Years of Experience: 19 Years
College Name & Degree(s): California State University, East Bay |
Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design & Photography
Firm Name: Sensiba San Filippo LLP
Firm City & State: Pleasanton, CA (San Francisco Bay
Firm Size: 22 Partner/Principals | 140 Staff | 6
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Memberships: Association of Accounting Marketing,
Tri-Valley Women’s Leadership Group, Tri-Valley Professional Women’s Alliance,
East Bay Manufacturing Group, Manufacturing CPAs
Community Involvement: Alameda County Salvation Army
Advisory Board (Executive Committee & Marketing Chair)
Twitter Handle: @JennCantero
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifermcantero/
What are your thoughts on a marketer’s
role in succession planning?
There is so much a marketer can do to
assist in succession planning for their firm and department too. It is
important to document the basic operating processes to help pass that knowledge
down. You should work with your human resources team to build a career and
professional growth track for younger staff, develop programs for senior staff
to share their knowledge and experience with younger staff, and encourage
partners to mentor and train protégés. Many partners heading for retirement
have not built up their bench strength within their firms to allow them to
What is the structure of your
department is two people. I am the manager and handle strategy, sales,
graphics, web activities, and event planning. My amazing marketing coordinator
handles content development, social media, newsletters, community development,
and event support.
What is your proudest career accomplishment?
think it is just one thing; it’s getting where I am today. I am proud of the
journey I took in my career knowing the hard work I put in has paid off.
What have you learned the
I learned marketing the hard way. Since I started my career as a
graphic designer, I had to learn all my marketing knowledge on the fly by trial
and error. To survive the 2008 economy, I had to diversify my skills from just
graphic design and become invaluable to keep my job. I taught myself web
coding, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and basically everything
digital. I never had the time or money to go back to school to study marketing
strategy and tactics. Instead, I rolled up my sleeves and dug in – I learned
through the school of hard knocks and taking a few risks.
What is a “must know” for
new accounting marketers?
Be patient with yourself, as it can take a while to learn the
industry. Professional services, and accounting in particular, is very
different from any other industry. It takes a full year of working at an
accounting firm to understand the “flow” of how it all works. I’ve seen many
people, myself included, who pride themselves on being able to hit the ground
running in a new position and quickly get up to speed. However, they join an
accounting firm and feel like they keep hitting walls, can’t catch a breath,
and have a hard time getting their feet under them. From my years in accounting
and watching newbies, this is completely normal. Welcome! Be patient, hang in
there, and you’ll get it before long.
What are your special skills or what is
something people may know about you?
find my graphic design skills come in handy quite a bit. Another fun fact – I was
a fire eating and breathing instructor for many years.
What is the biggest benefit you receive from
your AAM membership or what effect has AAM had on your career?
The biggest benefit for me, by far, is
access to fellow accounting members. Having people who understand the trials
and tribulations you face and can cry with you over drinks at the AAM Summit
has been amazing. I love being able to call someone to discuss an idea or gain
insight into a project you are beginning that they just completed. I also enjoy
mentoring young marketers and watching them grow. The people are truly the
biggest benefit and why I fell in love with accounting marketing.
Share one marketing tip.
Never stop learning. The field of
marketing is always changing so we need to continually learn and grow to keep
up. Try to make the time for learning and set aside a couple hours each week.
What do you feel is the biggest
issue is facing accounting marketers today?
Having enough time in the day! Can I get an Amen? Seriously, many
of us are wearing several hats, managing under staffed departments, and already
work long hours. I know I’m in this boat. I absolutely love what I do, so I
work hard on the everyday stuff. That leaves very little time to keep in the
loop of “all the things.” We are asked to be innovative, creative, and bring
fresh ideas to the table, but it can be hard to do that and maintain our
current workload. I feel the biggest issue is not having enough time to learn more. To learn about the latest
advertising trends, changes in social media or SEO, or how to effectively use
the new version of whatever software your IT department just installed on your computer.
I try to listen to as many podcasts and audio books on my commute
and during my workouts as I can. I also look for one marketing conference each
year that is outside the accounting and professional services industry to gain
a fresh perspective.
What would you be doing if you had not
become a marketer?
I was actually pre-med when I first started college. I still
sometimes dream of getting my doctorate in nutrition and wellness.
What is the biggest project that you are
working on right now?
working on implementing Symphony CRM and Act-On marketing automation system.
Our firm has been using VPM, which is part of the CCH practice management system.
VPM is not a true CRM and we are now in need of a robust CRM system. This will
be the first time our firm has had a system like this, so we are building not
only the system, but all the sales processes to put in place with it. Then in
tandem, and because apparently I’m a masochistic, we are implementing Act-On.
Our firm also has never had a marketing automation system. This is a massive
undertaking, and I’m thankful to have a great team at my firm coming together to
help move the process along.
If you had an unlimited budget, what is one
thing you would implement immediately?
would hire more people for my department. I would love to have a person on
staff that could create videos and take all the web and graphic design off my
plate. That would free me up to do more strategic work and work at a higher
level for my firm.
What books have you read recently that you
feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?
highly recommend “Traction” by Gino Wickman and the companion book “Get a
Grip.” While they are written for implementation for an entire firm, there are
great insights that can be implemented on a smaller scale within a depart