AAM Minute

The AAM Minute is a monthly e-newsletter that provides timely information that about topics that impact accounting marketing and practice growth. It is available to anyone interested in what is happening in accounting marketing.

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December 2018: Celebrating Milestones

Topic At Hand: Celebrating milestones at work makes employees feel appreciated and valued. Click here to learn simple ways to celebrate that will keep your employees engaged and happy.


Articles of Interest

  1. Celebrating milestones helps to create a culture within the workplace. Recognizing the success of your colleagues contributes to the long-term success of the company. This article discusses various reasons why success stories should be shared.
  2. Creating a yearlong celebration surrounding a big anniversary is one way to celebrate your Firm’s successes throughout the year. This brain dump consists of ideas shared from an AAM session in 2015, discussing the celebration of firm anniversaries. Click here to read the many pieces of advice and ideas shared.

  3. This article explores the PR/Marketing spin that surrounds the celebration of a corporate anniversary. From press releases and anniversary logos, to e-blasts and direct mailers, a corporate anniversary should be publicly celebrated, and all the details you need are right here.
  4. Employee engagement can arguably be linked to celebrating workplace milestones and taking the time to make sure your employees feel appreciated. This article states that nearly 80% of people who quit their jobs do so because they feel a lack of appreciation. Click here to read some best practices that you can adapt within your workplace in reference to milestones.

  5. Celebrating anniversaries helps to raise awareness of your overall brand and services throughout your community. It allows you to get in front of your clients, referrals and prospects in a positive light, reminding them of your success and stability. Learn tips such as establishing a budget, how to involve your employees, and how to create a call-to-action.


AAM Monthly Poll: 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In November, we asked about your succession planning. Click here to find out how you and others answered. This month we ask that you please take a minute for the minute and answer this month’s poll questions on your upcoming milestones.


Best Practices: 
In this issue we talk about celebrating milestones. However, there is one milestone that is hard to prepare for, and not a lot of people talk about. Celebrating and honoring the life of a partner or leader at your firm who passes. In October, we suddenly and unexpectedly lost our founding partner and I can tell you, there is not a lot of help out there. In this article, I will share my experiences, action items, timelines and things to think about. 

Business Development News: 
Recognition is the great motivator for salespeople and practitioners alike. Sales incentives are distinct from employee recognition in that earning a larger paycheck (incentive) is but one way to reward performance. Top performers expect to be recognized and applauded for their hard work. Click here to learn a few ways to recognize success and celebrate wins.

Meet a Member: Lucas LaChance Meet AAM Member Lucas LaChance, Practice Growth Principal at Lane Gorman Trubitt, LLC.  Learn more about the advice he has for firms about how to celebrate a milestone in this article

New Member List: December 2018

November 2018: Planning for Succession

Topic At Hand: Having a succession plan for your accounting firm is not only about transitioning Partners from one generation to the next.  It’s imperative that accounting firms take a closer look at their Marketing department to help identify how they will transition those roles in the future. This article will discuss steps a firm can take to prepare for a successful transition, whether it’s for a retiring Partner or a Marking Director.


Articles of Interest

  1. If your marketing director decided to leave your firm tomorrow, is your firm prepared to fill the role quickly? Without having a succession plan in place your firm might be scrambling to fill the marketing director’s role. Click here to learn how to get ahead of success planning to help secure a path forward for your employees and your firm

  2. If you need a succession plan for your employees and firm, but do not know where to begin, click here for a succession plan template. It will provide you with some suggested information to include in your succession plan.

  3. Succession planning is not just for your partner group. It should be for everyone at your firm no matter their title. Do you have a succession plan in place for all levels at your firm? Click here to learn about a multilevel succession road map approach to succession planning.

  4. In the succession planning process, you ensure that you will never have a key role open for which another employee is not prepared. Click here to read examples how IBM, Apple and Barneys New York benefited from succession planning.

  5. A succession plan is an investment in your firm’s future. You want a well-oiled machine at your firm and the best way to get that is with succession planning. Click here to learn about seven suggestions to kick-start your succession planning at your firm.


AAM Monthly Poll: 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In October, we asked about your budgets. Click here to find out how you and others answered. This month we ask that you please take a minute for the minute and answer this month’s poll questions on succession planning.


Best Practices: 
Having a succession plan may seem like a lot of work, and something you can just think about “when the time comes.” However, having a good plan in place will end up relieving stress, and helping your business to thrive now and in the future.  Click here to read some best practices for creating a succession plan.

Meet a Member:  Meet AAM member Craig Browning, Director of Marketing and Personnel at KWC Certified Public Accountants. Read this article to learn more about Craig and his role.

New Member List: November 2018

AAM Minute - October 2018

October 2018: Marketing & Budgeting

Topic At Hand:  Turning Your Marketing Budget Upside Down: New Trends to Consider - It is that time of year. For many accounting marketers this is the time when we take a look at which of the current year’s marketing efforts have been effective and where we feel we should allocate our marketing dollars for the coming year. This article will give you steps and resources to cut through the confusion. This article will give insight into the current spend and trends for the future and trends that are fading out.


Articles if Interest

  1. These pre-formatted budget templates from HubSpot will help you manage your marketing budget at a monthly and quarterly level. The eight Excel templates (also available in Google Sheets for easy team sharing) are meant to be used together to organize all of the moving parts, from branding to events, involved in your marketing budget. Get organized with these in-depth downloads.

  2. This year, Nielsen completed its first ever CMO study, collecting extensive survey data and conducting in-depth interviews to understand today's marketing challenges. Much of the study focuses on evaluation, measurement and budgeting and the sweeping shift in how we spend our money. The article includes a few sneak peek statistics, and the full report is a free download. This link doesn't allow you to download report unless you complete their form ... not sure if she should maybe have another article?

  3. Intrigued by Nielsen's study? Read this interview with its authors. They provide insights on their overall takeaways from the report and trends they now project for the coming years. One highlight: 82% of respondents are planning to increase their digital budget by approximately 50% in 2019.

  4. Last month's AAM Minute included an article on demand and lead generation budgeting. As it becomes increasingly clear that high growth firms are spending more on online marketing activities that more directly impact lead generation than traditional tactics, it's important to spend time on this aspect of your budget as you plan for 2019. It's worth it to take another look at this piece.

  5. Forbes has predicted five marketing trends for 2019. Take a look at what's coming so your budget can reflect new technology you'd like to try. One potentially applicable prediction: communicate with your customers and prospects in the ways they like. Is there a new technology that you can incorporate into your 2019 budget to follow this trend?

AAM Monthly Poll: Last month was our first month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. We asked about your search engine optimization (SEO) plans. Click here to find out how you and others answered. This month we ask that you please take a minute for the minute and answer this month’s poll questions on succession planning.

Best Practices: 
Planning Your Budget - Planning your marketing budget for the year can be a daunting task, but once you understand where you were, where you want to go and how to get there, putting processes in place will make your budget planning less stressful. Click Here to learn how one firm plans their marketing budget.

Business Development News: Using Your Firm's Big Data to Create a Growth Strategy - For many firms, the fourth quarter means budgeting and planning for the upcoming year. Budgets for marketing are often calculated based on a percentage of total revenue for the firm or what was done in the previous year. To better identify where marketing and business development budget monies should be spent, segmentation of the firm's revenue can identify areas that warrant investment. Click here to learn tips on creating a growth strategy.

Meet a Member: AMR Mangement Services - Learn more about AMR, Rhonda Clark the Association Manager, and Julie Sutton the Project Associate in this article.

New Member List: October 2018

September 2018: Demand & Lead Generation

Topic At Hand: Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Using SEO to Find Great New Clients - As marketers, we live in a world of shiny things. It seems like every day we are bombarded with the newest and greatest "must do" of marketing magic that is going to have new customers banging down our doors. Should we build an Instagram page? Are firms doing Snapchat? And what is all of this talk about inbound marketing? This article will give you steps and resources to cut through the confusion.

Articles if Interest

  1. We all want to create lead strategies that give powerful ROIs. This article highlights effective B2B lead generation strategies. It even highlights by creating a total of 48 infographics, videos, and Q&A blog posts targeting C-level prospects of large market cap financial institutions, the public accounting firm Crowe Horwath generated $250,000 in revenue attributed to content marketing. Learn more about effective B2B lead generation strategies in this is article.

  2. Neil Patel is known as a guru and industry expert for SEO. In this lengthy article he explains the importance of keyword research and how it is vital to your SEO and lead generation strategy. He also gives 5 tips for meaningful keyword research. Read the article here.

  3. Demand generation is a marketing operation that serves to create a demand for or interest in your product.  Lead generation is used to collect specific information about potential clients, turning them into sales leads. They both require unique approaches to content marketing. Learn what type of content you should develop for both lead generation and demand generation in this article.

