The majority of taxpayers in the United States never think about their personal income taxes until the very last minutes, and then never want to think about them again until the next time they are due. With this being the case, tax preparation companies like Intuit and H & R Block have an uphill battle when trying to promote their tax preparation products and services to the intended market.
Among tax preparation companies, H & R Block is the largest in the U.S. and offers a full gamut of products and services to meet the needs of just about all classes of taxpayers. English and even many non-English speaking tax payers who seek to simplify the time consuming and difficult task of doing their own taxes can go to one of the thousands of H & R branch offices and have a tax professional with Spanish translation skills do the work for them. Alternatively, people who are comfortable preparing their own tax returns and can select an English or bilingual online solution from Intuit or H & R Block that can help in simplifying and automating the task.
While tax preparation is one of the most dreaded life experiences, tax preparation suppliers have established a reputation for using communication strategies that employ translation companies such as The Marketing Analysts Translation Services and modern technologies such as social media to reach multilingual target audiences. For example, in a recent promotional campaign H & R Block hired a French translation services company and employed a range of strategies to reach their target customers: videos on YouTube, a YouTube contest, Facebook, and Twitter.
However, H & R Block’s creative communication strategies don’t simply revolve around technology. Using Web 2.0 resources, the company created a multilingual two-way communication method where the company listens to customers as it communicates. For instance, the marketing team follows Twitter users that have raised tax questions online, with the objective of keeping an open ear to their target market. Occasionally H & R Block employees reply directly to tax questions, and occasionally employees simply offer words of comfort and encouragement.
The use of social media and web 2.0 technology by H & R Block has surprised many veteran marketing professionals and translation professionals because in the past the tax preparation industry has been viewed as a conservative, old fashioned industry. Even more interesting is the fact that H & R Block has generated some interest in the field of tax preparation.