AAM Minute

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

To find out how you can advertise in the AAM Minute, visit our advertising opportunities page.

May 2022: Summit Recap

Beginner's Guide: The 2022 AAM Summit was recently held in Louisville, Kentucky. In this Beginner’s Guide, AAM Minute Committee member Kayla Juba shares her experience and key takeaways as a first-time attendee of Summit. 

Speakers of Interest: The 2022 AAM Summit was host to a long lineup of fantastic speakers with topics ranging from marketing with purpose to Valuegraphics to having crucial conversations. Here are some of the top speakers worth following for news and insights.

Seasoned Marketer: The opening keynote at AAM Summit 2022 offered a fresh perspective on our accounting marketing roles. Is our audience, in part, changing? Keynote speaker and author Bobby Jones encouraged us to ask ourselves are we marketing with purpose? Read more about it in this article.

Business Development
Being at the Association for Accounting Marketing 2022 Summit was invigorating on many levels. Outside of it being the first in-person conference in over two years, there were a number of key takeaways for those in business development roles. Here’s a look at some of them. 

Hot Topic: At the beginning of May, 300+ accounting marketers gathered in Louisville for three jam-packed days of learning, networking, and—let’s be honest—group therapy! Here are some of the attendees’ best takeaways.

Meet a MemberThis month, Rachel Pompeani interviewed the 2022 AAM Marketer of the Year, Allison Schlegelmilch. Allison is the Director of Marketing at RKL LLP. Check out her interview where she discusses skills, tips and what her takeaways from this year's AAM Summit. 

New Members: April 2022

April 2022: SEO

Beginner's Guide: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of improving your website to increase its visibility, is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. SEO may seem like an intimidating job, but overall it’s a series of simple tasks. In this article, learn how SEO works and where to start.

Articles of Interest: In this month’s Articles of Interest feature, rather than offering up some helpful articles to read, you’ll find the names and social handles of some of the top “influencers” in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of SEO. Here are links to some of the top SEO influencers to follow.

Seasoned Marketer: So, you’ve learned the basics of SEO and now you’re ready to dig in. What’s next? Tools! From keyword research and content tools to multipurpose and all-in-one tools, we have you covered. Check out our list of our favorite SEO tools.

Business Development
Once your firm receives a website inquiry, how long does it take for someone to follow up? If your answer is more than a few hours, it is very possible you are missing out on opportunities! In this article, learn how quickly you should respond, what to include in your response process, and what kind of success you can expect. 

Small Firm Focus: Some accounting firms have teams that think about strategy all the time, making sure their marketing strategy aligns with the firm’s overall goals. But smaller firms may not have that luxury. So how can a small team make a big impact on SEO? This article gives some tips for developing your small-firm SEO strategy.

Meet a MemberBrian Swanson is the Chief SEO Strategist for FlashPoint Digital, a digital marketing agency for service-based companies. He is a long-time AAM member and has more than a decade of experience with SEO. Learn more about Brian in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: March 2022

March 2022: Keep Marketing Moving During Busy Season

Beginner's Guide:
As a growth professional in public accounting, are you finding yourself in a vicious cycle of “hurry up and wait” during busy season? It is time to push the reset button on expectations! This article discusses how marketing and business development professionals can maximize busy season and capitalize on opportunities, so come May, they and their firms are set up for success.

Articles of Interest: 

  1. Why Market When You’re “Too Busy” to Take on New Work
    Many businesses think marketing is done only when looking to get more customers, but this idea is very wrong. Marketing is an ongoing effort that your business needs to be doing whether you are not getting enough customers or if it’s busy season. The secret lies in knowing what you should be marketing as opposed to if you should be marketing. This article lays out some ideas to help.

  2. 5 Easy Ways to Market Your Firm During Tax Season (and Why You Should)
    Marketing during tax season always gets mixed responses from partners at accounting firms. However, knowing your competitors are out there putting on the full-court press is enough to make sure you stay on top of your marketing game—especially during tax season. Here are 5 ways to ensure you get your market share at this crazy time of year.

