Meet a Member: Jolene Colant
• Name: Jolene Colant
• Title: Director of Marketing
• Firm Name: Hall, Kistler & Company LLP
• Firm City & State: Canton, Ohio
• Firm Size: 28
• Years of Experience: 20+
• College & Degree: University of Akron, BA Mass Media Communications
• Email Address: email@example.com
• Professional Memberships: AAM, BKR International
• Community Involvement: Founder of Women’s Impact Inc. I have held various positions within the organization. Arts In Stark Board member. Leadership Stark County Signature Program graduate, 35th class
• Twitter Handle: @jacmarketer
• LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jolenecolant/
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
What is your advice for teams of one or small departments?
Get to know your local marketing community. Join your local American Advertising Federation (AAF), Public Relations Society (PRSA) or local chapters of national sales and marketing groups. Your network of local providers will grow, and you will have a contact list for when it makes more sense to have something done locally.
What is the structure of your marketing department?
I am a team of one.
Do you outsource anything? If so, how did you make that decision?
Yes. My time is limited, so I have to know my strengths. The design of my website is outsourced (link to SM article), and I work with an agency on SEO. Sometimes I outsource graphic design and copywriting for more significant projects.
What have you learned the hard way?
Not everyone is going to like your ideas or participate in your initiatives. If you help those who see your vision for their success and want to move forward, hopefully others will follow them to achieve the same success.
What is a “must know” for new accounting marketers?
Find a champion within the partner group if it is not your managing partner. This champion will support you and your initiatives within the partner group. I have found that a champion can be different from a mentor.
What is something people may not know about you?
I am a founder of a local women’s group, Women’s Impact, Inc. We started this organization 12 years ago with 10 women looking to support the advancement of women in our community. We are now 200 strong. Women’s Impact, Inc. provides an energizing arena for women of purpose and passion to enrich their own and each other’s lives. Through connection, education and recognition, Women’s Impact, Inc. encourages members to unleash their power to realize their full potential.
What is the most significant benefit you receive from your AAM membership?
AAM has been an enormous resource for me. The conferences, the Biannual Compensation Survey and the vendor members have been invaluable, and the new AAM Circles have added another dimension of benefits. Talking to others in small groups has worked better than I expected as we have solved problems together, helped educate each other and gotten to know each other.
Share one marketing tip.
If you don’t have a marketing budget, create one. Use last year’s expenses as your guide and project what you might need in the future. In addition to last year’s expenses, use the Hinge survey to create categories, and don’t forget to include individual marketing budgets for staff and partners.
What do you feel is the biggest issue is facing accounting marketers today?
There will always be the significant issues of “getting a seat at the table,” budget constraints and getting everyone to join in your initiatives, but my most recent challenge has been keeping marketing and business development at the forefront of our hybrid work model. There can be a disconnect from your team when you are not together daily.
What would you be doing if you had not become a marketer?
I might be a radio deejay or a television producer.
What is the biggest project you are working on right now?
I am currently working with an agency on our SEO and switching our CRM to HubSpot.
If you had an unlimited budget, what is one thing you would implement immediately?
Year-round business development training for staff. Marketing is only part of the equation. Accounting professionals should be able to talk about how they problem solve (sell), what other services their team members offer (cross-sell) and what sets the firm apart from competitors to clients and prospects.
What books have you read recently that you feel would be beneficial to other AAM members?
I am a fan of Patrick Lencioni. He has two books that give great insight into what it takes to lead. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable explores how teams fail to work cohesively together through a dynamic, five-part model of dysfunction. The five dysfunctions are 1) absence of trust, 2) fear of conflict, 3) lack of commitment, 4) avoidance of accountability, and 5) inattention to results. And The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities is about the why we lead as this fable follows two rival CEOs. It’s a fast-paced read.
What blogs/social feeds do you subscribe to that are helpful?
The Daily Carnage has a daily email newsletter and a Facebook page. It’s a great place to see what other marketers in all fields are dealing with and a bit of fun only marketers will understand. Other newsletters I subscribe to are: The Broadsheet, Marketing Brew, Serial Marketers, Hinge’s Professional Services, Marketing Today and John Jantsch, the original Duct Tape Marketing creator. Oh! And the AAM Minute!