AAM Minute

The AAM Minute is a monthly e-newsletter that provides timely information that about topics that impact accounting marketing and practice growth. It is available to anyone interested in what is happening in accounting marketing.

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November 2017: Celebrating Milestones

Topic At Hand: Five Reasons to Celebrate Firm Milestones - Anniversaries, new niches, updated branding, and promotions-the list of milestones to celebrate is endless. Read more for five reasons why marketing your firm's key milestones are important.

Articles of Interest:
  1. Finding the right employee recognition program for your company is no easy task. This article includes 33 thoughtful employee recognition and appreciation ideas for 2018.
  2. It is important to take the time to celebrate milestones and achievements in the workplace. This article introduces five best practices to help you show appreciation and engage team members.
  3. Think outside the box next time you are planning a celebration for hitting a major company milestone. Click here to read fifteen unique ways to celebrate major milestones with your team.
  4. New-millennium career milestones are very different from old-millennium milestones. The new-millennium milestones are achievements you reach for yourself. Here are 25 career milestones worth celebrating.
  5. Making employees feel appreciated on their work anniversary is often times overlooked. Here are interesting ways that you and your company can celebrate employee "workiversaries".

Best Practices: Firm Milestone Marketing Ideas - Celebrating a milestone anniversary can be daunting. This article gives you a quick list of options to consider in the planning process.

Business Development News: Take Time to Enjoy Your Successes - Business development is an emotion-laden task. It is a long, complex process, with many steps and even more stakeholders-and this is just for one sale! Along the way, you experience more rejections than successes. It is hard and not for the faint at heart. Read this article to learn why you need to celebrate your wins, whether small or large, completed, or in process.

Meet a Member: Sarah Coulson - Learn more about Sarah Coulson, Marketing Program Manager at CPAmerica International, and her accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List: November 2017

October 2017: A Marketer's Role in Succession Planning

Topic At Hand: Mergers & Succession Planning - As retirements continue to increase in the industry, many accounting firms are using mergers and acquisitions as a form of succession planning. This article takes a look at the role of marketing throughout this process.

Articles of Interest:
  1. Client communication in preparation for succession is a much-needed marketing strategy. This article includes tips for transitioning clients. 
  2. It is estimated that 75 percent of today's CPAs will be retiring in the next 15 years. This statistic, paired with the prediction that the demand for accountants will grow at a faster than average rate, makes retaining talent and evaluating succession planning even more imperative. Discover four steps accounting firm leaders can take to improve their planning strategies in this article.
  3. It is no secret that firms need to start the internal communication process early during succession planning. Although a marketer's role in the process may vary, they are an integral part of succession communication. This article includes a helpful timeline and overview of the types of communication required for a smooth transition.
  4. Succession planning can be a stressful time for a professional services firm. This article includes tips for successfully transitioning skills to new leadership.
  5. There are often many factors that determine the success of the client transition process. Learn more about common barriers to avoid in this article.

Best Practices: Six Succession Planning Strategies for Marketers - Succession planning and the role of a marketer in this process continues to be an important topic as retirements remain imminent. Click here to learn six tips a marketer can use to add value to the process and be an important part of the team.

Business Development News: From Practitioner to Business Developer - When succession planning, you should consider transitioning a practitioner to the role of a business developer. This article discusses the important factors that make this role successful.

Meet a Member: Jennifer Cantero - Learn more about Jennifer Cantero, Marketing Manager at Sensiba San Filippo LLP, and her accounting marketing career in this article..

New Member List: October 2017

September 2017: Using Research in Marketing

Topic At Hand: Navigating the Murky Waters of Marketing with Your Trusty Sonar - RESEARCH -  Marketing leaders are like captains on a Navy submarine. You have your mission, your crew is onboard, and you are all fueled up; however, the water is murky - how do you find your target? Read this article to find out how research can navigate your submarine (or project) and discover tools to help you reach your target.

Articles of Interest:
  1. There are many considerations when facing a rebrand or working to increase brand visibility. Click here to learn what brand research is and how it fits into your firm's plan to grow their brand.
  2. There are plenty of reasons (actually, excuses) not to use market research. However, you must overcome your internal, emotional customer predictions and start using combined qualitative and quantitative research to provide you with real data. This article introduces a backward approach to research that may work best for you.
  3. There is a difference between market research and marketing research. Learn the difference between the two and the important contributions of each in this article.
  4. Research or "deep dive" content like whitepapers are often more technical in nature, and in turn, may require a different approach when creating them. Click here for tips on how to best develop these pieces.
  5. While it is understood that research can be crucial for professional services marketing, how well do you know the various types available? This article discusses different market research options and helps define which method your firm should be using based on your overall goal.

Best Practices: Client Satisfaction Survey - The Real 411 on Your Firm - Surveying clients on their overall satisfaction with your service is one of the most important types of research you can perform. While many may fear surveys because of what they might find, it is worth the risk because, in general, companies that measure their client satisfaction grow faster. These surveys also can help you measure loyalty, identify unhappy clients, and increase revenue. If you are having a hard time selling the idea to your partner or stakeholder group, then keep reading this article.

Business Development News: The Emotional Side of Buying - There is great value in understanding your communication style, and one such tool, the DiSC® profile, can educate you on your communication style and how to identify others' to best approach and relate to them. This article provides an overview of DiSC and how to incorporate it in your business development strategy.

