Privacy Services Prospect Checklist 

    The privacy services prospect checklistThis checklist is aimed at assisting practitioners in small and medium-sized firms in focusing their marketing efforts by identifying characteristics of existing and prospective clients that will experience the greatest benefit by investing in privacy services.

    The more of these characteristics the client has, the more likely it will be to consider or embrace privacy services:

    1. The client’s reputation is built on or largely depends on its ability to keep information private.
    2. The client has 10 or more employees.
    3. The client regularly collects customer or prospect information before launching or modifying new products or services.
    4. The client relies heavily on gathering, updating, storing, and organizing prospect information with contact management software programs and technologies.
    5. The client has a human resources department that collects and stores information on potential recruits and staff (10 or more employees).
    6. The client’s competitors have invested in privacy-related technologies and processes.
    7. The firm’s clients have demanded accountability regarding processes for keeping information private.
    8. The client needs to adopt new practices and technologies to comply with privacy legislation.

    Marketing Questions Commonly Asked by Practitioners

    Question: When is the right time to market privacy services?

    Practitioners should market privacy services when any of the following conditions are in place:

    • The practitioner recognizes the need or opportunity to build revenues by offering innovative nontraditional services.
    • Potential students and/or recruits have expressed a desire to join firms that offer innovative nontraditional accounting services.
    • Clients have expressed a concern about the completeness of their own current privacy practices.
    • Clients are under pressure to conform to strict industry regulation around how they collect, use, retain, and disclose personal information.
    Question: Who in the firm should market privacy services?

    No specific individual should market privacy services. Since developing the skills to implement and market privacy services requires the commitment from the most senior levels of the firm, everyone working in a small or medium-sized firm will be expected to be involved in marketing privacy services.

    The challenge for any small or medium-sized firm is clarifying the roles associated with marketing privacy services. Based on successful adoption and marketing of privacy services, the most critical role is that of the privacy services champion. This senior practitioner (partner) must do the following:
    • Work with a privacy services marketing adviser (external consultant) to develop marketing strategy and targets
    • Facilitate training of professional staff on identifying opportunities within the existing and prospective client base
    • Serve as the point-person for client and media contact
    • Build relationships with various professional associations and organizations to keep current on privacy services and changes in privacy legislation


    Privacy Services Marketing Skills Checklist

    Research indicates that practitioners in small and medium-sized firms have neither the knowledge nor the marketing skills to effectively bring privacy services to market. Furthermore, practitioners recognized that they need to actively engage marketers to take privacy services to market. As a result, practitioners expressed a demand for a concise list of characteristics they could use in evaluating prospective marketing suppliers who would guide them in bringing privacy services to market:

    • Business skills. The ability to quickly and accurately understand the nature of the businesses carried out by the prospects for privacy services, and a track record demonstrating it.
    • Communication skills. The ability to translate the benefit of privacy services into terms that are relevant to the prospects for privacy services, and a track record demonstrating it.
    • Interpersonal skills. Strong listening and empathy skills.
    • Evaluation skills. The ability to measure the impact of marketing strategies and activities, and a track record in doing so.
    • Networking skills. The ability to build networks within relevant industry markets, and a track record demonstrating it.
    • Promotion skills. The ability to follow a rigorous methodology for increasing profile for the professional services firm with targeted audiences, and a track record demonstrating it.

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