $100K, Med $50K, Low $10K per client

Target Market Selection

If you do the math based on their capacity, the firm would see the best return by focusing on mid-size clients. The total revenue would be $750K. But, it’s not just revenue, it’s the match between the need and the ability to service it.

In this case, they align. Given their structure, they could service these mid-size clients with the level they expect, while being able to differentiate on either speed or cost. Both advantages due to their structure


I face a number of challenges in this role. I have to manage both up (forecast) and down (closes). It takes so much time that I feel I’m not as available to my family when I get home or over the weekends.

Insights in real world

Insights in the real world aren’t this ready-made. You often need to do some rapid-fire testing to see whether or not they are real. For the purposes of example, we will assume it has been validated, but this is a CRUTIAL step. You should never assume. You should always test.


For VPs or Directors of Finance of mid-sized firms, who want to enjoy their time away from work without worrying about a close, Company Example is the only accounting service provider that can provide fast, accurate closing documents within 48 hours. That’s because we have a flexible workforce that can manage their schedule around yours, and we have the technical expertise to ensure it’s done right the first time and every time.


For this example, the persona would likely be a VP or Director of Finance within these mid-size companies. He or she would likely have a CPA or MBA and a solid background in finance. They were likely over 35 and be married or have a family, so work-life balance would be important. They didn’t want to spend hours each month sweating over the close.

Parting Thoughts

  • Segment your Marketing based on what's good for you and your market
  • Find a segment where you can shine or create one
  • It's rarely this simple. This is just to illustrate the concepts. In reality, it's much harder.

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