Meet a Member: Irma Zaldivar - Learn more about Irma Zaldivar, Director of Marketing at ELLS CPAs & Business Advisors, and her accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List: September 2017

August 2017: Creating a Marketing Culture

Topic At Hand: Why Every Firm Needs a Strong Marketing Culture -  Here is a sobering fact to share with your firm's managing partner: accounting firms are among the slowest growing professional services industries, and only law firms are growing more slowly. Because of that, it is so important to build a strong marketing culture within your firm, and this article from Hinge shares five changes you can make within your current firm culture.

Articles of Interest:
  1. Entrepreneur Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started in this TED talk video; first it starts with a leader, then you need followers, and after others join - it is a movement. Derek explains why the the first follower, not the leader, is the most important role in starting a movement. Use his advice to help create a marketing culture within your own firm.
  2. You need an action plan when you start to build your marketing culture. The essential elements of which are broken down in this quick read article, and the ‘One Way to Fail’ is extremely important to remember.
  3. Accounting firms are notorious for being staffed with introverts, and because a big part of building a marketing culture is getting your people out of the office, this article provides simple steps to succeeding at networking if you are an introvert.
  4. Invest in your firm’s internal culture to achieve the best marketing culture. “You can’t project what you don’t possess,” and this article shares the internal elements you need to build a strong, cohesive team.
  5. Establishing a culture of growth is important in meeting today’s marketing and business development goals. This article discusses three essential components to developing a successful strategy.

Best Practices: Building a Business Development Culture - It takes effort to develop a firm culture in which your doer-sellers embrace their roles in sales and business development and do not just consider "sell" to be a four-letter word. Click here for three steps that you can implement at your firm to create a highly engaged business development culture.

Business Development News: Pipeline Management is a Business Development Function - Ideally your firm has a pipeline of opportunities identified and being pursued; however, a pipeline is only a document and must be managed to drive results. Pipeline management can become a powerful tool when it is integrated into your business development process and ingrained in your firm's culture. This article shares how you can take action and create a formal pipeline management process or enhance your current process to drive results.

Meet a Member: Chris O'Day - Learn more about Chris O'Day, Marketing Manager at Abrams Little-Gill Loberfield PC, and his accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List:August 2017

July 2017: Career Development: Generalist vs. Specialist

Topic At Hand: Leverage Digital Marketing Skills to Propel Your Career -  As with most industries, accounting marketing has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Marketing tactics have transitioned from print to digital (nearly exclusively), and it is now a necessity to develop your digital marketing skillset. This article shares the benefits of expanding your accounting marketing career to include digital.

Articles of Interest:

  1. The marketers’ evolution from the generalist to the specialist and back to the generalist. This article explains why the marketing generalist is the more well-rounded professional. The marketing specialist has a solitary view or interest, while the marketing generalist is able to look at the big picture. Marketing departments are transitioning back to a generalist approach.
  2. Trying to decide if you should be a generalist or specialist in your career? This article will guide you through the pros and cons of each, including what employers look for, to help with your decision-making.
  3. If you are looking to expand your marketing team, should you hire a specialist or generalist? This article provides guidance and insight for you to determine the best fit for your team.
  4. In this video interview with Gail Galuppo, Chief Marketing Officer of Aflac, she explains why she advocates for marketers to be marketing generalists versus specialists. It is her belief that adding to your ‘toolkit’ of skills will broaden your perspective and provide more opportunities in your career. As a result, you also will be more adaptable and able to work outside of your comfort zone.
  5. The specialization of the marketing workforce was a result of the growth of digital. Now, as it is harder and harder for brands to relay their messages, this article says marketers will thrive as specialist generalists because they can navigate a problem as a whole and offers five strategies for how.

Best Practices: My Guerilla Marketing Career - Marketing is a fast-paced, ever-changing field. Few marketers are truly ‘fully knowledgeable’ on every aspect of marketing and many have to learn new skills on the fly. Here is the story of my guerilla marketing career and what I do to keep up with the changes to stay relevant in today’s tough accounting marketing world.

Business Development News: Comparing the Business Development Generalist and Specialist - There are different career paths for business development executives (BDE) in the accounting industry. A BDE can sell the firm’s services as a generalist, meaning they sell all the firm has to offer, or as a specialist, which is selling a specific service. Some BDEs can even sell both. For example, by focusing on a few specialty tax services, a BDE functions as both a generalist and a specialist. No matter which path one takes, both can translate into a rewarding career for the BDE and new revenue for the firm. We will take a deeper look into both roles, and the pros and cons of each, in this article.

Meet a Member: Jaimi Koechel - Learn more about Jaimi Koechel, Director of Marketing for Henry+Horne, and her career in accounting marketing in this article.

New Member List: July 2017

June 2017: Referral & Partnership Marketing

Topic At Hand: How to Get the Most Out of Your Referral Sources - While often overlooked, a great source for new business includes referral sources. You cannot receive a better lead than one that has been sent from someone already in a strong working relationship with you. Building relationships with bankers, attorneys, financial advisors, and other professional services providers can play a huge rule to bringing more business into your practice. Think of your referral sources as your personal sales force, and this article will introduce steps you can take to initiate referral partnerships.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Many customers are glad to provide referrals when they are happy with the services provided by your company, but do not take the extra step to do so. This article shares best practices on how to capture those valuable referrals.
  2. Need ideas to help you gain more referrals? This article provides information on experience-based and reputation-based referrals along with helpful concepts to gain a strong referral strategy.
  3. A referral contest is a great way to generate - and track - leads from existing customers. This article shares tips and techniques for how to create, customize, record, and recognize your customers' and their referrals' traffic on your site.
  4. Don't know where to begin with referral incentives and rewards? This comprehensive article covers what to consider when designing your own plan including why you should reward and who you should reward.
  5. Partnership marketing is more than just adding your logo alongside another company's. Learn more about how you can build partnerships with strategic, mutual advantages in this article.

