Practice Management

Growth Strategies Partner POV with Heidi LaMarca

|Growth Strategies Partner POV Heidi LaMarca Image

Growth Strategies co-chair Heather Kunz spoke with Heidi LaMarca, CPA, Managing Partner of Windham Brannon in Atlanta, about her firm’s marketing and business development approach in this partner POV interview.

How are the business development and marketing functions structured at Windham Brannon?

Our marketing and business development (BD) functions are separate, but they work together closely and report to me. Every partner is responsible for BD. We also have three BD professionals, one of whom is a retired partner who knows the firm and our people really well.

On the marketing side, we have a marketing director and two staff in the department. I have biweekly meetings with our marketing and BD directors. We also contract with a national consultant who works with our marketers and business developers. To me, the value in working with the consultant is they have seen so much in so many places. Our consultant helps us learn and improve our BD skills and marketing efforts in sharing best practices across all our service lines and industry segments.

How have you created a marketing culture?

We set goals for all principals that include the number of research calls to contacts they will make every week, on average. Every principal also has a “shadow” meeting goal, which is to encourage our principals to teach others how we do what we do, including business development. We offer a BD bonus for staff. While we don’t expect anyone below principal to be responsible for a BD goal, they do go with principals to meetings or sit in on calls.

How can marketers elevate their relationships with partners?

For marketers to raise their profile with partners and firm management, they have to know what the annual marketing strategy is and communicate where they are on the plan. I send a biweekly update on all functional areas within the firm to all partners, so marketing and BD provide me with input for that report. Our marketers also are a great resource for new ideas. Marketing played a significant role creating weekly internal COVID-19 meetings during the early stages of the pandemic, as well as multiple webinars.

Click here to read the full Growth Strategies Partner POV on Heidi LaMarca, CPA in the Fall 2020 issue of Growth Strategies.

About Heather Kunz

Heather Kunz is the manager of marketing and business development, Williams, Benator & Libby.

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