Name: Kristen Lewis
Title: Director of Marketing
Years of Experience: 21 years
College Name & Degree: University of Pennsylvania – Bachelor’s in Communications
Firm Name: EisnerAmper LLP
Firm City & State: New York, NY
Firm Size: 200 partners, 2,000 employees
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Memberships: AAM
Community Involvement: PACT, United Way
Twitter Handle: @kristenllewis
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristenludwiglewis/
Our issue this month is on cross-selling. What types of cross-selling strategies does your firm employ?
We put a lot of energy into making team members more aware of the resources we have available to help clients. That translates into education, promotion, sharing success stories, and even internal networking to build relationships. We have a program called Integrated Client Service, or ICS, which incentivizes cross-selling and collaboration across groups. Through ICS, we host local industry and service line meetings to share solutions and make connections. Team members are encouraged to explore potential opportunities and bring in relevant colleagues to client meetings. Whether or not a new engagement is sold, we are having valuable client conversations and demonstrating our ability to meet their changing needs.
What is the structure of your marketing department?
Our department is organized into four different specialist groupings, which reflect how we go to market and support market plans: industry, service line, and geographic marketers, as well as firm-wide functional resources (i.e. graphic design, content, social media, website management, etc.). All of these team members collaborate with our practice teams and firm management to pursue firm goals, reporting up to our Principal-in-Charge of Marketing.
What have you learned the hard way?
Not everyone is going to embrace your plans or participate at the same level. And that’s okay (I swear)! Focus on empowering those who are driven and want to grow the practice – help them find the right path to success. You can build your strategy from there.
What is a “must know” for new accounting marketers?
An important part of your education is learning the business: how an accounting firm works, the demands on the practitioners, the flow of the deadline calendar, and even the basic jargon around the services and industry specialties. The sooner you can speak the language, the better. So ask questions, listen in meetings (even to the parts that don’t directly concern you), and do research online. This gives you the context you need to relate to the service team and understand where they are coming from. You will gain credibility with the team, create more realistic growth plans, and uncover ways to improve engagement.
What is something people may not know about you?
I have a scary ability to remember pop culture and historical trivia, so I am formidable at Quizzo. Some AAM folks may have heard me sing, and I do well enough there, too.
What is the biggest benefit you receive from your AAM membership or what effect has AAM had on your career?
I am still in accounting marketing today because of AAM: the education, the networking, the mentoring opportunities, and more. AAM provides access to a network of fantastic professionals, and everyone is so willing to share and connect in this wonderful community. I’m proud to be a part of it.
Share one marketing tip.
Often we are laser-focused on creating new content, but don’t forget to make full use of your existing content. Older content can be updated, you can take messaging to new platforms, or you can review metrics for older content to identify topics you need to revisit. There is a lot of potential value in your content vault!
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing accounting marketers today?
The rapid pace of change – technological, social, economic, and more. That’s why it’s so crucial to be plugged in to what is happening outside of your firm, too.
What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer?
I would be a writer for sure, hopefully doing something creative!
What is the biggest project you are working on right now?
I am leading the marketing workstream for our firm’s DEI plan. We have embedded inclusion into our marketing processes, supported the HR/recruiting plan, created a slate of DEI-themed programming, and developed common messaging for internal and external use. Refining best practices around enhanced training, mentoring, and support for market-facing activities is next. We want to pull up more chairs to the table in a meaningful and sustainable way.
If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?
More resources for content creation, in all its forms!
What books have you read recently that you feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?
I am currently reading Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones. This book in particular speaks to me because it is about using your voice for a bigger purpose, conquering your fears (and imposter syndrome) to do the things that are scary, making meaningful change, and just trying to live a little more boldly. It is something that so many of us struggle with in our professional and personal lives. She is a very funny writer too, so I’m really enjoying it!
Kristen Lewis was interviewed by Rachael McGrew.
Rachael McGrew is the Business Development Director for Landmark CPAs, one of Arkansas’ largest accounting firms. In her role, she wears many hats, including overseeing the firm’s marketing and business development strategy, managing internal and external communications, maintaining the firm’s social media and web presence, planning and executing firm events and community outreach programs, coordinating recruiting campaigns, and serving on industry association committees.
Rachael is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Smith program, an Arkansas Business and Northwest Arkansas Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree, a Fort Smith Chamber Ambassador, a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas’ Western Council, Co-chair of Immaculate Conception’s Spring Festival Silent Auction, and a Home Room Mom.