Best Practices: Five Ways to Partner with your State CPA Society for Success - As an accounting marketing professional charged with a multitude of tasks on any given day, it helps to have allies on your side within your industry. That is where your state accounting society can help. Every U.S. state as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, has professional societies or associations dedicated to helping accountants protect and promote their profession. They are an often overlooked partnership resource - you just need to know how to best use the resources and tools they have available. Read this article to learn more.

Business Development News: 12 Steps to Take Referral Relationships to the Next Level  - When it comes to attracting new business in an accounting firm, successful business developers realize, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Having connections to people in power is always a path to success, and strategic marketing alliances are used by the most successful business developers. This article shares a 12-step networking process for developing alliances that deliver a continuous stream of quality business referrals.

Questions & Answers: How to Work With Your International CPA Firm Association - Accounting associations do not all look alike, but they exist because firms are looking for benefits like brand validation, sharing opportunities, access to expertise, and potential for referrals. This interview with a firm member of an association discusses the benefits of working closely with an association, emphasizing the 'you get what you give' mentality.

 Sponsored Content: Investing in Success: What Successful Accounting Firms Spend on Marketing - Results from the third Marketing Budget Benchmark Study conducted by the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and Hinge Research Institute are in and key highlights and insights from the study are shared in this article.

New Member List: June 2017

Many customers are glad to provide referrals when they are happy with the services provided by your company, but do not take the extra step to do so. This article shares best practices on how to capture those valuable referrals.

Need ideas to help you gain more referrals? This article provides information on experience-based and reputation-based referrals along with helpful concepts to gain a strong referral strategy.

May 2017: Proposal and Pursuit Processes

Topic At Hand: Defining Your Sales Process - While sales and marketing are often two separate departments, in accounting, many marketers are being leaned on to wear both hats. Many of us have to adopt a new set of sales skills on the fly and, in addition, have daunting sales goals being handed to us. Customer relationship management (CRM) implementation anyone? The first step to tackling any of this is to define your sales process. This article provides tips for better defining a few of those sales process pieces.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Where should you begin when writing a proposal? Positioning your firm as the top candidate for selection can be somewhat of an art. This five-step guide will help you determine where to start and lay out a roadmap for your proposal writing process.
  2. Each proposal should be tailored to its recipient; therefore, carving out enough time to create a unique document is important and will help you address all necessary requirements. In this article, Tom Sant, one of the world’s top experts on proposal writing, highlights seven tips to writing a winning proposal.
  3. As John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Your prospect will be sure to examine your proposal carefully and pay attention to less obvious details that can make a big difference in closing the deal, so be sure to consider the three details discussed in this article the next time you write your proposal.
  4. Proposals are essential for winning business, but are the documents you are creating causing you to lose prospective business? This article includes six bad habits to avoid when writing proposals.
  5. Working on a proposal within a team dynamic can be difficult because of the possibility of duplicate files, conflicting versions, and old templates. This article provides seven tools designed for proposal teams and shares their differentiators.

Best Practices: Get Organized with Proposal Software - Many accounting marketers are still using Microsoft Word to create proposal documents but have the desire to implement proposal software for a more efficient process. This article provides advice and insight into your search.

Business Development News: Five Questions You Must Ask in Your Next Pursuit - Growing your business is a challenge everyone faces and transitioning qualified leads into clients is even more difficult. This process can be somewhat streamlined with these five questions to ask, which can help you determine what they are looking for and how you can meet their needs.

Meet a Member: Crystal Mapp - Learn more about Crystal Mapp, Marketing Director for KPM CPAs & Advisors and the AAM Minute’s Committee Chair in this article. 

New Member List: May 2017

April 2017: Video Marketing Strategies

Topic At Hand: Five Steps for Producing Quality In-House Videos - As technology continues to evolve and reshape the way we conduct business, it also places an integral role in the way we conduct marketing. Video marketing specifically, driven primarily through technological advances, continues to be a trending activity driving marketing strategy and brand awareness for organizations. Click here to learn five best practices for producing quality in-house videos.

Articles of Interest:

  1. When you start shooting videos, either in-house or outsourced, the costs can quickly add up. It is important that you develop a detailed video marketing budget and stick to it. Check out this article on how to build a video marketing budget.

  2. Want to start using videos in your marketing strategy, but have no idea where to start? Then read this article on how to add video as a key marketing tactic. You will learn tactics and strategies you can put into action today.

  3. More and more companies are going live on Facebook and creating videos on Instagram and Twitter to reach their audiences. As we recruit the next generation of accountants, it is important we connect with them on the platforms they are using. In this article, learn how to create your own social media video marketing strategy for your firm. 

  4. Company culture videos can be a powerful way to convey your brand to potential employees and clients. Learn ideas to help harness your story with these 10 companies that did a great job highlighting their unique cultures. 

  5. If there are not already enough reasons to champion video marketing at your firm, here are 2017 stats to help others understand the benefits of this rising technology in the marketing world.

  6. Need to learn more about the video editing process? This article can help you get started and better understand what it actually takes to produce in-house videos.

  7. So you have great videos but now what? Need ideas for promotion? This article gives you nine solid tactics to use in your video marketing strategy.

Best Practices: Learn to Edit & Livestream Videos with Mevo - If you are looking to produce high-quality videos without blowing your budget or spending hours on post-production, Mevo may be your new best friend. Click here to learn more about his efficient and effective technology and how it can benefit your firm.