  4. Amazon makes 57 percent of their sales from long-tail keywords. Targeting long-tail keywords allows you to rank higher, there’s less competition, and can dramatically increase your SEO. Learn a step-by-step guide to integrating long-tail keywords within your blog posts in this article.

  5. For the past few years Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been a top buzz word for marketers. Studies have shown, that when done right, ABM can have a higher ROI than all other forms of marketing. Learn exactly what ABM is and how you can implement it at your firm in this article.   

Best Practices: Evaluating Your Demand and Lead Generation Budget - Accounting marketers are often asked to do more with less, and demand and lead generation strategies are expensive. Click here to learn tips on evaluating how and where you spend your budget dollars, and setting measurable goals for such programs.

Business Development News: How to Harness the Power of Social Prospecting - 7 Key Tips - Business prospecting use to centered on the use of networking events, email and the phone to reach out to potential new clients. Now, the place to be is online. Click here to learn tips that will accelerate your social prospecting efforts and put you in front of the people you want to meet.

Meet a Member: Ryan Krym - Learn more about Ryan Krym, Content Marketing Specialist at Redpath and Company, and his accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List: September 2018

August 2018: Recruitment & Retention Strategies

Topic At Hand: Fridays Off for the Summer & Family Vacations--CPA Firms Offering Perks that Stand Out - Recruiting and retaining talent is a top concern for CPA firms. In order to attract & keep qualified talent firms across the country are offering perks that go way beyond the standard 401k and PTO. Click here to learn about the outstanding benefits firms are offering to stand out from their competition to potential employees.

Articles if Interest

  1. A few months ago, the Journal of Accountancy, wrote an article about rethinking employee retention. Each company has their own defined organizational culture and values they look for in a potential new hire.  With a better economy people are bolder and have no issue jumping from one firm to another.  Social media has also made it easier for CPAs to find new job opportunities by getting candid opinions on what it’s like to work at different firms. Well-informed employees know they have choices about where they work and are looking for more than just a paycheck and good benefits from their employer. This article discusses how one-size-fits-all initiatives won’t solve your retention problem. The key to retention is culture. 

  2. Here is an article from Accounting today about how firm culture may conflict with the profession’s long-term goals. Firms are offering perks like PTO, dress for your day, work anytime/anywhere, which is meant to retain staff, yet firms are still seeing turnover occurring.  Staff was once willing to work long hours in return for larger salaries - that tradeoff is becoming and less and less appealing. Money is no longer an incentive to overwork as are perks. Company retention is only going to become more important in the future.  In the long run, technology will make retention more important as robotics and artificial intelligence eliminate entry-level jobs. 

  3. Having a retention strategy in place at your firm is important. The first step toward achieving better retention is understanding the scope and the core issues that drive turnover at your firm. Here are twenty employee retention statistics and some simple strategies to help you keep your team together for the long-term. Although some of these statistics may seem alarming, understanding what drives a positive work environmental will help your organization beat the odds on retention.

  4. Make sure to read this article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) about managing employee retention. It walks you through the importance of setting up a comprehensive employee retention program at your firm that will attach and retain key employees. Having an HR team that is educated about employee motivation, retention strategies, benchmarking and best-practices research is critical to the success of the program.

  5. Did you know that marketing can play an integral role in employee retention? Check out this article about building a content marketing strategy for employee recruitment and retention.  Marketing should have a seat at the table when it comes to employee retention. These seven steps to effective content marketing, for purposes of recruiting, is how leading organizations are recruiting top talent. Enjoy!


Best Practices: 
Marketing's Role in Recruiting Talented EmployeesBestPractices - It's imperative that marketers remain involved in recruiting new hires for the firm. After all, marketers are most often the people with the best understanding of the firm's selling points and also the keepers of the firm's brand, both of which are vital when recruiting. Click here for best practices to market your firm to the most talented prospective employees, and hire them.

Meet a Member: Emily Cory - Meet Emily Cory, Marketing Supervision at Lindquist LLP. Learn more about what she had to learn the hard way, and what she thinks every new accounting marketer must know, here.

New Member List: August 2018

July 2018: Enhancing Client Experience

Topic At Hand: The Importance of Client Experience: Why Going the Extra Mile Makes a Difference - Going the extra step with clients is a guaranteed way to keep them coming back to your firm. Included in this month's topic article are four simple keys to establishing exceptional client experience.

Articles if Interest

  1. We hear so much about "the client experience" these days, but what exactly is the client experience and how do  you ensure that your firm is providing a great one?  Statistics don't lie: a recent survey by Gartner revealed that 89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience versus just 36% four years ago. It's the way you engage with clients and having your firm start thinking beyond standard good customer service that will make your firm stand out from the rest. This article will discuss how your firm can offer a high caliber client experience.
  2. As automation takes away more of the manual, number crunching work, customer service will be more important than ever.  Most accountants are looking to a build a "trusted advisor" relationship with their clients. As search engines and social media have come to dominate the internet, the world of the customer has been transformed. The customer has taken the power from the hands of the seller and placed it into the hands of the customer. Here are 5 essential TED Talks for accountants that get to the heart of what makes a great customer experience.
  3. While accounting firms continue to grow and expand their practice, many of them are primarily focused on winning the next client or the next project.  It's easy for your firm to fall into that category (I am sure a lot of heads are nodding).  Building strong client relationships is an integral client experience strategy to improve your firm's bottom line and support it's long-term growth. Here are 5 ways your firm can improve the client experience within your practice.
  4. Customer experience in the digital world is an important component to a successful firm. Creating compelling content is a key factor in creating a positive digital experience to the end-user. It's important to regularly analyze your website/apps usage data and tweak the look and operation of the website/app to improve the user experience. This article will discuss how companies are designing their digital interfaces to create an effective and enjoyable digital experience for users.
  5. Here is a great article about the future of CX (Customer Experience) and the trends shaping businesses in 2018.  How do we bridge the gap to help create a positive client experience to our clients?  This article will go over 5 customer experience initiatives businesses should focus on; including CEO involvement, personalization, the use of data, the customer experience cloud, and all types of augmented reality experiences for customers.

Best Practices: Achieving Loyal Clients - Is your firm only looking at client touchpoints and not at the overall client journey? Click here to read several best practices on how to enhance the client experience

Meet a Member: Nicole Gantz - Meet Nicole Gantz, AAM's 2018 Marketer of the Year. Learn more about her thoughts on current issues that marketers face and what AAM has done to help her in the industry here.

New Member List: July 2018

June 2018: Career Development

Topic At Hand: 10 Essential Skills in a Modern Marketer - Gone are the days when radios ads, direct mailers, brochures, and solicitation played a key role in generating the customers you wanted. The evolution of marketing in the past five to ten years has introduced new concepts and strategies that allow organizations to understand their buyers better in order to connect with them more effectively. This article teaches you 10 skills every Modern Marketer should have.

Articles if Interest

  1. In this month’s Best Practices section, we discuss training new team members—this article goes hand in hand with that content. It outlines three tactics to hold on to top talent at your firm, and it’s no surprise that the entire piece is laser-focused on offering career development opportunities. The introduction quotes the Work Institute’s research, which sites career development as the number one reason employees said they were leaving jobs. Lack of development opportunities even beat out management behavior, work-life balance and compensation. Career development is an investment worth making in yourself and your team members.
  2. It can be frustrating when your firm isn’t making the necessary investment in your career development and training. Here are six ways you can take control of your own career development, even if your firm isn’t directly supporting you. From solving your own blind spots to seeking a mentor, this article will help you be your own career coach.
  3. Learning a new skill or becoming an expert in an area of growing importance will always increase your value within your firm. HubSpot has some of the best free resources for marketing professionals out there, including e-books, webinars and courses on hot topics such as content creation, mobile marketing and lead generation. Take advantage of their well-organized library, tailored to marketers. You can even earn free certifications.
  4. What if you could develop your career and expand your marketing knowledge while sitting on the beach? With Forbes’ 2018 Summer Reading List For Marketers, you can do just that. Return from your vacation refreshed and armed with the industry’s best insights from leading industry voices.   
  5. Speaking of summer, here are three ways to jumpstart your career over the next few months. This article, also from Forbes, reminds us that summer can be the perfect time to invest in yourself because of the often slower pace at the office. Their first tip: reach out to your network to reinforce old connections and make new ones.

Best Practices: How to Introduce Your New Team Members to Accounting Marketing - Working in accounting marketing is a completely different beast that any other industry. When it comes time to find new talent to join your department, there is a small pool of folks to fit the bill. So how do you train individuals on accounting when that is not their background? This article talks about a few things to consider to help your accounting marketing newbies acclimated to the roller coaster that is accounting.  

Meet a Member: Katherine Koon - Meet Katherine Koon, AAM strategic communications committee member and Rookie of the Year. Learn more about her thoughts on how to better position yourself for career advancement and what AAM has done for her here.

