AAM Minute - Topic at Hand

Leverage Digital Marketing Skills to Propel Your Career

Brian Swanson, FlashPoint Marketing

 

Times & Expectations Have Changed

In years past, accounting marketers focused much of their time on marketing communications, which were mostly print collateral materials and “snail mail” to distribute messages to the audience. If the firm was more ‘advanced,’ there was some attention paid to email marketing or the website. As email marketing and web development became more predominant, digital marketing was introduced. At first, accounting firms were apprehensive that digital marketing (website marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing) could actually generate new business. Once the effectiveness was proven, the role of the accounting marketer changed, and suddenly it was expected that accounting marketers would be knowledgeable in this arena as well.

 

Why Learn Digital Marketing?

Despite the changing expectations, it is important for an accounting marketer to develop digital marketing skills. While most Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) members have a basic understanding of common digital marketing tactics, it is essential to keep developing your skills as it continuously evolves. Below is a brief list of the top benefits that developing these skills will bring to your career, in your current position, and beyond.

 

·         Enhances Marketing Value – The most important reason to develop digital marketing skills is that it allows you to bring additional value to the firm. Imagine how much more you could do for your firm if you could proactively manage both the traditional and digital marketing efforts. Of course, this does not always mean you will be the one implementing the tactics, but understanding how it works and the necessary modifications is quite powerful. The more experience you develop in this area, the less reliant you will be on others, including consultants, to guide basic marketing campaigns.

·         Creates Career Opportunity – The one thing I have learned in my career is that people value the ability to create results. If accounting marketers can create results through website marketing, SEO, and social media marketing, then doors will open. I know several AAM members who have propelled their career through their ability to generate results from digital marketing. They received new job offers, promotions, and even became partner because of their knowledge and ability to drive marketing and business development in this forum.

·         Create Excitement – One intangible benefit of digital marketing is that it creates excitement. I cannot tell you what it feels like to bring a partner a lead generated from the website or other digital marketing program and see their reaction. Most accountants are unaware of the power of digital marketing, but when they finally realize its potential, it is exciting. This is especially true if that digital lead becomes a paying client. Once this happens, partners and others will seek you out to discuss new ways to market a specific service or industry they serve. For many, this transforms the relationship from order-takers to a true consultant and advisor. It is an exciting experience and one that every accounting marketer should experience.

 

In Perspective

There are many reasons to build your digital marketing skillset beyond what is listed above. The bottom line is, that you cannot lose by learning these skills. You will bring additional value to your existing firm and next employers. The good news is, that there are a variety of courses available that will allow you to learn at your own pace. Whether you want to know more about Google Analytics to more effectively track traffic or seek certification, there is no shortage of online resources to educate you. In fact, AAM offers various levels of training which members can participate in to refine and enhance their skills.