Business Development News: Where Does Video "Play" in the Business Development Cycle?  - One of the hottest topics in discussion today surrounds the role that video plays in the business development cycle. The professional services industry is struggling even more with this concept because of the relationship and referral systems that most firms use. The concept of using video in many firms seems counterintuitive to the personal relationship of a referral. Click here to learn more about the role video can play in business development.

Questions & Answers: Video Tips from a Pro - An important consideration when developing a video marketing strategy is whether to produce videos in-house or outsource this job. This interview with a videographer features tip and tricks for adding video to your marketing mix to ensure quality.

New Member List: April 2017

March 2017: Staffing: Outsourcing vs. Internal Employees

Topic At Hand: Building Your Marketing Team - Are you finding there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything you would like to? Do you wish you had another set of hands to help with marketing projects? If your answer is yes, should you hire someone or outsource? Either way, the bottom line is you need more help and you have to convince your firm that you need another person. In this article, learn how to approach the subject and determine if it is time to outsource or hire.

Articles of Interest:

  1. If your firm has a blog, then you are very aware of how much time it takes to manage its content, writers, strategy – the list goes on. Click here for an infographic featuring 27 different blog tasks you can outsource to save time.

  2. Design work on websites, brochures, signage, and other marketing collateral can make or break the success of a firm. If outsourcing your design work is not an option, click here to learn about what design skills you should look for in an employee.
  3. Video marketing is essential! A couple of mind-blowing stats: video in an email leads to 200-300 percent increase in click-through rates, and including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80 percent. Click here to find out if your firm should create video marketing in-house, outsource it, or do a combination of both.
  4. In over your head with website design? Whether your firm has decided to outsource or not, click here to learn about what to avoid in your new website’s design before you even begin the long road to a redesign.
  5. Revamping or beginning your firm’s search engine optimization strategy is no easy feat. Knowing your audience is merely one key to accomplishing successful search engine ranking. Before you make the decision to outsource, click here to learn the basics of search engine friendly design and development.

Best Practices: Successfully Working with Outside Vendors - There comes a time when an accounting firm decides to outsource work to an outside vendor. Regardless of what business you are in, vendors play a key role in the success of your business. There are so many vendors to choose from and it can be overwhelming. This article will walk you through the steps to successfully work with outside vendors.

Business Development News: Secrets to Outsourced Lead Generation Success - One key to generating a return on your firm’s marketing investments is planning how you will transition from marketing to sales. While marketing builds your firm’s credibility and differentiates you from competitors, sales activities enable you to begin to uncover the prospect’s needs and offer to help meet them through one-on-one conversations. Outsourcing telephone lead generation is one such way to accomplish this. Find out how to implement and incorporate this tactic into your firm’s sales approach in this article.

Meet a Member: Katie Tolin - Learn more about 2016 AAM ‘Hall of Fame’ inductee Katie Tolin, including her proudest career accomplishments and her thoughts on outsourcing marketing efforts in this article.

New Member List: March 2017

February 2017: Creative & Design Elements

Topic At Hand: What Every Designer Wants You to Know - Graphic designers know not every marketer has a design background but most all are expected to dig into the realm of design at some point. From those of us with a design background, this article lists a few things we hope you non-designers will keep in mind.Graphic designers know not every marketer has a design background but most all are expected to dig into the realm of design at some point. From those of us with a design background, this  arti cle lists a few things we hope you non-designers will keep in mind.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Is your firm’s brand constructed around unified design and the sequential user? Click here to learn more about the importance of unified design and the sequential user of today
  2. Visuals are just as important as content when representing your brand. Click here to learn eight basic graphic design tips to help engage your audience.
  3. Minimalism, 80s neon, and heavy prints are just a few of this year’s trends in graphic design. Click here to see a comprehensive list of 2017 graphic design trends.
  4. A brand handbook will serve as a guide for employees to better understand how to communicate, both visually and verbally, about the firm. If you do not have a brand handbook for your firm, click here to learn more about how to create one and the most essential elements to include.
  5. Using your own photos versus stock photos is always a better option. However, if a photo shoot is not in your budget, this article provides tips on how to make stock photos more interesting with a little help from Photoshop.

Best Practices: Tips & Tricks for Using Canva - Canva is a fantastic, unique online design tool that offers completely customizable templates for everything from pre-sized YouTube banners to advertisements to Webinar invitations. Notably, you do not need any design experience to use Canva effectively and efficiently. However, it is crucial that you understand when to use Canva and when to find a different solution for your design needs. This article will focus on discovering Canva's role in your company's graphics and using its best features to help you save time while still creating beautiful designs.

Business Development News: Lead-Specific Creativity - Think of the phrase 'creative marketing' and your thoughts might turn reflexively to the top of the classic marketing to sales funnel: you imagine an ad campaign, a buzz-worthy brand video, or a 'wow' signature event. That reflex is natural. At the lead-specific level, most of us do not always think creatively or apply creative communication resources. That is a lost opportunity. Sometimes, literally. This article provides examples on how using a creative marketing can tip the scales in your favor and win a prospect with an out-of-the-box approach.

Questions & Answers: Creating A Brand Style Guide - A brand style guide is a document, used as a reference tool, to keep your brand's consistency across all platforms. This document guides each department's use of your organization's brand, communicating a unified and identifiable presence to your audience. This article provides information about essential elements to include in creating a brand style guide for your organization.

