Case study: HB&O

Case study: HB&O

Putting personality into professional services communications for HB&O
Client profile

HB&O is a highly regarded firm of Accountants and Financial Advisers. Led by a dynamic team, the firm was among the first in Warwickshire to champion cloud accounting and has built a reputation for providing exceptional client service.

The challenge

But back in 2014, the team was hiding its many strengths behind mass produced marketing with a dated look and feel. The firm’s website and literature were not conveying the essence of their approach and they needed help to make a more positive impact in a crowded marketplace.

CMC was appointed initially to review the firm’s proposal documents, both from a content and design point of view. Having delivered a successful makeover, we were subsequently engaged to conduct a communications audit, develop a marketing communications strategy, and provide ongoing advice and implementation.

Our approach

Key to the success of this project was building strong relationships with all departments from the word go. We met with representatives from the different specialist areas and agreed a clear set of business priorities that the communications activities should support.

These sessions allowed us to build an understanding of the personality of the firm which we saw as a refreshing mix of sound, professional expertise combined with an appetite for innovation and a sense of fun.

Working with our design colleagues, we developed new branding and graphics using bright, bold colours reflecting the firm’s energetic style. Content creation became bespoke, drawing on the experience of the HB&O team, further cementing relationships and building awareness of the varied expertise within the firm.

Marketing and events activities centred on engaging events with a meaningful message including our ‘Fit for the Future’ event stand complete with cup stacking challenge, and our ‘Grass is Greener over here’ campaign, incorporating lawn-based games and associated direct mail. Both successfully attracted plenty of interest, growing the firm’s business leads.

"Catherine’s strategic approach and creative ideas enabled us to make the most of our greatest asset – our people. Her partnership style has also helped us develop our own in-house marketing skills."

Mark Ashfield, Managing Director, HB&O

Targeted communications

When it came to convey one of the biggest changes to affect HB&O’s clients – the move to Digital Tax – our campaign was highly visual, based on highlighting technology change people are generally comfortable with. The multi-channel campaign was highly effective in encouraging most clients to move to cloud accounting.

At all times, our focus was on ensuring communications activity supported the principal aims of the business and that PR and marketing campaigns were timely and relevant for the intended audience.

Outcomes

We provided ongoing marketing communications support for HB&O for five years. In that time, we have:

  • Developed numerous creative campaigns to support business growth and celebrate charitable initiatives
  • Seen significant improvement in engagement at events, leading to a number of new business opportunities and partnerships
  • Launched a hard-copy customer magazine focusing on business advice which the majority of HB&O customers have signed up to receive – now in its fourth year
  • Provided mentoring and training for HB&O’s Marketing Coordinator
  • Developed a strong library of unique content including blogs, marketing materials and videos
  • Grown the database and readership of the HB&O online newsletter, and seen a growth in enquiries coming in via the website
  • Supported the successful recruitment of a new in-house full time Marketing Manager, in recognition of the firm’s growth and the increasing value it places on effective marketing

"Catherine delivered a step change in our approach to marketing communications which has help us build awareness of our brand, generate new business and celebrate our core strengths and expertise.

"Catherine and her team are a pleasure to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend CMC to organisations looking to sharpen up their communications activity."

We continue to support HB&O on specialist projects such as staff surveys and internal comms planning, when required.

Photo courtesy of HB&O and Sally Evans Photography

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