AAM Minute Monthly Poll


Dana Bottorff, Anadon Marketing/Communications

Every month we ask our readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms.

In June, we asked about the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the overall budget and the marketing budget in your firm. Here’s how you answered:

Q1: Has your firm’s budget been cut due to COVID?

Yes                                                                  50%

No                                                                   50%


10% cut

Not cut, but I was asked to be cautious with spending.

Q2: If your budget has been cut, how were you able to justify remaining budgetary dollars. For example, “We need to keep $25,000 for digital marketing efforts in a virtual environment.”

N/A, my budget wasn’t cut.                            60%

If applicable, how were you able to justify
remaining budgetary dollars?                         40%

On a case by case basis.

I was only asked to cut a certain percentage, which was easy to do (ex: budgeted $20k for client survey, which only ended up costing $11k).

Provide sound reasoning for what the money needs to be used for. How it can benefit us in the future and help us continue to grow.

I wasn't permitted to spend any leftover dollars -- and I had quite a bit. Our new fiscal year begins July 1, and I have been told I can proceed with a few initiatives I had to wait on.


Q3: Since we are unable to meet in person, how have you reallocated in-person event budget allocations?

N/A, we cut in-person event allocations from the budget.                                         50%

If applicable, how have you reallocated in-person event budget allocations?           50%

These in-person event budget allocations have been transitioned to professional development training funds (i.e. webinars, seminars, webcasts and some virtual networking opportunities).

Done on an office-by-office level.

We are looking for other opportunities to use this money.

The money is still sitting in the budget. We are just spending less on that right now.

I did not reallocate the money. I have a budget, but it's not black and white. I can spend money here and there without having to reallocate my expenses.

Q4: Are you using any platforms that are free, which is allowing you to do more with less? If so, what are you using?

Yes                                                                  10%

No                                                                   90%


Using Pexels a lot for images.

A strong commitment to marketing and business development – even amid a pandemic – comes through in the results of the June AAM Minute Poll.

The poll results show that while half of firms have cut budgets as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the impact on marketing departments is relatively mild with just over half reporting that they were not asked to cut their budgets. However, firm leaders are holding marketers’ feet to the fire and asking for justification of any spending that is viewed as discretionary.

But while the dollars remain in place, spending priorities have shifted significantly as firms have cancelled in-person events and taken their marketing and business development online. While 50% of respondents said allocations for in-person events were cut from their budgets altogether, others reported reallocating those funds to webinars, seminars, webcasts and virtual networking events. Many respondents said the money has not yet been reallocated or is being prioritized locally on an office-by-office basis. This shows a significant degree of flexibility on the part of firm leaders, as well as a strong commitment to marketing and business development even in the midst of a crisis.

This month we ask that you please take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about how you use segmentation and personalization in your marketing and business development efforts.

About Dana Bottorff

As a writer and marketing consultant to CPA firms, Dana helps create content programs that are tailored to the needs of each client. The way your firm services its clients is unique, so your content should be written in your firm’s unique “voice.” Dana helps you find that voice.

Dana joined the accounting marketing world 12 years ago when she went to work for a Boston-area mid-sized firm. Immediately, the resources and friends she found in AAM became indispensable to her, and she has learned so much from them over the years. She founded her own agency – Anadon Marketing/Communications – in mid-2019 and is thrilled to be working with several of her AAM colleagues.

What’s important to Dana is learning, growing and pushing outside of her comfort zone every day.