New Member List: February 2017

January 2017: Marketing Planning - A Look Ahead

Topic At Hand: Amending Processes to Plan for Growth- Like any business, to grow successfully, your internal processes and strategies need to grow with the business. However, the growth of most firms usually does not extend to the marketing department; thus requiring us to do more and become increasingly more effective with our budgets and time. In this article, we examine Gino Wickman's book Traction, which provides a system for how to run your marketing department with a defined vision, define accountable measurables, and examine issues that stand in the way of success.

Articles of Interest:

  1. The accounting industry continues to evolve and, as a result, sales and marketing strategies have changed. Find out what five trends are shaping the future of accounting marketing here.
  2. Remaining innovative and keeping your finger on the pulse of new marketing strategies is imperative. You should consider these items when looking at your marketing plan for the year ahead.
  3. Find out if the annual Inovautus Consulting predictions from 2016 came true and what they are forecasting for 2017 in this article. 
  4. Technology continues to play a key role in nearly every aspect of business including marketing, management, and human resources. Click here for technology trends driving disruption in the accounting industry .
  5. You simply cannot put together a strategic marketing plan without incorporating search engine optimization (SEO)!This article includes thoughts and ideas for 2017 SEO trends.
  6. Content is once again king and this amazing link shares 2017 benchmarking, budget, and trend data from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Be sure to peruse the information when researching strategies for your next marketing plan.

Best Practices: Adopting a 3x3x3 Client Service Model - Is your firm at risk of losing or missing opportunities with clients? One may ask, what drives a client to go elsewhere? Perhaps the client believes they will receive a superior client experience at another firm. It is likely they decide to leave because of fees or bad client service. This article provides a breakdown of how to adopt L. Harris Partners' 3x3x3 client service model and grow your practice without adding clients.

Business Development News:  Align BD & Marketing in Growth Planning - Any business developer will tell you it is critically important to have the support of the marketing team. Your firm's ability to grow will be stunted if you do not have synergy between the two functions and alignment of strategy. In this article, you will learn more about strategies to keep these two roles working together efficiently and effectively.

Meet a Member: Lori Colvin - In this article, find out more about AAM's 2016 'Hall of Fame' inductee and 2007 'Marketer of the Year,' Lori Colvin, including her thoughts on remaining current with evolving marketing tactics.

New Member List: January 2017

November 2016: The Evolving Role of Marketing

Topic At Hand: Using Data Analytics to Drive marketing Strategy- Now is the time of the year when marketers start working on the upcoming year's marketing plan. Questions start to form like: What are our marketing objectives and what marketing activities will assist in meeting those objectives? In this article, learn about two tools you can use to help determine your objectives and your overall return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Articles of Interest:

  1. INBOUND MARKETING SECRET #34: ARE YOU A VICTIM OF RANDOM ACTS OF MARKETING? - This recent article stresses the importance of following a strategy that drives results and not doing just ‘random acts of marketing.’
  2. Why You're Thinking About Digital Analytics All Wrong - The analytics we employ are important to making the correct business decision and proving the return on investment of our marketing activities. This recent article explains why digital marketing analytics matter more than web analytics.
  3. How to Localize Your Marketing Campaigns to Increase Conversions - We all know the importance of having a large footprint in our local community. This article explains how to use digital marketing to localize your marketing campaigns to increase conversions.
  4. 7 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Face Today - This article highlights the top seven challenges marketers face today, including proving a return on investment of your marketing dollars and solutions you can put in place.
  5. 7 Social Media Stats All Marketers Should Know - We live in a social media driven society. This article explains the seven social media stats all marketers should know.
  6. Using marketing analytics to drive superior growth - We all want our firms to grow, and using analytics to guide your marketing is great way to achieve this feat. Learn how you can use marketing analytics to drive superior growth in this article.

Best Practices: Marketing vs. Sales: Understand the Difference Between Marketing & Sales & Your Staffing Needs - We often hear the terms sales and marketing used together or even interchangeably. While the departments are somewhat symbiotic in the business ecosystem, they are two very different functions and require very different skill sets. Here is a breakdown on the differences between the two and how marketing departments can staff in an innovative way to help deliver on the sales demands being made upon them.

Special Section: Marketers Can Become Business Developers - Due to their comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their business, it makes sense that a marketer also could fulfill the business development role within their firm. This article explains the benefits of a dual marketer/business developer and how this role can help drive the sales process.

New Member List: November 2016

October 2016: Marketing to Multiple Generations

Topic At Hand: Marketing to Multi-Generations - In today's diverse mix of buyers, marketing can be difficult. Add the challenge of generational complexities and it can seem like an uphill battle. So, how are we to succeed in a market of five very different generations with different priorities, values, and preferences? You first need to understand what makes them different and learn how they operate. Here is a brief look at each of the five generations that make up our market, including what they like, what they want, and how they want it.

Articles of Interest:

  1. A New Age In Travel: Connecting With Multiple Generations - When marketing to multiple generations and their varied age ranges, keep in mind your verbiage and tone when customizing your message. This article offers advice on generational differences and key motivators.
  2. MARKETING TO MULTIPLE GENERATIONS - Discussion of different marketing/event management strategies to reach different generations - The Internet offers a unique way to target multiple generations in different ways. This article addresses generational preferences, where members of different generations can be found online, and how to catch their attention.
  3. How Millennials, Boomers, and Gen Xers Respond to Content Marketing - More than 1,200 people were surveyed from three generations (Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers) to determine how each market engages online. This article answers questions like what time can you find them online, what is their preferred viewing device, what is their preferred social network, and more.
  4. Millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers agree that advertisers are not reaching them - While some find online advertising to be a nuisance and even use ad blockers, their Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer counterparts believe advertisers have forgotten about them. They feel advertisers share unrelated ads and would prefer targeted advertising. This article states that if advertisers would pay attention to them and their behavior, they would be more likely to click on their ads.
  5. X, Y, or Z?: Marketing to Different Generations - If you want an effective digital marketing strategy, various platforms must be used when targeting different generations. This article explains why each generation wants to learn about your brand differently - Baby Boomers prefer blogs or webinars, Generation X prefers social media, and Millennials prefer video.