New Member List: June 2018

May 2018: Digital Marketing Strategies

Topic At Hand: 4 SEO Tips to Improve Your Ranking - Search engine optimization (SEO) isn't only about keywords anymore. It involves many areas of expertise that oftentimes require an army of SEO experts on your team. Siteimprove breaks down SEO into bite-sized pieces—beginning with four major elements you need to improve your website rankings.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Protecting consumers privacy has become of utmost importance this past year with GDPR. It’s important you understand the regulation and how it will affect your digital marketing strategy when it comes to data-collection practices and digital ad targeting. Learn more about GDPR’s implications on digital marketing here.

  2. Is your digital marketing strategy yielding optimal results for you firm? If not, your strategy may have run its course. Here are four key signs that indicate it’s time to revamp your digital marketing strategy.

  3. Just when you think you’ve got a solid social media marketing strategy for your firm, things shift. That’s one of the exciting things about social media, but also one of its biggest challenges. Here are four trends that will impact firm’s social media efforts in 2018.

  4. When it comes to evaluating the performance of your firm’s website, most people tend to focus the majority of their attention towards one metric: overall traffic, or the number of visits to a website. Hinge recommends keeping track of these six metrics that, together, begin to paint a better picture for those evaluating the overall performance of your firm’s website.

  5. Are you interested in conducting pay-per-click advertising, but don’t know where to start? Here are some actionable B2B PPC tactics you can start using to kick off your advertising and generate some quality leads.   

Best Practices: 10 Steps to Launching Your Podcast - Are you interested in producing a podcast for your firm, but are not sure where to start? Here are 10 steps to get you started in launching your firm’s first podcast.

Meet a Member: Becca Robson - Meet Becca Robson, AAM Member and Freelance Writer at Ink Craft Content Creations. Learn more about her thoughts on digital marketing and how content encourages communication and dialogue with your audience here.

New Member List: May 2018

April 2018: Sales & Marketing Alignment

Topic At Hand: Using Marketing Automation to Drive Sales - No matter how you slice it, marketers have a role to play in the sales process. To help with lead generation, many accounting marketers have turned to marketing automation systems to help them on their journey. Click here to learn more about the basics of marketing automation and how it can help your firm integrate sales and marketing efforts.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Are your sales and marketing teams not on the same page? Try these 10 tried-and-true tips for sales and marketing alignment. 

  2. Every accounting marketer dreams of having a firm where growth is a part of the firm's culture. Learn how to make that happen in this article from the AAM blog. 

  3. For most companies, the job of marketing is to generate leads and the job of sales is to turn those leads into clients; however, in practice, they need to work in tandem. This article discusses best practices to get sales and marketing on the same page

  4. Bringing in new clients is essential to the health of every professional services firm. This article teaches how to develop a successful sales and marketing strategy for your firm. 

  5. Aligning sales and marketing is critical to speeding up the sale cycle. This blog article from AAM explains why sales teams need to be on the same page as their marketing counterparts.

Best Practices: The Role of Marketing in Developing Sales Skills - When gaining their accounting degree and CPA license, accountants often do not prepare for a crucial part of their job - prospecting and closing deals. Learn more about how to develop a simple sales process for your professionals to help them increase win rates.

Business Development News: Marketing & Sales: Two Disciplines, One Process - While accounting marketing has progressed over the past three decades, there is still often confusion when trying to align the sales and marketing functions within a firm. This article provides the guidance you need to help build your own alignment model and create synergies within two very important roles to achieve measurable growth.

Meet a Member: Julie Tucek- Meet Julie Tucek, Marketing Director at Legacy Professionals LLP. Learn more about her thoughts on sales and marketing alignment and her proudest career accomplishment here.

New Member List: April 2018

February/March 2018: Creative & Design Trends

Topic At Hand: Creative Consulting Options for Clients - CPAs remain one of the most highly regarded and trusted business advisors. In addition to the standard assurance, tax, and accounting services, consulting helps solidify a firm's status as a true advisor. As these offerings continue to evolve, marketing has become a part of the service mix. This article discusses a few creative ideas your firm can offer clients as a value add.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Interested in the hottest design trends for 2018? Check out this article for a list of the top 10 ideas designers are talking about this year.

  2. Visual storytelling, and the ability to use graphics in content marketing, is a must! Click here to learn more about rules for infographics, video design, and other creative elements in your content marketing strategy.

  3. Want to make a better visual impact when presenting? Consider these alternatives to PowerPoint and take your slide decks to the next level.

  4. It is important to have resources on hand to help with creative and design elements in marketing. This article gives you a vast array of design blogs every graphic designer should bookmark.

  5. As multi-faceted marketers with limited resources, we are often tasked with learning new skillsets to stay ahead in a rapidly changing marketing environment. This article includes 25 design tips for non-designers to help you fill in the gaps you may have in your department!

Best Practices: Crafting Video Slideshows with Animoto - As video continues to dominate content marketing strategies, it is important to learn efficient and effective methods to quickly produce in-house versions. Click here to learn more about Animoto - an online platform that allows you to create video slideshows from your photos, video clips, voiceovers, and music.

Business Development News: Designing Better Proposals - Many of us struggle with the presentation of proposals to clients and prospects. However, as this is often your first impression to a potential client, it is important to take the time to design a better document - even it if means a complete overhaul. This article gives you tips on how to create better documents.

Meet a Member: Ronelle Sellers - Meet Ronelle Sellers, Director of Marketing at HHM CPAs and Partner at Southside Creative Group, a marketing, design, and advertising firm. Learn more about the design trends she follows, and the steps Ronelle and her team take before beginning a design project here.

New Member List: February/March 2018

January 2018: ABCs of Technology Disruption 

Topic At Hand: The Future of Marketing Includes AI...Are You Ready? - The art and science of marketing has changed remarkably in the last 20 years and is about to pull a complete 180 again. If you want to remain relevant as a marketer, your future is artificial intelligence (AI). This article discusses the transition of marketing and includes three things you can do right now to embrace the AI revolution.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Artificial intelligence continues to be a hot topic in marketing discussions. This article delves into how it is changing our world and why it's a good thing.

  2. It is important to remain current on hot topics and blockchain concerns are on the rise as we try to figure out exactly how it will impact the accounting industry. Read more to learn what accountants need to know about blockchain.

  3. As technology continues to disrupt the accounting industry, finding new revenue sources to replace compliance work will remain on the forefront. Read more to learn about moving from accounting sales to accounting consulting.

  4. Technology issues have long plagued businesses from the inside out. Read more to learn about technology trends for accounting firms, including the cloud, staffing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and outsourced IT.

  5. Want to learn specifics on how marketers are using artificial intelligence? This article gives examples of 10 early use cases for this changing technology.


Best Practices:
Blockchain 101- Technology trends continue to cause disruption in the accounting industry. This article delves into the ins and outs of blockchain technology.

Business Development News: Technology is Driving Growth in Consulting- It's hard to open an accounting industry publication and not read about the disruption that is occurring. And it's happening at a fast pace. Click here to learn more about how technology is driving growth in consulting for many firms.

Meet a Member: Natalie McCann- Learn more about Natalie McCann, national account manager and marketing strategist at Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Marketing, and her thoughts on evolving marketing technology in this article.

New Member List: January 2018

December 2017: Budgeting & Planning Advice

Topic At Hand: Building a Marketing & Sales Budget Using Data Analytics - Data has been transformational in marketing and sales departments, providing greater insight on how to deliver targeted messaging and develop data-driven marketing strategies that generate a higher return on investment. This article details how data analytics tie into building a marketing and sales budget.

Articles of Interest:
  1. As marketers look to top trends in the coming year, budget planning is underway! Here are five tips for what to expect in 2018.

  2. Sponsorships and advertising are likely a part of your marketing budget. Learn how to better create a policy and identify strategic goals for this spending category here.

  3. The American Institute of CPAs and The Whetstone Group released a comprehensive budget building guide with great information for tackling the budget best. Click here for tips to help you develop the right budget for your firm.

  4. Learning how to create the right blend of traditional marketing with digital marketing is a bit of a tap dance, especially when trying to develop strategies to help your firm embrace innovative marketing methods many industries already use. Learn more about benchmarking your efforts and determining what tactics works best here.

  5. A recent research report detailing B2B content marketing trends was released and to summarize: content marketing is maturing. Read more about how top performers have been successful here.

Best Practices: Creating Your Digital Marketing Budget - With 2017 coming to a close, now is the time to consider digital marketing spending in the new year. Read more for key budgeting tips to help you develop successful strategies for 2018.

Business Development News: Four Ways to Tune Up Your 2018 Business Development Plan - It is important not to forget business development when setting goals for your firm. This article discusses four areas to consider when creating a new plan or redefining your current strategy.

