AAM Minute - Meet a Member

Lori Colvin

Lori-Colvin-high-res.pngName: Lori Colvin

Title: Partner, Chief Marketing Officer

Years of Experience: 28

College Name & Degree(s): University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. degree in Communication

Firm Name: Armanino LLP

Firm City & State: San Ramon, California

Firm Size: $186 million

Email Address: lori.colvin@armaninollp.com

Professional Memberships: Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), American Institute of CPAs, Moore Stephens North America - Board Member & Marketing Special Interest Group Member

Community Involvement: Volunteer for children’s causes

Twitter Handle: @AMLLPLoriC

LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/lori-colvin-961a3b6

 

What are your thoughts on remaining current with evolving marketing tactics?

In addition to staying up-to-date in the accounting marketing profession, I believe it also is important to go outside of your own profession and expand your knowledge in areas that affect marketing, such as content, technology, and search engine optimization.

 

What is the structure of your marketing department?

Our structure has changed over the years as we have grown. We want to build a state-of-the-art organization and have hired individuals with specialized skillsets to accomplish this.

 

What is your proudest career accomplishment?

My proudest career accomplishment was in 2008 when I became a non-billable partner.

 

What have you learned the hard way?

As an organization grows and adds new partners, the same approach does not necessarily work. You cannot have the same relationships you did in a smaller firm, so a different approach to interacting with a much larger partnership is needed. As you expand, you must evolve to demonstrate the value of marketing.

 

What is a ‘must know’ for new accounting marketers?

Invest in ideas that can have the biggest impact on the firm, not just what individual partners want. Go for the biggest impact – what markets can you win, what skillsets do you have within the firm that truly make you unique in that market, and what investment does the firm have in that market?

 

What are your special skills or what is something people may not know about you?

My positive energy and ability to get people excited about projects.

 

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

The biggest benefit I receive from my AAM membership is the ability to connect with peers who are in my same position. I can reach out, ask questions, and receive real intelligence and feedback on what others are doing. I admire people’s conviction and dedication to AAM.

 

Share one marketing tip.

Direct mail is working again! With the current emphasis on digital marketing, we have found that direct mail with personalized follow up from the sales team has resulted in meetings and opportunities.

 

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

The biggest issue facing accounting marketers today is navigating through a partnership. Trying to please everyone can compromise your end result. It is easier when you have a strong managing partner who can help you navigate through the sign-off process to deliver an initiative that is best for the overall firm rather than any individual partner.

 

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

If I weren’t a marketer, I would be a professional chef!

 

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

We recently had a big merger and acquisition deal in Dallas, so our focus has been integrating the new firm and rolling out to a new market.

 

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

I would implement a client experience division; having a direct impact on making it easier for clients to do business with us and adding more value to their experience.

 

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

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg because it helps you understand where you are holding yourself back versus what the real pressures are.