Best Practices: Marketing to Millennials - Social media, charitable causes, and instant gratification - these are the mantras of the Millennial generation. But, who are Millennials? The Millennial Generation includes those born between 1980 to 2000. They are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. By 2025, it is estimated that three out of four people in any workplace will be Millennials. They love technology and hate anything longer than 10 seconds. They are a difficult generation to reach, however, this article shares helpful hints and tricks to help you reach Millennials.

Meet a Member: Rhonda Maraziti - In this article, get to know more about Rhonda Maraziti, the 2016 Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) Marketer of the Year. You will learn her thoughts on marketing to different generations, what she learned the hard way, what she feels is a must-know for new accounting marketers, and if being a bartender would be a career choice if she was not an accounting marketer.

Special Section: Reaching the Elusive Millennial Market - It can be difficult to reach the millennial audience, unless you know where t find them and how to communicate with them. This article shares four best practices you can use to engage your millennial prospects.

New Member List: October 2016

August/September 2016 : New Service Lines/Niche Specializations

Topic At Hand: How to Strategically Drive Revenue Growth - Marketing today is about driving growth and focus is being placed on tactics that can be proven to drive top-line revenue. One of the most popular and effective strategies being used by firms of all sizes is the development of revenue generating niches. Learn more about the importance of having dedicated leaders within each niche and discover how to determine existing niches within your firm.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Art of Accounting: Becoming a Specialist – Types of Specialties - This recent column stresses the importance of specialization in accounting firms and explains why and how specializing can help.
  2.  Developing Your Firm’s Next Generation of Industry Experts - Demonstrating industry expertise is important. This article provides strategies for developing your firm's next generation of industry experts.
  3. Kick Start Growth With a Defined Niche - This article suggests expertise is the driving factor behind choosing accounting and professional services providers. To help define your expertise, a three-pronged approach is provided to help you determine what niche might work best for your firm.
  4. FIRM MANAGEMENT 5 Tips For Firms Considering Niche Accounting - This article provides five tips to help you build a presence in your targeted niche area.
  5. 5 Questions to Ask Before Moving into Advisory Services - If you are considering expanding into consulting services, this article can help by discussing five questions you should ask when developing your strategy.
  6. 6 Tips to Ensure Your Consulting Services Succeed in your CPA Firm - Once your firm has committed to expanding your consulting services, these six tips can help you succeed in this area.

Best Practices: Develop a Niche by Leveraging Survey Data - The marketing department at Brown Smith Wallace successfully executed a survey as a means of developing a new niche for the firm. This innovative approach allowed the niche practice to grow by more than 30 percent in the past year. View this article to learn how the firm developed the survey, key takeaways, and general advice for service line formation.

Questions & Answers: How One Firm Developed a Marketing Niche - As consulting services continue to be key growth areas for many accounting firms, new practice areas like marketing are beginning to emerge. Click here to learn how Jonathan Ebenstein from Skoda Minotti developed a marketing niche within his firm and discover five important building blocks for success.

New Member List: August/September 2016

July 2016: AAM Summit Recap

Topic At Hand: Marketing’s New Role in Client Engagement & Retention: Session Recap - Enjoy this recap of the popular session led by Leisa Gill of LBMC and Mitch Reno of Rehmann where they share their insights on client experience and its importance at our firms.

Articles of Interest:

  1. This Simple, Brilliant In-Mail Should Be Required Reading for All Salespeople on LinkedIn - Learn this simple way one person connected with Marketing Director Tracey Segarra of Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP, and you’ll see how you may be able to connect with people on LinkedIn whom you have never met.  
  2. A New Role for Accounting Firms: Market Developer Terri Ellis, vice president, market development at Collins Barrow Toronto LLP, shares thoughts in this article on the process by which a market developer can transform the marketing function.
  3. Building Your Own Brand Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co LLC, explains how to get started building your personal brand today. 
  4. Yes, You Can Make a Dull Topic Interesting - President Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk at bbr marketing gives you a great example of taking a boring topic and giving it life. Here’s an idea of how to think outside the box the next time you write for your firm.
  5. 3 Ways to Gain High-Quality Clients - Katie Tolin, chief growth guide at CPA Growth Guides, provides you with tips on how to stop chasing every lead that comes through the door and, instead, focus on following up with higher-quality clients.
  6. The Radical CPA: Start with Small Steps in Social Progressive firms are using social media tools to collaborate with clients and communicate with the community in general. CEO & Principal Jody Padar of New Vision CPA Group gives her tips on best uses of social media channels.

Best Practices: A First-Timer’s Guide to an AAM Summit - Attending your first AAM Summit is a perfect storm of excitement, sheer motivation, and utter brain overload. Like your first day of school, nothing can fully prepare you for the events that will unfold, however, this article shares helpful hints and tricks that can help lead you through the day like a pro. 

Meet a Member: Ian McManis - Get to know more about Ian McManis, one of the two recipients of the 2016 AAM 'Rookie of the Year' award. He shares thoughts on this year's AAM Summit, what he would implement at his firm if he had an unlimited marketing budget, and his book recommendation for other AAM members in this article. 