  3. 2 Smart Ways to Keep the Marketing Engine Running During Tax Season
    Tax season is a beast. And, marketing managers (and sometimes marketing campaigns) are all but forgotten during this time. But, you can keep it simple and still score branding and lead-generating points during this time. This article shows it can be done.

  4. Busy Season vs. Slow Times — When is it Best to Advertise?
    This short read is more general in terms of business types and geared towards businesses that advertise. However, the message rings true for accounting firms as well. Consistent marketing is successful marketing. Don’t slow down during tax season if you want steady business when the busy season is over.

  5. Social Media During Tax Season? Why Not?
    Are you part of a smaller firm and find it hard to get partners to engage in marketing efforts during tax season? Social media campaigns offer a way to get out there with little involvement from them. This article lays out some ideas you can implement right away!

Seasoned Marketer: Accounting marketers tend to slow down in busy season. This article outlines one productive way for marketers to keep busy during busy season: performing a content audit. We address the importance of an audit and four tips to get you started. 

Business Development: It’s busy season in your firm, and a lot of heads are down and deep into the work. Business development executives often feel like their efforts either slow to a crawl or come to a complete stop when the subject matter experts (SMEs) are getting client work done. However, now is the time for business developers to get creative to keep the momentum going during busy season! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Meet a MemberRachel Pompeani is the Growth Marketing Manager for ClearlyRated and the new co-chair of the AAM Minute. Get to know her and learn about how she keeps marketing moving in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: February 2022

February 2022: Marketing and Firm Culture

Beginner's Guide: 
How can we as marketers can make an impact on the culture within our accounting firms? Here are nine examples of how to drive culture within your own firm.

Articles of Interest: Marketers have a lot on their plate: campaigns, eblasts, social media, websites, and more. These are all pivotal duties for our firms, but unfortunately some of the less-tangible aspects of our jobs fall to wayside for the more tangible tasks.

Company culture is often hard to define. Some might even think their company (or for most of us, firm) doesn’t have a culture at all! If you’re having trouble nailing down your company culture or integrating it into your current marketing plan, these articles are for you.

Seasoned MarketerThe Great Resignation is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The shift in the workforce has made it critical for firm leadership to not only understand the dynamics of today’s workforce, but to also understand the impact of culture. This article dives deep into how to evaluate and improve your firm’s culture.

Hot Topic: The nemesis to every accounting marketer is likely billable hours. How can we achieve our strategic objectives when we can’t get our partners to participate because of billable hours? This is especially true in getting partners to write. In this article, Eric shares his approach to achieving this near-impossible feat.

Meet a MemberAlice Grey Harrison is the SVP of Strategic Communications. Read about how Dixon Hughes Goodman is using marketing to influence firm culture.

New Members: January 2022

January 2022: The Generation Gap

Beginner's Guide:
As marketers, we handcraft our messages. We need to know our audience, their pain points, their goals, and what is important to them. But when it comes to communication within our own firms, it’s easy to forget that our colleagues are their own audience. Find out the communication preferences of each of the five generations in the workforce plus some tips on how to communicate to each generation in this article.

Articles of Interest: 

  1. How to Manage the 5 Generations in the Workplace
    Today's multigenerational workforce offers significant benefits to employers in terms of a range of experience and creative problem-solving skills. But how do you bridge the gap between the generations? This article takes a look at each of the five generations in the workplace and discusses how to attract and retain them, what their ideal workplace environment looks like, how they want to be managed and what benefits they want.

  2. Generational Workforce Differences Infographic
    How do each of the five generations in the workplace stack up against each other? Find out their characteristics in this infographic from Purdue University.

  3. How Gen Z is Handling the Workplace Generation Divide
    The generation gap between Gen Z and their more seasoned colleagues — when it comes to everything from job satisfaction and work travel to the age of their bosses — is a constant in today’s workplace. This article takes a look at a few Gen Z surveys to show what might be the primary drivers of The Great Resignation.