Meet a Member: Græme Gordon - Learn more about Græme Gordon, chief executive officer/executive director of Praxity Global Alliance, and his thoughts on marketing planning for 2018 in this article.

New Member List: December 2017

November 2017: Celebrating Milestones

Topic At Hand: Five Reasons to Celebrate Firm Milestones - Anniversaries, new niches, updated branding, and promotions-the list of milestones to celebrate is endless. Read more for five reasons why marketing your firm's key milestones are important.

Articles of Interest:
  1. Finding the right employee recognition program for your company is no easy task. This article includes 33 thoughtful employee recognition and appreciation ideas for 2018.
  2. It is important to take the time to celebrate milestones and achievements in the workplace. This article introduces five best practices to help you show appreciation and engage team members.
  3. Think outside the box next time you are planning a celebration for hitting a major company milestone. Click here to read fifteen unique ways to celebrate major milestones with your team.
  4. New-millennium career milestones are very different from old-millennium milestones. The new-millennium milestones are achievements you reach for yourself. Here are 25 career milestones worth celebrating.
  5. Making employees feel appreciated on their work anniversary is often times overlooked. Here are interesting ways that you and your company can celebrate employee "workiversaries".

Best Practices: Firm Milestone Marketing Ideas - Celebrating a milestone anniversary can be daunting. This article gives you a quick list of options to consider in the planning process.

Business Development News: Take Time to Enjoy Your Successes - Business development is an emotion-laden task. It is a long, complex process, with many steps and even more stakeholders-and this is just for one sale! Along the way, you experience more rejections than successes. It is hard and not for the faint at heart. Read this article to learn why you need to celebrate your wins, whether small or large, completed, or in process.

Meet a Member: Sarah Coulson - Learn more about Sarah Coulson, Marketing Program Manager at CPAmerica International, and her accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List: November 2017

October 2017: A Marketer's Role in Succession Planning

Topic At Hand: Mergers & Succession Planning - As retirements continue to increase in the industry, many accounting firms are using mergers and acquisitions as a form of succession planning. This article takes a look at the role of marketing throughout this process.

Articles of Interest:
  1. Client communication in preparation for succession is a much-needed marketing strategy. This article includes tips for transitioning clients. 
  2. It is estimated that 75 percent of today's CPAs will be retiring in the next 15 years. This statistic, paired with the prediction that the demand for accountants will grow at a faster than average rate, makes retaining talent and evaluating succession planning even more imperative. Discover four steps accounting firm leaders can take to improve their planning strategies in this article.
  3. It is no secret that firms need to start the internal communication process early during succession planning. Although a marketer's role in the process may vary, they are an integral part of succession communication. This article includes a helpful timeline and overview of the types of communication required for a smooth transition.
  4. Succession planning can be a stressful time for a professional services firm. This article includes tips for successfully transitioning skills to new leadership.
  5. There are often many factors that determine the success of the client transition process. Learn more about common barriers to avoid in this article.

Best Practices: Six Succession Planning Strategies for Marketers - Succession planning and the role of a marketer in this process continues to be an important topic as retirements remain imminent. Click here to learn six tips a marketer can use to add value to the process and be an important part of the team.

Business Development News: From Practitioner to Business Developer - When succession planning, you should consider transitioning a practitioner to the role of a business developer. This article discusses the important factors that make this role successful.

Meet a Member: Jennifer Cantero - Learn more about Jennifer Cantero, Marketing Manager at Sensiba San Filippo LLP, and her accounting marketing career in this article..

New Member List: October 2017

September 2017: Using Research in Marketing

Topic At Hand: Navigating the Murky Waters of Marketing with Your Trusty Sonar - RESEARCH -  Marketing leaders are like captains on a Navy submarine. You have your mission, your crew is onboard, and you are all fueled up; however, the water is murky - how do you find your target? Read this article to find out how research can navigate your submarine (or project) and discover tools to help you reach your target.

Articles of Interest:
  1. There are many considerations when facing a rebrand or working to increase brand visibility. Click here to learn what brand research is and how it fits into your firm's plan to grow their brand.
  2. There are plenty of reasons (actually, excuses) not to use market research. However, you must overcome your internal, emotional customer predictions and start using combined qualitative and quantitative research to provide you with real data. This article introduces a backward approach to research that may work best for you.
  3. There is a difference between market research and marketing research. Learn the difference between the two and the important contributions of each in this article.
  4. Research or "deep dive" content like whitepapers are often more technical in nature, and in turn, may require a different approach when creating them. Click here for tips on how to best develop these pieces.
  5. While it is understood that research can be crucial for professional services marketing, how well do you know the various types available? This article discusses different market research options and helps define which method your firm should be using based on your overall goal.

Best Practices: Client Satisfaction Survey - The Real 411 on Your Firm - Surveying clients on their overall satisfaction with your service is one of the most important types of research you can perform. While many may fear surveys because of what they might find, it is worth the risk because, in general, companies that measure their client satisfaction grow faster. These surveys also can help you measure loyalty, identify unhappy clients, and increase revenue. If you are having a hard time selling the idea to your partner or stakeholder group, then keep reading this article.

Business Development News: The Emotional Side of Buying - There is great value in understanding your communication style, and one such tool, the DiSC® profile, can educate you on your communication style and how to identify others' to best approach and relate to them. This article provides an overview of DiSC and how to incorporate it in your business development strategy.

Meet a Member: Irma Zaldivar - Learn more about Irma Zaldivar, Director of Marketing at ELLS CPAs & Business Advisors, and her accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List: September 2017

August 2017: Creating a Marketing Culture

Topic At Hand: Why Every Firm Needs a Strong Marketing Culture -  Here is a sobering fact to share with your firm's managing partner: accounting firms are among the slowest growing professional services industries, and only law firms are growing more slowly. Because of that, it is so important to build a strong marketing culture within your firm, and this article from Hinge shares five changes you can make within your current firm culture.

Articles of Interest:
  1. Entrepreneur Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started in this TED talk video; first it starts with a leader, then you need followers, and after others join - it is a movement. Derek explains why the the first follower, not the leader, is the most important role in starting a movement. Use his advice to help create a marketing culture within your own firm.
  2. You need an action plan when you start to build your marketing culture. The essential elements of which are broken down in this quick read article, and the ‘One Way to Fail’ is extremely important to remember.
  3. Accounting firms are notorious for being staffed with introverts, and because a big part of building a marketing culture is getting your people out of the office, this article provides simple steps to succeeding at networking if you are an introvert.
  4. Invest in your firm’s internal culture to achieve the best marketing culture. “You can’t project what you don’t possess,” and this article shares the internal elements you need to build a strong, cohesive team.
  5. Establishing a culture of growth is important in meeting today’s marketing and business development goals. This article discusses three essential components to developing a successful strategy.

Best Practices: Building a Business Development Culture - It takes effort to develop a firm culture in which your doer-sellers embrace their roles in sales and business development and do not just consider "sell" to be a four-letter word. Click here for three steps that you can implement at your firm to create a highly engaged business development culture.

Business Development News: Pipeline Management is a Business Development Function - Ideally your firm has a pipeline of opportunities identified and being pursued; however, a pipeline is only a document and must be managed to drive results. Pipeline management can become a powerful tool when it is integrated into your business development process and ingrained in your firm's culture. This article shares how you can take action and create a formal pipeline management process or enhance your current process to drive results.

Meet a Member: Chris O'Day - Learn more about Chris O'Day, Marketing Manager at Abrams Little-Gill Loberfield PC, and his accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List:August 2017

July 2017: Career Development: Generalist vs. Specialist

Topic At Hand: Leverage Digital Marketing Skills to Propel Your Career -  As with most industries, accounting marketing has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Marketing tactics have transitioned from print to digital (nearly exclusively), and it is now a necessity to develop your digital marketing skillset. This article shares the benefits of expanding your accounting marketing career to include digital.

Articles of Interest:

  1. The marketers’ evolution from the generalist to the specialist and back to the generalist. This article explains why the marketing generalist is the more well-rounded professional. The marketing specialist has a solitary view or interest, while the marketing generalist is able to look at the big picture. Marketing departments are transitioning back to a generalist approach.
  2. Trying to decide if you should be a generalist or specialist in your career? This article will guide you through the pros and cons of each, including what employers look for, to help with your decision-making.
  3. If you are looking to expand your marketing team, should you hire a specialist or generalist? This article provides guidance and insight for you to determine the best fit for your team.
  4. In this video interview with Gail Galuppo, Chief Marketing Officer of Aflac, she explains why she advocates for marketers to be marketing generalists versus specialists. It is her belief that adding to your ‘toolkit’ of skills will broaden your perspective and provide more opportunities in your career. As a result, you also will be more adaptable and able to work outside of your comfort zone.
  5. The specialization of the marketing workforce was a result of the growth of digital. Now, as it is harder and harder for brands to relay their messages, this article says marketers will thrive as specialist generalists because they can navigate a problem as a whole and offers five strategies for how.