Special Section: Are You a Vitamin or an Aspirin? - Ask yourself this question: Do your clients view you as a vitamin or an aspirin? Learn the difference between the two and determine if you are merely providing standard services or if you are adding value in this article. 

New Member List: July 2016

June 2016: Digital Communications

Topic At Hand: Crisis Communication Planning - Many firms may not have a crisis communication plan in place, but planning ahead for this moment is crucial in order to mitigate risk. The tips in this article can help you begin creating a plan or help you refresh your current plan.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Email Marketing: 4 Simple Ways to Boost Open and Click Throughs – Online marketers know that the email list is the bread and butter of any marketing campaign, so growing it is a priority. Find out the four considerations for doubling the open and click-through rates of your email marketing campaigns.
  2. 16-Step Blueprint to Master Your Digital Marketing in 2016 – Does your firm have a roadmap for digital marketing success? If not, check out this 16-step digital marketing blueprint to maximize your ROI.
  3. Most Small-Business Owners Buy These 5 Digital Marketing Myths - It’s important to understand fact and fiction when it comes to digital marketing. Need clarity? Read this article to learn about the top five digital marketing myths, debunked.
  4. Three Quarters Of Marketing Spend Will Be Digital By 2021: Salesforce - Marketing leaders will spend 75 per cent of their budget in digital channels according to a new report from Salesforce. The implications of such a radical shift in budget are a wake-up call for the more traditional channels such as TV, radio and print. Read this article to learn the report’s key findings and what it means for brands. 
  5. Millennials are shaking up workplace communication - Now the largest generation in America, Generation Y are working their way into the corporate world and are driving change in business communication. Find out what communication channels and digital tools are on their way out and which ones are emerging.

Best Practices: Unique Messaging Tips for Digital Communications - With more people using digital devices to access online content, it is vital to learn how to consistently reach all of your target audiences. Get the best practices to help build distinct digital communications and help your firm stand out from the crowd.

Questions & Answers: A Look at Digital Commenting & Posting - Meet Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D., Managing Partner of Hinge and an industry marketing thought leader. This Q&A format will give you a glimpse into Lee’s philosophy on a variety of topics such as social media engagement, content and monitoring.

Special Section: The 'Super' Audit: A Virtual Solution to Reduce Client Travel Costs  - What happens when a firm wants to offer audit services to a client located in a state where the firm has no presence? Find out how one firm is integrating technologies to conduct a high-quality audit in real time and reducing travel costs.

New Member List: June 2016

May 2016: Social Media Tools & Content

Topic At Hand: How to Create a Culture of Social Sharing - As marketers, we all understand the value of posting and sharing information on social media, but how do we involve other members of our firms in this process? This article shares ideas for creating a culture of social sharing.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Marketing: 30 Free Social Media Tools to Cover Every Need - Big social media needs and small social media dollars? No problem! Leverage these 30 tools that cover a variety of needs.
  2. 8 Ways to Take a Fresh Approach to Content Formats - Read about some great ways to recycle your content as well as examples and links to tools for navigating your content strategy. 
  3. 3 Techniques That Will Double Your Social Media Content with Half the Effort - If you feel like you don't have time for social media, here are three tips to help you increase productivity and efficiency with less effort.
  4. The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites - Here is some helpful information on the best times to post on various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  5. How to Use Hashtags Effectively for Social Media Growth - Don't know where to start with #hashtag research and use? This article provides helpful tips to get you started as well as best practices for use and implementation.
  6. 6 Tips for Engaging Young Managers and Staff in Your Growth - Engaging younger staff and managers in marketing initiatives can be difficult. This article will give you ideas on how to include them in your social media and content strategies that help drive growth. 
  7. The Top 26 Social Media KPIs Marketers Can’t Ignore - Do you need help finding the top key performance indicators (KPI) that matter to your social media strategy? Here’s a list of the top 26 KPIs you can't ignore. 

Best Practices: Measuring Performance Engagement on Social Media - Measuring your efforts on social media will help you determine what is working for you and what is not. Here are six items you should be measuring to allow for maximized return on investment and evaluation of success. 

Questions & Answers: Katie Butler, Weinstein Spira - Get to know Katie Butler, one of the 2016 AAM Rookies of the Year. Her creative and practical approaches to business development and social media/content marketing initiatives are impressive!  

Special Section: Finding Leads on LinkedIn: Social Selling Produces Warm Prospects - Sales today are harder than in the past, but your chances of landing deals are even greater than ever with this one tool - LinkedIn. This article sheds light on using this tool efficiently and effectively.

New Member List: May 2016

April 2016: Digital Workplace Organization

Topic At Hand: How to Manage the Selection of Project Management Software The key to finding the best Project Management software is understanding what the important features and considerations are. Read this article to get off to the right start.

Articles of Interest:

  1. 37 Digital Marketing Tools That Make Life Easier - This article set outs to put together a solid list of tools that we think other companies can use to scale their own growth.
  2. Best apps: for social networking - Social networking has become a lot easier thanks to some of the dedicated social media apps. Read this to find out more about the apps that can help you promote your business better.
  3. Monster List of (Mostly) Free Organization Tools for Digital Marketers - This article covers 55 resources and tools to make your digital presence and marketing efforts more effective.
  4. 6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Organization's Use of Digital Tools - Follow these 6 steps to evaluate your use of digital tools and become a more efficient organization.
  5. Planner Plus: 5 Digital Organization Tools Everyone Needs - This article covers the top picks for organizational apps, digital calendars, and task trackers. 

Best Practices: Advice for Beginning Your CRM Journey - Get sage advice from an accounting firm marketer who has been through the process of selecting and implementing a CRM. 

