AAM Minute - Meet a Member

Jaimi KoechelName: Jaimi Koechel

Title: Director of Marketing

Years of Experience: 15

College Name & Degree(s): Arizona State University | B.A.S. degree in Communications & Madison Area Technical College | A.A.S. degree Marketing

Firm Name: Henry+Horne

Firm City & State: Tempe, Arizona

Firm Size: 18 partners & 150 employees

Email Address: JaimiK@hhcpa.com

Professional Memberships: Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM)

Community Involvement: Monthly firm community events

LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/jkoechel


What are your thoughts on generalists versus specialists in the marketing field?
It is really good to bring a special skill to a marketing department. I currently have two specialists in my department: a graphic designer and a writer. They are both very talented in their fields, but in the accounting industry, where budgets are tight, you also need to be able to wear many hats. I am lucky to have two specialists in my department that are able to do many other tasks as needed and perform each task with a positive attitude.


What is the structure of your marketing department?

In our marketing department, I am the Director of Marketing and report to the Co-Managing Partner. I have two full-time professionals that report to me: Communications Coordinator and Graphics Coordinator.


What is your proudest career accomplishment?

I am proud of the marketing support I have created at Henry+Horne. When I first started at the firm almost 12 years ago, only one partner supported my marketing efforts, and this lead to many challenges when trying to achieve goals and be strategic. Over time, I have created a rapport with all the partners and overcome hurdles. Now, I have a strong team that is supported by all of the firm’s 18 partners. This support and buy-in has allowed my marketing team to win the firm its first AAM award in 2011 and seven more since.


What have you learned the hard way?

I have learned the hard way that patience is a virtue. I have never been a patient person, but working in the accounting industry for many years, I had to learn that things do not happen overnight. There is no such thing as a return on investment on your initiative overnight. These things take time and in the professional marketing world, building that relationship can take years. So, sit tight and enjoy the ride.


What is a “must know” for new accounting marketers?

1.       There are no mistakes along the way, just learning opportunities.

2.       Building rapport with the partners is the first thing you will want to accomplish before anything else.


What are your special skills or what is something people may know about you?

People may not know that I am a positive thinker and always take the positive side of things. When I hear “no” I do not see it as a negative but instead I see it as a challenge. How can I turn that “no” into a “yes?” I look within to determine what I can change in my approach to get the recipient to see what I am trying to accomplish and how I can get a “yes.”


What is the biggest benefit you receive from your AAM membership or what affect has AAM had on your career?

My AAM membership has greatly affected my career because of the professional friendships I have made over the years are priceless. The friendships have allowed me a resource when I need one. Sometimes I just need to reach out and ask for advice when needed, and my AAM friends are always quick to respond. We lean on each other throughout the year and look forward to having drinks together each year at the annual Summit.


Share one marketing tip.

Make sure that whatever strategic plan you are implementing fits with your firm brand and goals.


What do you feel is the biggest issue is facing accounting marketers today?

The biggest issue facing accounting marketers today is finding the time and energy to keep up on the latest social media trends. It seems that as soon as you have a good understanding, something new is trending that you have to figure out and determine if it fits with your firm’s brand and strategic goals.


What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer?

If I had not become a marketer, I would have become a therapist. I am a good listener that can stay impartial in any situation. This quality invites many people to discuss their issues with me, so this might be a good thing or bad thing.


What is the biggest project that you are working on right now?

We recently completed a rebrand of our firm and that was my biggest project, most recently. A complete overhaul of a firm’s brand that has been around for 60 years was a lot of work. I am currently working on regrouping and getting organized again while I plan for our new fiscal year.


If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?

If I had an unlimited budget, I would invest in a customer relationship management tool and HubSpot.


What books have you read recently that you feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?

I have a three year old, so my spare time is very limited and, unfortunately, I have not read any professional books recently. I am open to recommendations so that once I catch up on some sleep (if that is a thing) I can get back to reading!