Best Practices: My Guerilla Marketing Career - Marketing is a fast-paced, ever-changing field. Few marketers are truly ‘fully knowledgeable’ on every aspect of marketing and many have to learn new skills on the fly. Here is the story of my guerilla marketing career and what I do to keep up with the changes to stay relevant in today’s tough accounting marketing world.

Business Development News: Comparing the Business Development Generalist and Specialist - There are different career paths for business development executives (BDE) in the accounting industry. A BDE can sell the firm’s services as a generalist, meaning they sell all the firm has to offer, or as a specialist, which is selling a specific service. Some BDEs can even sell both. For example, by focusing on a few specialty tax services, a BDE functions as both a generalist and a specialist. No matter which path one takes, both can translate into a rewarding career for the BDE and new revenue for the firm. We will take a deeper look into both roles, and the pros and cons of each, in this article.

Meet a Member: Jaimi Koechel - Learn more about Jaimi Koechel, Director of Marketing for Henry+Horne, and her career in accounting marketing in this article.

New Member List: July 2017

June 2017: Referral & Partnership Marketing

Topic At Hand: How to Get the Most Out of Your Referral Sources - While often overlooked, a great source for new business includes referral sources. You cannot receive a better lead than one that has been sent from someone already in a strong working relationship with you. Building relationships with bankers, attorneys, financial advisors, and other professional services providers can play a huge rule to bringing more business into your practice. Think of your referral sources as your personal sales force, and this article will introduce steps you can take to initiate referral partnerships.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Many customers are glad to provide referrals when they are happy with the services provided by your company, but do not take the extra step to do so. This article shares best practices on how to capture those valuable referrals.
  2. Need ideas to help you gain more referrals? This article provides information on experience-based and reputation-based referrals along with helpful concepts to gain a strong referral strategy.
  3. A referral contest is a great way to generate - and track - leads from existing customers. This article shares tips and techniques for how to create, customize, record, and recognize your customers' and their referrals' traffic on your site.
  4. Don't know where to begin with referral incentives and rewards? This comprehensive article covers what to consider when designing your own plan including why you should reward and who you should reward.
  5. Partnership marketing is more than just adding your logo alongside another company's. Learn more about how you can build partnerships with strategic, mutual advantages in this article.

Best Practices: Five Ways to Partner with your State CPA Society for Success - As an accounting marketing professional charged with a multitude of tasks on any given day, it helps to have allies on your side within your industry. That is where your state accounting society can help. Every U.S. state as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, has professional societies or associations dedicated to helping accountants protect and promote their profession. They are an often overlooked partnership resource - you just need to know how to best use the resources and tools they have available. Read this article to learn more.

Business Development News: 12 Steps to Take Referral Relationships to the Next Level  - When it comes to attracting new business in an accounting firm, successful business developers realize, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Having connections to people in power is always a path to success, and strategic marketing alliances are used by the most successful business developers. This article shares a 12-step networking process for developing alliances that deliver a continuous stream of quality business referrals.

Questions & Answers: How to Work With Your International CPA Firm Association - Accounting associations do not all look alike, but they exist because firms are looking for benefits like brand validation, sharing opportunities, access to expertise, and potential for referrals. This interview with a firm member of an association discusses the benefits of working closely with an association, emphasizing the 'you get what you give' mentality.

 Sponsored Content: Investing in Success: What Successful Accounting Firms Spend on Marketing - Results from the third Marketing Budget Benchmark Study conducted by the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and Hinge Research Institute are in and key highlights and insights from the study are shared in this article.

New Member List: June 2017

Many customers are glad to provide referrals when they are happy with the services provided by your company, but do not take the extra step to do so. This article shares best practices on how to capture those valuable referrals.


Need ideas to help you gain more referrals? This article provides information on experience-based and reputation-based referrals along with helpful concepts to gain a strong referral strategy.

May 2017: Proposal and Pursuit Processes

Topic At Hand: Defining Your Sales Process - While sales and marketing are often two separate departments, in accounting, many marketers are being leaned on to wear both hats. Many of us have to adopt a new set of sales skills on the fly and, in addition, have daunting sales goals being handed to us. Customer relationship management (CRM) implementation anyone? The first step to tackling any of this is to define your sales process. This article provides tips for better defining a few of those sales process pieces.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Where should you begin when writing a proposal? Positioning your firm as the top candidate for selection can be somewhat of an art. This five-step guide will help you determine where to start and lay out a roadmap for your proposal writing process.
  2. Each proposal should be tailored to its recipient; therefore, carving out enough time to create a unique document is important and will help you address all necessary requirements. In this article, Tom Sant, one of the world’s top experts on proposal writing, highlights seven tips to writing a winning proposal.
  3. As John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Your prospect will be sure to examine your proposal carefully and pay attention to less obvious details that can make a big difference in closing the deal, so be sure to consider the three details discussed in this article the next time you write your proposal.
  4. Proposals are essential for winning business, but are the documents you are creating causing you to lose prospective business? This article includes six bad habits to avoid when writing proposals.
  5. Working on a proposal within a team dynamic can be difficult because of the possibility of duplicate files, conflicting versions, and old templates. This article provides seven tools designed for proposal teams and shares their differentiators.

Best Practices: Get Organized with Proposal Software - Many accounting marketers are still using Microsoft Word to create proposal documents but have the desire to implement proposal software for a more efficient process. This article provides advice and insight into your search.

Business Development News: Five Questions You Must Ask in Your Next Pursuit - Growing your business is a challenge everyone faces and transitioning qualified leads into clients is even more difficult. This process can be somewhat streamlined with these five questions to ask, which can help you determine what they are looking for and how you can meet their needs.

Meet a Member: Crystal Mapp - Learn more about Crystal Mapp, Marketing Director for KPM CPAs & Advisors and the AAM Minute’s Committee Chair in this article. 

New Member List: May 2017

April 2017: Video Marketing Strategies

Topic At Hand: Five Steps for Producing Quality In-House Videos - As technology continues to evolve and reshape the way we conduct business, it also places an integral role in the way we conduct marketing. Video marketing specifically, driven primarily through technological advances, continues to be a trending activity driving marketing strategy and brand awareness for organizations. Click here to learn five best practices for producing quality in-house videos.

Articles of Interest:

  1. When you start shooting videos, either in-house or outsourced, the costs can quickly add up. It is important that you develop a detailed video marketing budget and stick to it. Check out this article on how to build a video marketing budget.

  2. Want to start using videos in your marketing strategy, but have no idea where to start? Then read this article on how to add video as a key marketing tactic. You will learn tactics and strategies you can put into action today.

  3. More and more companies are going live on Facebook and creating videos on Instagram and Twitter to reach their audiences. As we recruit the next generation of accountants, it is important we connect with them on the platforms they are using. In this article, learn how to create your own social media video marketing strategy for your firm. 

  4. Company culture videos can be a powerful way to convey your brand to potential employees and clients. Learn ideas to help harness your story with these 10 companies that did a great job highlighting their unique cultures. 

  5. If there are not already enough reasons to champion video marketing at your firm, here are 2017 stats to help others understand the benefits of this rising technology in the marketing world.

  6. Need to learn more about the video editing process? This article can help you get started and better understand what it actually takes to produce in-house videos.

  7. So you have great videos but now what? Need ideas for promotion? This article gives you nine solid tactics to use in your video marketing strategy.

Best Practices: Learn to Edit & Livestream Videos with Mevo - If you are looking to produce high-quality videos without blowing your budget or spending hours on post-production, Mevo may be your new best friend. Click here to learn more about his efficient and effective technology and how it can benefit your firm.

Business Development News: Where Does Video "Play" in the Business Development Cycle?  - One of the hottest topics in discussion today surrounds the role that video plays in the business development cycle. The professional services industry is struggling even more with this concept because of the relationship and referral systems that most firms use. The concept of using video in many firms seems counterintuitive to the personal relationship of a referral. Click here to learn more about the role video can play in business development.

Questions & Answers: Video Tips from a Pro - An important consideration when developing a video marketing strategy is whether to produce videos in-house or outsource this job. This interview with a videographer features tip and tricks for adding video to your marketing mix to ensure quality.

New Member List: April 2017

March 2017: Staffing: Outsourcing vs. Internal Employees

Topic At Hand: Building Your Marketing Team - Are you finding there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything you would like to? Do you wish you had another set of hands to help with marketing projects? If your answer is yes, should you hire someone or outsource? Either way, the bottom line is you need more help and you have to convince your firm that you need another person. In this article, learn how to approach the subject and determine if it is time to outsource or hire.

