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.

To find out how you can advertise in the AAM Minute, visit our sponsorship page.


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 measureables, 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