Questions & Answers: Jennifer Hertzig, BCG & Company - Get to know accounting firm marketer, Jennifer Hertzig, and her take on technology, social media, telecommuting and more. 

Special Section: Digital Tools Make BDEs Successful in Today's Business Environment Learn more about business developers can leverage the three key advantages that technology allows – access, speed, and convenience. 

New Member List: April 2016

March 2016: Personal Branding & Career Development

Topic At Hand: Build Your Personal Brand: Boost Your Career Potential Two strategies will lead to greater prominence for both yourself and your firm. Which approach is right for you?

Articles of Interest:

  1. 16 Wise Ways To Build Your Brand In 2016 - From SlideShare to failing frequently, these tips might surprise you.
  2. 5 Ways to Build a Personal Brand in 2016 - Transparency and new and varied platforms are recommended in this short article.
  3. Why Your Personal Brand Is More Important Than Ever Before Executives will become micro brands within organizations. Why "You" are the Brand of the Year.
  4. 7 Ways to Build an Unstoppable Personal Brand in 2016 - From crafting your narrative to showing off, here are more personal branding strategies.
  5. 12 Personal Branding Trends That Will Dominate 2016 
  6. Personal Branding Trends for 2016 - Part 1: Are You Ready To Capitalize On Them? - How video and the digital age impact your personal brand.

Best Practices: Why Getting Involved is Key to Your Career Success Although there never seems to be enough time in the day, career progression can only happen if you become more involved. Here are some career development ideas to help build your personal brand.

Questions & Answers: Jill Richmond, Dannible & McKee, LLP

Special Section: Vital Skills of Growth Leadership The best growth leaders in the accounting industry are indispensable leaders with strong abilities that few others possess. This excellent article covers strategies for growth planning, sales management and coaching.

New Member List: March 2016

February 2016: Recruiting Marketing Strategies

Topic At Hand: How Business Developers Add Value to Recruiting - Learn why the skill sets of sales executives are ideal for recruiting employees of all experience levels.

Articles of Interest:

  1. 9 Ways to Use Content Marketing as a Recruiting Tool - Talent acquisition in the accounting industry is a struggle, so why not utilize content marketing as a hiring tool.
  2. How to win the Game of Talent - Firms need planning and persistence to survive on the most competitive battlefield today: hiring skilled accountants.
  3. Six steps to success with recruitment marketing - Recruitment marketing is all about building connections. Some of the most important ones could be inside the organization.
  4. How Sodexo Use Social Media for Recruitment - This case study explains how Sodexo's recruitment advertising costs have been reduced by $300,000 annually thanks to a successful social strategy.
  5. How Job Seekers Use Glassdoor Reviews - Key findings of a survey reveal that Glassdoor ratings definitively have an impact.
  6. Firm Growth Isn’t Just About Revenue: Applying a Go-To-Market Approach to On-Campus Recruiting - We all know that the most important asset of a firm is its people.  With this in mind, firms should use the same disciplined approach of identifying and nurturing relationships to find new staff as they do for finding new clients. 

Best Practices: Marketing Strategies for Recruiting - A fresh approach and tailored messaging is needed to attract the best talent - especially when targeting college graduates.

Questions & Answers: Two Recent Hires' Perspectives on Recruiting Marketing Efforts - Find out how marketing impacted the decision making process of two recently-hired accountants.

New Member List: February 2016

January 2016: Marketing & Business Development Engagement

Topic At Hand: Innovation + Cultural Shift = Growth - This article, inspired by a panel discussion at AAM's 2016 "Winning is Everything" conference, looks at the importance of innovation and provides steps to implement a growth plan in your firm.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Three Steps To Engaging Your People In Your Company Brand - Engaged team members are more likely to stay, create better customer experiences, and are more profitable. Here's a three step process for turning employees into ambassadors.
  2. How to Engage Employees in Social Media Marketing: 5 Data-Driven Steps Leverage your entire team in a social strategy that will boost sales.
  3. 5 Ways to Engage Employees to Build a Better Customer Experience - People say they will pay more for a better customer experience. Learn how to nurture an engaged culture at your organization.
  4. 5 Tips for getting key employees involved in Content Marketing - Want to be considered a thought leader in your industry? Leveraging key employees is a tactic for success.
  5. 10 Tips for Engaging Accounting Professionals - The talent war is on. Keep your workers happy or risk losing them.

Best Practices: How Do You Engage Firm Members to Use a CRM? Driving change is difficult, but the earlier you bring everyone into the fold the better. CRM success begins and ends with communication and training. Here are some guidelines for successful CRM adoption.

Questions & Answers: Stephanie Chapa, Wiebe Hinton Hambalek, LLP

New Member List: January 2016

Editorial Calendar

January 2017: Marketing Planning - A Look Ahead
Material Due: January 9

February 2017: Creative & Design Elements
Material Due: February 6

March 2017: Staffing: Outsourcing vs. Internal Employees
Material Due: March 6

April 2017: Video Marketing Strategies
Material Due: April 3

May 2017: Proposal & Pursuit Processes
Material Due: May 1

June 2017: Referral/Partnership Marketing Tips
Material Due: June 5

July 2017: Career Development: Generalist vs. Specialist
Material Due: July 3

August 2017: Creating a Marketing Culture
Material Due: August 7

September 2017: Using Research in Marketing
Material Due: September 4

October 2017: A Marketer's Role in Succession Planning
Material Due: October 2

November 2017: Celebrating Milestones
Material Due: November 6

December: Budgeting & Planning Advice
Material Due: December 4

Open PDF Calendar for 2017