Meet a Member

Meet a Member: Craig Browning 

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JUST THE FACTS

Name: Craig Browning

Title: Director of Marketing and Personnel

Years of Experience: 18 in accounting firms/14 in accounting marketing (I began in a tech consulting division, then went into the auditing department - and finally, my marketing position)

College Name & Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, English from the University of Kentucky; B.B.A, Accounting from Eastern Kentucky University 

Firm Name: KW Certified Public Accountants


Firm Size: 90 employees

Email Address: craig.browning@kwccpa.com

Professional Memberships:
AICPA, BDO Alliance USA

Community Involvement
: Volunteer instructor for Junior Achievement; Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee

LinkedIn Profile:
www.linkedin.com/in/browningcraig

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

What is your best advice for succession planning for the firm and/or yourself?
Begin training staff from their first day on how to develop relationships and continue throughout their advancement in the firm. Technical accountants are plentiful; staff that can develop client relationships are not.

 
What is the structure of your marketing department?
Team of one. However, I work closely with partners and other management personnel to develop our marketing and business development strategies.

 
What have you learned the hard way?
Ideas are abundant but not all lead to success. Be prepared with an exit strategy for any new undertaking.

 
What is a “must know” for new accounting marketers?
A “must know” for new accounting marketers (as well as seasoned accounting marketers) is more than a surface level understanding of accounting. You will never be able to communicate with the accounting personnel fully until you are able to speak a similar language.

 
What are your special skills or what is something people may not know about you?
My special skills are probably all of those that make up a one-person marketing department: writing, graphic design, website coding, photography, etc. ---all of which I admit to being the “master of none” although I dabble in all. What people may not know about me is that I am obsessed with filmmaking. I devour everything to do with it including books, films, blogs, etc.


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

The networking and camaraderie with peers. Add to that our educational offerings, of which I consider my relationships among the most valuable of those offerings.

Share one marketing tip.

Look for opportunities. The greatest salesperson will not find success if an opportunity does not exist. Finding opportunities may entail doing things in a completely new way (or in a completely conventional way). Don’t be afraid of either.

 
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing accounting marketers today?
The same as it always has been: Proper communication with accounting personnel. Both sides are ahead of the other in understanding the upcoming trends, so it is important they are talking to one another.


What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer? 
An (auteur) filmmaker


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

Rolling out a Client Advisor Services niche of the firm---includes website, communications, etc.

 
If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?
More marketing automation in terms of forms, SEO, etc.


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

Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansonn — the co-founders of Basecamp discuss and advocate for telecommuting in the modern business. However, the real nuggets of wisdom are their insights into the collaborative process. A super quick read.


In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch — written by the most famous film editor of our time, this not only explains the film editing process but is also beneficial in its insights into the creative process and how to direct an “audience” to the meaning you wish to convey.