  4. 5 Ways to Bridge the Generation Gap Between Employees
    When different generations are meshing well in the workplace, you'll see a high level of employee engagement and an improved workplace culture across the board. This article has five HR best practices that will help you get the most out of your team’s diversity.

  5. Understanding Generation Z in the Workplace
    Entire industries and businesses will rise and fall in the wake of the Generation Z. Yet few industries or organizations seem to be ready for it. Are you? Find out in this article from Deloitte.

Seasoned Marketer: How do you get started incorporating DEI into your firm? One way to begin is by thinking about DEI during the onboarding process. This article has three easy tips to help you get started.

Meet a Member: Jessica Hekmatjah is the Chief Marketing Office for BPM, located in Dallas, TX. With 900+ employees, communicating across generations is a must. Learn more about Jessica, her department, and how the firm communicates in this article.

New Members: December 2021

December 2021: Favorite Things

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
Check out Jenna Ward's favorite DEI resources mentioned in her video here.

Video: You can view Jake Fugett's resources for his favorite video tools here.

Workflow Tools/AutomationCheck out Rachel Pompeani's resources for workflow tools and automation here.

SEO: You can find Rachael McGrew's resources for her SEO tools here. Watch her video here.

Favorite Cultural Differentiator/RetentionCheck out what Tanya Doescher says to be her favorite cultural differentiators that help with employee retention.

Business Development: It’s getting even harder for business development executives to reach prospects in a remote environment, which has led to an increased demand for tools to help facilitate the sales cycle. Here are some tools that savvy firms and business development executives are using to increase their effectiveness. 

New Members: December 2021

November 2021: Recruiting

Beginner's Guide:
If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly aware of the acute talent shortage that is facing the accounting profession today. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation, and that means marketing teams taking on roles they may not be familiar with. Here are eight ways that marketers can help solve the recruiting challenges facing their firms.

Articles of Interest: Ask any CPA firm what their biggest challenge is and there is an excellent chance they will reply with recruiting and retaining qualified talent. It’s a challenge for firms of all sizes, and it’s especially hard to find qualified, experienced staff. Here are some articles that can help you with your recruiting efforts.

  1. What Perks Matter Most When Recruiting Talent Today, 20+ Experts Weigh In
    It’s always surprising that pay, while important, is not the top perk that potential employees care most about when choosing an employer. This article explains what they are looking for and has weigh-in from industry experts.

  2. Mastering the Art of Differentiation: 6 Keys to Recruiting in the Professional Services Industry
    Learn how three of the top recruiters in professional services differentiate their firms when talking to candidates in this article.

  3. Companies embrace unusual new strategies to survive a labor crunch
    It’s not just public accounting that is feeling the crunch. Private companies are having a hard time filling their internal accounting roles. This article details how they are trying to fill the voids.

  4. How to Recruit and Retain Talent in Post-Pandemic America
    The genie is out of the bottle: people are used to working from home and will demand flexible work schedules moving forward. But what else do they want to stay engaged? Find out here.

  5. 3 Tips for Recruiting CPA Candidates in a Virtual World
    CPA firms are hiring talent across the country that they have never met in person. Learn tips on how to recruit effectively in the digital world in this article.

  6. How to Attract and Keep Top Performers in Accounting
    In today’s competitive hiring market, many public accounting firms are finding it harder than ever to attract and retain high-performing professionals. Is it because they’re not paying enough? Not entirely. Read more here.

What Do You Think? Each month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In October, we asked about marketing trends of the future. 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 about recruiting methods for hiring top talent.

The Seasoned Marketer: It’s a tough market out there for employers right now, and experienced accountants are already hard to come by. In this article, learn a few tips to use on your website to make it a recruiting powerhouse.

AAM Member Benefit Guide: Whether you’re a longtime member of the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) or just joining, the AAM Member Benefit Guide can help you get the most out of your membership. Click here for a preview of how to navigate AAM's websites.