Articles of Interest:

  1. If your firm has a blog, then you are very aware of how much time it takes to manage its content, writers, strategy – the list goes on. Click here for an infographic featuring 27 different blog tasks you can outsource to save time.

  2. Design work on websites, brochures, signage, and other marketing collateral can make or break the success of a firm. If outsourcing your design work is not an option, click here to learn about what design skills you should look for in an employee.
  3. Video marketing is essential! A couple of mind-blowing stats: video in an email leads to 200-300 percent increase in click-through rates, and including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80 percent. Click here to find out if your firm should create video marketing in-house, outsource it, or do a combination of both.
  4. In over your head with website design? Whether your firm has decided to outsource or not, click here to learn about what to avoid in your new website’s design before you even begin the long road to a redesign.
  5. Revamping or beginning your firm’s search engine optimization strategy is no easy feat. Knowing your audience is merely one key to accomplishing successful search engine ranking. Before you make the decision to outsource, click here to learn the basics of search engine friendly design and development.

Best Practices: Successfully Working with Outside Vendors - There comes a time when an accounting firm decides to outsource work to an outside vendor. Regardless of what business you are in, vendors play a key role in the success of your business. There are so many vendors to choose from and it can be overwhelming. This article will walk you through the steps to successfully work with outside vendors.

Business Development News: Secrets to Outsourced Lead Generation Success - One key to generating a return on your firm’s marketing investments is planning how you will transition from marketing to sales. While marketing builds your firm’s credibility and differentiates you from competitors, sales activities enable you to begin to uncover the prospect’s needs and offer to help meet them through one-on-one conversations. Outsourcing telephone lead generation is one such way to accomplish this. Find out how to implement and incorporate this tactic into your firm’s sales approach in this article.

Meet a Member: Katie Tolin - Learn more about 2016 AAM ‘Hall of Fame’ inductee Katie Tolin, including her proudest career accomplishments and her thoughts on outsourcing marketing efforts in this article.

New Member List: March 2017

February 2017: Creative & Design Elements

Topic At Hand: What Every Designer Wants You to Know - Graphic designers know not every marketer has a design background but most all are expected to dig into the realm of design at some point. From those of us with a design background, this article lists a few things we hope you non-designers will keep in mind.Graphic designers know not every marketer has a design background but most all are expected to dig into the realm of design at some point. From those of us with a design background, this  arti cle lists a few things we hope you non-designers will keep in mind.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Is your firm’s brand constructed around unified design and the sequential user? Click here to learn more about the importance of unified design and the sequential user of today
  2. Visuals are just as important as content when representing your brand. Click here to learn eight basic graphic design tips to help engage your audience.
  3. Minimalism, 80s neon, and heavy prints are just a few of this year’s trends in graphic design. Click here to see a comprehensive list of 2017 graphic design trends.
  4. A brand handbook will serve as a guide for employees to better understand how to communicate, both visually and verbally, about the firm. If you do not have a brand handbook for your firm, click here to learn more about how to create one and the most essential elements to include.
  5. Using your own photos versus stock photos is always a better option. However, if a photo shoot is not in your budget, this article provides tips on how to make stock photos more interesting with a little help from Photoshop.

Best Practices: Tips & Tricks for Using Canva - Canva is a fantastic, unique online design tool that offers completely customizable templates for everything from pre-sized YouTube banners to advertisements to Webinar invitations. Notably, you do not need any design experience to use Canva effectively and efficiently. However, it is crucial that you understand when to use Canva and when to find a different solution for your design needs. This article will focus on discovering Canva's role in your company's graphics and using its best features to help you save time while still creating beautiful designs.

Business Development News: Lead-Specific Creativity - Think of the phrase 'creative marketing' and your thoughts might turn reflexively to the top of the classic marketing to sales funnel: you imagine an ad campaign, a buzz-worthy brand video, or a 'wow' signature event. That reflex is natural. At the lead-specific level, most of us do not always think creatively or apply creative communication resources. That is a lost opportunity. Sometimes, literally. This article provides examples on how using a creative marketing can tip the scales in your favor and win a prospect with an out-of-the-box approach.

Questions & Answers: Creating A Brand Style Guide - A brand style guide is a document, used as a reference tool, to keep your brand's consistency across all platforms. This document guides each department's use of your organization's brand, communicating a unified and identifiable presence to your audience. This article provides information about essential elements to include in creating a brand style guide for your organization.

New Member List: February 2017

January 2017: Marketing Planning - A Look Ahead

Topic At Hand: Amending Processes to Plan for Growth- Like any business, to grow successfully, your internal processes and strategies need to grow with the business. However, the growth of most firms usually does not extend to the marketing department; thus requiring us to do more and become increasingly more effective with our budgets and time. In this article, we examine Gino Wickman's book Traction, which provides a system for how to run your marketing department with a defined vision, define accountable measurables, and examine issues that stand in the way of success.

Articles of Interest:

  1. The accounting industry continues to evolve and, as a result, sales and marketing strategies have changed. Find out what five trends are shaping the future of accounting marketing here.
  2. Remaining innovative and keeping your finger on the pulse of new marketing strategies is imperative. You should consider these items when looking at your marketing plan for the year ahead.
  3. Find out if the annual Inovautus Consulting predictions from 2016 came true and what they are forecasting for 2017 in this article. 
  4. Technology continues to play a key role in nearly every aspect of business including marketing, management, and human resources. Click here for technology trends driving disruption in the accounting industry .
  5. You simply cannot put together a strategic marketing plan without incorporating search engine optimization (SEO)!This article includes thoughts and ideas for 2017 SEO trends.
  6. Content is once again king and this amazing link shares 2017 benchmarking, budget, and trend data from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. Be sure to peruse the information when researching strategies for your next marketing plan.

Best Practices: Adopting a 3x3x3 Client Service Model - Is your firm at risk of losing or missing opportunities with clients? One may ask, what drives a client to go elsewhere? Perhaps the client believes they will receive a superior client experience at another firm. It is likely they decide to leave because of fees or bad client service. This article provides a breakdown of how to adopt L. Harris Partners' 3x3x3 client service model and grow your practice without adding clients.

Business Development News:  Align BD & Marketing in Growth Planning - Any business developer will tell you it is critically important to have the support of the marketing team. Your firm's ability to grow will be stunted if you do not have synergy between the two functions and alignment of strategy. In this article, you will learn more about strategies to keep these two roles working together efficiently and effectively.

Meet a Member: Lori Colvin - In this article, find out more about AAM's 2016 'Hall of Fame' inductee and 2007 'Marketer of the Year,' Lori Colvin, including her thoughts on remaining current with evolving marketing tactics.

New Member List: January 2017

November 2016: The Evolving Role of Marketing

Topic At Hand: Using Data Analytics to Drive marketing Strategy- Now is the time of the year when marketers start working on the upcoming year's marketing plan. Questions start to form like: What are our marketing objectives and what marketing activities will assist in meeting those objectives? In this article, learn about two tools you can use to help determine your objectives and your overall return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Articles of Interest:

  1. INBOUND MARKETING SECRET #34: ARE YOU A VICTIM OF RANDOM ACTS OF MARKETING? - This recent article stresses the importance of following a strategy that drives results and not doing just ‘random acts of marketing.’
  2. Why You're Thinking About Digital Analytics All Wrong - The analytics we employ are important to making the correct business decision and proving the return on investment of our marketing activities. This recent article explains why digital marketing analytics matter more than web analytics.
  3. How to Localize Your Marketing Campaigns to Increase Conversions - We all know the importance of having a large footprint in our local community. This article explains how to use digital marketing to localize your marketing campaigns to increase conversions.
  4. 7 of the Top Marketing Challenges Marketers Face Today - This article highlights the top seven challenges marketers face today, including proving a return on investment of your marketing dollars and solutions you can put in place.
  5. 7 Social Media Stats All Marketers Should Know - We live in a social media driven society. This article explains the seven social media stats all marketers should know.
  6. Using marketing analytics to drive superior growth - We all want our firms to grow, and using analytics to guide your marketing is great way to achieve this feat. Learn how you can use marketing analytics to drive superior growth in this article.

Best Practices: Marketing vs. Sales: Understand the Difference Between Marketing & Sales & Your Staffing Needs - We often hear the terms sales and marketing used together or even interchangeably. While the departments are somewhat symbiotic in the business ecosystem, they are two very different functions and require very different skill sets. Here is a breakdown on the differences between the two and how marketing departments can staff in an innovative way to help deliver on the sales demands being made upon them.

Special Section: Marketers Can Become Business Developers - Due to their comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their business, it makes sense that a marketer also could fulfill the business development role within their firm. This article explains the benefits of a dual marketer/business developer and how this role can help drive the sales process.

