There are more than 500 app partners on the Xero Marketplace, all of which cover a broad range of functions and industry verticals.
Despite there being such a broad range of apps available, each share a unifying cause: to make accountants and their small business clients happy.
With accountants generally doing the vetting of which apps their clients should use, especially when they’re integrated directly with their cloud accounting platform, an opportunity to get inside an accountant’s mind is an invaluable opportunity for app partners.
Speaking at Xero’s ecosystem summit, ahead of Xerocon 2016 in San Francisco, Nick Bird, founder of Lucid Books explained how to understand accountants so you can better market to them.
Bird says winning with accountants starts with understanding how they work. Understanding what will make life easier for accountants and their small business clients will enable app partners to build apps with the accountant in mind.
Bird says app partners should focus on how software is going to automate processes within accounting firms. Accountants want improved efficiencies and procedures and they want the technology that enables them to do this.
Market to Accountants
Knowing your audience and understanding your product is key to marketing to accountants. Bird recalls a client of his who runs a blog with articles that are always pertinent. He says that client made a list of the 50 influencers in his industry, went to those influencers and became their friend and engaged with them on social media by commenting on their blog posts.
Within two weeks of identifying and engaging with the influencers he had increased his blog subscribers tenfold.
Bird also says speaking to newer accounting firms at conferences like Xerocon offers an opportunity to market your product to an audience that generally find it easier to adapt to new technology. By knowing your product and your audience you can get the word out.
Create “The Natural Fit”
Bird talks about “The Natural Fit” when working on developing an app for accountants and their small business clients. He says it’s about what makes sense for “both of us”, both of us being the accountant and their client.
Bird says companies that are spread horizontally aren’t going to know lots of ins and outs of a specific industry. The number of accounting firms that specialize in a niche industry will grow, and so too should the number of apps doing so.
Building a good relationship with accountants is about understanding them and creating a good fit. App partners win when advisors win.