Meet a Member: Aaron Welch is a Content Marketer for BPM in San Francisco, California. Learn more about Aaron and BPM’s recruiting strategies in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: November 2021

October 2021: Future Forward: Marketing Trends for the Future

Beginner's Guide: 
Listen up! As technology continues to advance, marketers have to keep a keen eye on emerging trends that may affect how they do their jobs. One of those trends that has been working its way into the average person’s life is voice search. This article dives into the expanding world of voice search and how it affects you.

Articles of Interest: The ability to seize on trends is one of the hallmarks of a good marketer. If for instance, you saw the rise of influencer marketing coming in 2010 or you were quick to seize on the advent of display advertising in the late 90s, then you were ahead of the profession. It’s easy to look back and say you saw trends coming, but to truly stay ahead, marketers must stay informed. These articles of interest on the theme of “Marketing Trends for the Future” aim to help our AAM members do just that.

  1. Smart Speakers
    A lot has been made — and rightly so — of the importance for brands to optimize their content for smart speakers. Market research firm Parks Associates reports that nearly 1 in 2 U.S. households own a smart speaker.[1] Meanwhile, just about everyone has access to a virtual assistant by virtue of owning a smartphone. That adds up to a whole lot of opportunity for marketers to drive leads or awareness by optimizing their content to appear in voice search results. A Forbes post from earlier this year shares 13 best practices for brands to optimize their content for voice search results as advised by members of the publication’s Communications Council. You can also read more about voice search in this month’s Beginner’s Guide.
    [1] Source: 49% of US broadband households own a smart speaker or smart display (parksassociates.com)

  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
    Consumers have long demanded better representation in advertising. But many have observed that the practice of predominantly white marketers selling to Black or Hispanic consumers still constitutes an asymmetrical relationship. Meanwhile, the industry continues to draw criticism for its perceived tokenism with regard to its representation of minorities. This recent Ad Age opinion piece argues for making DEI a performance metric on equal footing with traditional success measures in order to avoid tokenism not only in advertisements, but in the marketing organization itself.

  3. Data Governance
    Marketing tailored to the individual, enabled by data, has arguably been the most important innovation in the field since the new millennium. Over the past two years, however, a strong countermovement to this paradigm has built up a critical mass. Regulations like the EU’s GDPR or California’s CCPA sent a message from regulators that businesses need to be more responsible and transparent with the data they collect. Meanwhile, Apple has given iPhone users much more control over they data they share, while Google has promised to block third-party cookies in Chrome. The upshot is marketers may soon have to learn to live with much less granular data about their customers, as this New York Times story discusses.

  4. AI
    Leaders of marketing organizations already know that automation is essential to maximizing the productivity and impact of their teams. But the advent of the far more advanced, far more human algorithms we call “artificial intelligence,” or “AI,” is poised to radically transform marketing. From automating repetitive tasks to combing through gargantuan data sets to uncover insights and aid decisionmakers, technologists and marketers are partnering to apply this emerging tech to nearly every stage of the customer journey. In this recent Harvard Business Review article, the authors propose a framework for understanding current AI technologies before offering practical recommendations for marketers to start incorporating AI into their marketing activities.

What Do You Think? Each month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In September, we asked about how firms are using video. 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 about new marketing trends and how you are employing them.

The Seasoned Marketer: As marketing professionals at accounting firms, hiring a Kardashian or paying $500,000 for influence is out of reach for most of us. So how can accounting firms approach an influencer marketing strategy? This article explores three areas to consider as you plan an influencer strategy. 

Business Development: The world really has no boundaries. That was one of the many lessons COVID-19 has taught us. As a result of the worldwide pandemic, businesses were forced to reassess how they are serving their current client base. This article talks about how you can develop business in this new borderless landscape.