New Member List: November 2016

October 2016: Marketing to Multiple Generations

Topic At Hand: Marketing to Multi-Generations - In today's diverse mix of buyers, marketing can be difficult. Add the challenge of generational complexities and it can seem like an uphill battle. So, how are we to succeed in a market of five very different generations with different priorities, values, and preferences? You first need to understand what makes them different and learn how they operate. Here is a brief look at each of the five generations that make up our market, including what they like, what they want, and how they want it.

Articles of Interest:

  1. A New Age In Travel: Connecting With Multiple Generations - When marketing to multiple generations and their varied age ranges, keep in mind your verbiage and tone when customizing your message. This article offers advice on generational differences and key motivators.
  2. MARKETING TO MULTIPLE GENERATIONS - Discussion of different marketing/event management strategies to reach different generations - The Internet offers a unique way to target multiple generations in different ways. This article addresses generational preferences, where members of different generations can be found online, and how to catch their attention.
  3. How Millennials, Boomers, and Gen Xers Respond to Content Marketing - More than 1,200 people were surveyed from three generations (Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers) to determine how each market engages online. This article answers questions like what time can you find them online, what is their preferred viewing device, what is their preferred social network, and more.
  4. Millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers agree that advertisers are not reaching them - While some find online advertising to be a nuisance and even use ad blockers, their Millennial, Generation X, and Baby Boomer counterparts believe advertisers have forgotten about them. They feel advertisers share unrelated ads and would prefer targeted advertising. This article states that if advertisers would pay attention to them and their behavior, they would be more likely to click on their ads.
  5. X, Y, or Z?: Marketing to Different Generations - If you want an effective digital marketing strategy, various platforms must be used when targeting different generations. This article explains why each generation wants to learn about your brand differently - Baby Boomers prefer blogs or webinars, Generation X prefers social media, and Millennials prefer video.

Best Practices: Marketing to Millennials - Social media, charitable causes, and instant gratification - these are the mantras of the Millennial generation. But, who are Millennials? The Millennial Generation includes those born between 1980 to 2000. They are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. By 2025, it is estimated that three out of four people in any workplace will be Millennials. They love technology and hate anything longer than 10 seconds. They are a difficult generation to reach, however, this article shares helpful hints and tricks to help you reach Millennials.

Meet a Member: Rhonda Maraziti - In this article, get to know more about Rhonda Maraziti, the 2016 Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) Marketer of the Year. You will learn her thoughts on marketing to different generations, what she learned the hard way, what she feels is a must-know for new accounting marketers, and if being a bartender would be a career choice if she was not an accounting marketer.

Special Section: Reaching the Elusive Millennial Market - It can be difficult to reach the millennial audience, unless you know where t find them and how to communicate with them. This article shares four best practices you can use to engage your millennial prospects.

New Member List: October 2016

August/September 2016 : New Service Lines/Niche Specializations

Topic At Hand: How to Strategically Drive Revenue Growth - Marketing today is about driving growth and focus is being placed on tactics that can be proven to drive top-line revenue. One of the most popular and effective strategies being used by firms of all sizes is the development of revenue generating niches. Learn more about the importance of having dedicated leaders within each niche and discover how to determine existing niches within your firm.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Art of Accounting: Becoming a Specialist – Types of Specialties - This recent column stresses the importance of specialization in accounting firms and explains why and how specializing can help.
  2.  Developing Your Firm’s Next Generation of Industry Experts - Demonstrating industry expertise is important. This article provides strategies for developing your firm's next generation of industry experts.
  3. Kick Start Growth With a Defined Niche - This article suggests expertise is the driving factor behind choosing accounting and professional services providers. To help define your expertise, a three-pronged approach is provided to help you determine what niche might work best for your firm.
  4. FIRM MANAGEMENT 5 Tips For Firms Considering Niche Accounting - This article provides five tips to help you build a presence in your targeted niche area.
  5. 5 Questions to Ask Before Moving into Advisory Services - If you are considering expanding into consulting services, this article can help by discussing five questions you should ask when developing your strategy.
  6. 6 Tips to Ensure Your Consulting Services Succeed in your CPA Firm - Once your firm has committed to expanding your consulting services, these six tips can help you succeed in this area.

Best Practices: Develop a Niche by Leveraging Survey Data - The marketing department at Brown Smith Wallace successfully executed a survey as a means of developing a new niche for the firm. This innovative approach allowed the niche practice to grow by more than 30 percent in the past year. View this article to learn how the firm developed the survey, key takeaways, and general advice for service line formation.

Questions & Answers: How One Firm Developed a Marketing Niche - As consulting services continue to be key growth areas for many accounting firms, new practice areas like marketing are beginning to emerge. Click here to learn how Jonathan Ebenstein from Skoda Minotti developed a marketing niche within his firm and discover five important building blocks for success.

New Member List: August/September 2016

July 2016: AAM Summit Recap

Topic At Hand: Marketing’s New Role in Client Engagement & Retention: Session Recap - Enjoy this recap of the popular session led by Leisa Gill of LBMC and Mitch Reno of Rehmann where they share their insights on client experience and its importance at our firms.

Articles of Interest:

  1. This Simple, Brilliant In-Mail Should Be Required Reading for All Salespeople on LinkedIn - Learn this simple way one person connected with Marketing Director Tracey Segarra of Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP, and you’ll see how you may be able to connect with people on LinkedIn whom you have never met.  
  2. A New Role for Accounting Firms: Market Developer Terri Ellis, vice president, market development at Collins Barrow Toronto LLP, shares thoughts in this article on the process by which a market developer can transform the marketing function.
  3. Building Your Own Brand Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co LLC, explains how to get started building your personal brand today. 
  4. Yes, You Can Make a Dull Topic Interesting - President Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk at bbr marketing gives you a great example of taking a boring topic and giving it life. Here’s an idea of how to think outside the box the next time you write for your firm.
  5. 3 Ways to Gain High-Quality Clients - Katie Tolin, chief growth guide at CPA Growth Guides, provides you with tips on how to stop chasing every lead that comes through the door and, instead, focus on following up with higher-quality clients.
  6. The Radical CPA: Start with Small Steps in Social Progressive firms are using social media tools to collaborate with clients and communicate with the community in general. CEO & Principal Jody Padar of New Vision CPA Group gives her tips on best uses of social media channels.

Best Practices: A First-Timer’s Guide to an AAM Summit - Attending your first AAM Summit is a perfect storm of excitement, sheer motivation, and utter brain overload. Like your first day of school, nothing can fully prepare you for the events that will unfold, however, this article shares helpful hints and tricks that can help lead you through the day like a pro. 

Meet a Member: Ian McManis - Get to know more about Ian McManis, one of the two recipients of the 2016 AAM 'Rookie of the Year' award. He shares thoughts on this year's AAM Summit, what he would implement at his firm if he had an unlimited marketing budget, and his book recommendation for other AAM members in this article. 

Special Section: Are You a Vitamin or an Aspirin? - Ask yourself this question: Do your clients view you as a vitamin or an aspirin? Learn the difference between the two and determine if you are merely providing standard services or if you are adding value in this article. 

New Member List: July 2016

June 2016: Digital Communications

Topic At Hand: Crisis Communication Planning - Many firms may not have a crisis communication plan in place, but planning ahead for this moment is crucial in order to mitigate risk. The tips in this article can help you begin creating a plan or help you refresh your current plan.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Email Marketing: 4 Simple Ways to Boost Open and Click Throughs – Online marketers know that the email list is the bread and butter of any marketing campaign, so growing it is a priority. Find out the four considerations for doubling the open and click-through rates of your email marketing campaigns.
  2. 16-Step Blueprint to Master Your Digital Marketing in 2016 – Does your firm have a roadmap for digital marketing success? If not, check out this 16-step digital marketing blueprint to maximize your ROI.
  3. Most Small-Business Owners Buy These 5 Digital Marketing Myths - It’s important to understand fact and fiction when it comes to digital marketing. Need clarity? Read this article to learn about the top five digital marketing myths, debunked.
  4. Three Quarters Of Marketing Spend Will Be Digital By 2021: Salesforce - Marketing leaders will spend 75 per cent of their budget in digital channels according to a new report from Salesforce. The implications of such a radical shift in budget are a wake-up call for the more traditional channels such as TV, radio and print. Read this article to learn the report’s key findings and what it means for brands. 
  5. Millennials are shaking up workplace communication - Now the largest generation in America, Generation Y are working their way into the corporate world and are driving change in business communication. Find out what communication channels and digital tools are on their way out and which ones are emerging.
     

Best Practices: Unique Messaging Tips for Digital Communications - With more people using digital devices to access online content, it is vital to learn how to consistently reach all of your target audiences. Get the best practices to help build distinct digital communications and help your firm stand out from the crowd.

Questions & Answers: A Look at Digital Commenting & Posting - Meet Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D., Managing Partner of Hinge and an industry marketing thought leader. This Q&A format will give you a glimpse into Lee’s philosophy on a variety of topics such as social media engagement, content and monitoring.

Special Section: The 'Super' Audit: A Virtual Solution to Reduce Client Travel Costs  - What happens when a firm wants to offer audit services to a client located in a state where the firm has no presence? Find out how one firm is integrating technologies to conduct a high-quality audit in real time and reducing travel costs.

New Member List: June 2016

May 2016: Social Media Tools & Content

Topic At Hand: How to Create a Culture of Social Sharing - As marketers, we all understand the value of posting and sharing information on social media, but how do we involve other members of our firms in this process? This article shares ideas for creating a culture of social sharing.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Marketing: 30 Free Social Media Tools to Cover Every Need - Big social media needs and small social media dollars? No problem! Leverage these 30 tools that cover a variety of needs.
  2. 8 Ways to Take a Fresh Approach to Content Formats - Read about some great ways to recycle your content as well as examples and links to tools for navigating your content strategy. 
  3. 3 Techniques That Will Double Your Social Media Content with Half the Effort - If you feel like you don't have time for social media, here are three tips to help you increase productivity and efficiency with less effort.
  4. The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites - Here is some helpful information on the best times to post on various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  5. How to Use Hashtags Effectively for Social Media Growth - Don't know where to start with #hashtag research and use? This article provides helpful tips to get you started as well as best practices for use and implementation.
  6. 6 Tips for Engaging Young Managers and Staff in Your Growth - Engaging younger staff and managers in marketing initiatives can be difficult. This article will give you ideas on how to include them in your social media and content strategies that help drive growth. 
  7. The Top 26 Social Media KPIs Marketers Can’t Ignore - Do you need help finding the top key performance indicators (KPI) that matter to your social media strategy? Here’s a list of the top 26 KPIs you can't ignore. 

Best Practices: Measuring Performance Engagement on Social Media - Measuring your efforts on social media will help you determine what is working for you and what is not. Here are six items you should be measuring to allow for maximized return on investment and evaluation of success. 

Questions & Answers: Katie Butler, Weinstein Spira - Get to know Katie Butler, one of the 2016 AAM Rookies of the Year. Her creative and practical approaches to business development and social media/content marketing initiatives are impressive!  

Special Section: Finding Leads on LinkedIn: Social Selling Produces Warm Prospects - Sales today are harder than in the past, but your chances of landing deals are even greater than ever with this one tool - LinkedIn. This article sheds light on using this tool efficiently and effectively.

New Member List: May 2016

April 2016: Digital Workplace Organization

Topic At Hand: How to Manage the Selection of Project Management Software The key to finding the best Project Management software is understanding what the important features and considerations are. Read this article to get off to the right start.

Articles of Interest:

  1. 37 Digital Marketing Tools That Make Life Easier - This article set outs to put together a solid list of tools that we think other companies can use to scale their own growth.
  2. Best apps: for social networking - Social networking has become a lot easier thanks to some of the dedicated social media apps. Read this to find out more about the apps that can help you promote your business better.
  3. Monster List of (Mostly) Free Organization Tools for Digital Marketers - This article covers 55 resources and tools to make your digital presence and marketing efforts more effective.
  4. 6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Organization's Use of Digital Tools - Follow these 6 steps to evaluate your use of digital tools and become a more efficient organization.
  5. Planner Plus: 5 Digital Organization Tools Everyone Needs - This article covers the top picks for organizational apps, digital calendars, and task trackers. 

Best Practices: Advice for Beginning Your CRM Journey - Get sage advice from an accounting firm marketer who has been through the process of selecting and implementing a CRM. 

Questions & Answers: Jennifer Hertzig, BCG & Company - Get to know accounting firm marketer, Jennifer Hertzig, and her take on technology, social media, telecommuting and more. 

Special Section: Digital Tools Make BDEs Successful in Today's Business Environment Learn more about business developers can leverage the three key advantages that technology allows – access, speed, and convenience. 

New Member List: April 2016

March 2016: Personal Branding & Career Development

Topic At Hand: Build Your Personal Brand: Boost Your Career Potential Two strategies will lead to greater prominence for both yourself and your firm. Which approach is right for you?

Articles of Interest:

  1. 16 Wise Ways To Build Your Brand In 2016 - From SlideShare to failing frequently, these tips might surprise you.
  2. 5 Ways to Build a Personal Brand in 2016 - Transparency and new and varied platforms are recommended in this short article.
  3. Why Your Personal Brand Is More Important Than Ever Before Executives will become micro brands within organizations. Why "You" are the Brand of the Year.
  4. 7 Ways to Build an Unstoppable Personal Brand in 2016 - From crafting your narrative to showing off, here are more personal branding strategies.
  5. 12 Personal Branding Trends That Will Dominate 2016 
  6. Personal Branding Trends for 2016 - Part 1: Are You Ready To Capitalize On Them? - How video and the digital age impact your personal brand.

Best Practices: Why Getting Involved is Key to Your Career Success Although there never seems to be enough time in the day, career progression can only happen if you become more involved. Here are some career development ideas to help build your personal brand.

Questions & Answers: Jill Richmond, Dannible & McKee, LLP

Special Section: Vital Skills of Growth Leadership The best growth leaders in the accounting industry are indispensable leaders with strong abilities that few others possess. This excellent article covers strategies for growth planning, sales management and coaching.

New Member List: March 2016

February 2016: Recruiting Marketing Strategies

Topic At Hand: How Business Developers Add Value to Recruiting - Learn why the skill sets of sales executives are ideal for recruiting employees of all experience levels.

Articles of Interest:

  1. 9 Ways to Use Content Marketing as a Recruiting Tool - Talent acquisition in the accounting industry is a struggle, so why not utilize content marketing as a hiring tool.
  2. How to win the Game of Talent - Firms need planning and persistence to survive on the most competitive battlefield today: hiring skilled accountants.
  3. Six steps to success with recruitment marketing - Recruitment marketing is all about building connections. Some of the most important ones could be inside the organization.
  4. How Sodexo Use Social Media for Recruitment - This case study explains how Sodexo's recruitment advertising costs have been reduced by $300,000 annually thanks to a successful social strategy.
  5. How Job Seekers Use Glassdoor Reviews - Key findings of a survey reveal that Glassdoor ratings definitively have an impact.
  6. Firm Growth Isn’t Just About Revenue: Applying a Go-To-Market Approach to On-Campus Recruiting - We all know that the most important asset of a firm is its people.  With this in mind, firms should use the same disciplined approach of identifying and nurturing relationships to find new staff as they do for finding new clients. 

Best Practices: Marketing Strategies for Recruiting - A fresh approach and tailored messaging is needed to attract the best talent - especially when targeting college graduates.

Questions & Answers: Two Recent Hires' Perspectives on Recruiting Marketing Efforts - Find out how marketing impacted the decision making process of two recently-hired accountants.

New Member List: February 2016

January 2016: Marketing & Business Development Engagement

Topic At Hand: Innovation + Cultural Shift = Growth - This article, inspired by a panel discussion at AAM's 2016 "Winning is Everything" conference, looks at the importance of innovation and provides steps to implement a growth plan in your firm.

Articles of Interest:

  1. Three Steps To Engaging Your People In Your Company Brand - Engaged team members are more likely to stay, create better customer experiences, and are more profitable. Here's a three step process for turning employees into ambassadors.
  2. How to Engage Employees in Social Media Marketing: 5 Data-Driven Steps Leverage your entire team in a social strategy that will boost sales.
  3. 5 Ways to Engage Employees to Build a Better Customer Experience - People say they will pay more for a better customer experience. Learn how to nurture an engaged culture at your organization.
  4. 5 Tips for getting key employees involved in Content Marketing - Want to be considered a thought leader in your industry? Leveraging key employees is a tactic for success.
  5. 10 Tips for Engaging Accounting Professionals - The talent war is on. Keep your workers happy or risk losing them.

Best Practices: How Do You Engage Firm Members to Use a CRM? Driving change is difficult, but the earlier you bring everyone into the fold the better. CRM success begins and ends with communication and training. Here are some guidelines for successful CRM adoption.

Questions & Answers: Stephanie Chapa, Wiebe Hinton Hambalek, LLP

New Member List: January 2016

Editorial Calendar

April 2018: Sales & Marketing Alignment
Material Due: April 5

May 2018: Digital Marketing Strategies
Material Due: May 3

June 2018: Career Development
Material Due: June 7

July 2018: Enhancing Client Experience
Material Due: July 6

August 2018: Recruitment & Retention Strategies
Material Due: August 2

September 2018: Demand & Lead Generation
Material Due: September 6

October 2018: Marketing & Budget Planning
Material Due: October 4

November 2018: Planning for Succession
Material Due: November 1

December 2018: Celebrating Milestones
Material Due: December 6