Meet a Member: Bell Holder is the Social Media and Marketing Analyst for Lane Gorman Trubitt in Dallas, Texas. Learn more about Bell and LGT’s marketing strategies in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: October 2021

September 2021: Video Marketing Strategies

Beginner's Guide:
Getting started with video is not always easy, especially for smaller firms with limited budgets. In this article, we’ll discuss six keys to get started with your own video content marketing campaign.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore our monthly topic. This month's articles relate to video. Many marketers can feel overwhelmed when they think about incorporating video into their marketing strategy. These articles take the movie magic out of video production and address your biggest concerns when it comes to making videos for your firm. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start making videos earlier.

When you think of “video production” you’re likely picturing a big set on a Hollywood stage with a director yelling into a megaphone and a crew of a hundred people all running around like mad. Lights, camera, action, etc., right? Many marketers can feel overwhelmed when they think about incorporating video into their marketing strategy. But the numbers don’t lie: video is here, and it’s BIG. So let’s take the movie magic out of video production and address your biggest concerns when it comes to making videos for your firm. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start making videos earlier.

What Do You Think? Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In August, we asked you about niches and prospecting. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month, please take a minute for the Minute and answer September’s poll questions about video.

The Seasoned Marketer: As a former journalist of 25 years, Susan Ross Wells has learned a thing or two through the years about the art of the video interview. In this article, she shares some tips and tricks that should be enough to give you the confidence and determination to give video blogging a try at your firm.

Business Development: The business development (BD) process has changed for many companies the past year and a half, and the most successful companies are the ones that have adapted to the new reality by adapting their processes. Here are a few ways you can mix things up by using more video.

Meet a Member: Eric Elmore is the Marketing Manager for Drucker & Scaccetti in Philadelphia. Eric’s firm started working with video a few years ago, and now their annual tax season video, starring their staff, is highly-anticipated by clients and local news outlets. Learn more about Eric in this month’s Meet a Member video.

New Members: September 2021

August 2021: Prospecting

Beginner's Guide: 
You’ve been tasked with creating a prospect list to bring in new business at your firm. What now? Where do you even begin? Here is a beginner’s guide to getting the list started

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore our monthly topic. This month's articles relate to prospecting. New clients are the lifeblood of CPA firms. But when you start prospecting for new clients, where do you even begin the search? Here are some articles on how you can you make the most of your prospecting efforts.

  1. 6 Big Mistakes You are Making Prospecting for Your CPA Firm
    It’s helpful to know the pitfalls to avoid when you are trying to stay on the road to prospecting success. This article covers six common mistakes you might be making – and how to avoid them – in your prospecting efforts.

  2. 25 Accounting & CPA Firm Lead Generation Ideas (That Actually Work)
    No one wants to waste their time or money with prospecting efforts that simply don’t work. This article goes over 25 proven lead generation ideas that will have an actual positive impact on your prospecting.

  3. How to Learn About a Prospect’s Current Accounting Relationship
    Knowledge is power, and knowing what your prospect’s relationship is like with their current accountant is powerful information. This article describes how you can tactfully decipher that relationship.

  4. How to Develop a Sales Process to Turn Prospects into Clients
    Okay, so you have a pipeline full of prospects, but how do you turn them into clients? This article describes how a firm can develop a repeatable sales process to transform those prospects into clients. .

  5. 40 of the Best Sales Prospecting Tools for 2021
    Technology can help make the prospecting process faster, easier, and more organized. Here is an article that compiles 40 of the best prospecting tools for 2021.

  6. 5 Tips on How to Start Prospecting
    Sometimes you just have to start at the beginning and go back to the basics. This article explains, in detail, five tips on how you can begin your prospecting.

What Do You Think? Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In July, we asked you about areas of opportunities. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month, please take a minute for the Minute and answer August’s poll questions about prospecting.

The Seasoned Marketer: You’ve built your prospect list. Hooray! Stop and pat yourself on the back—that’s a huge accomplishment, and you now have a solid place to start. Now what? What do you do with that list? Here are eight ways to reach your prospects.

Business Development: Unconscionable sums of money are squandered every year by CPA firms chasing down unqualified leads. Learn about a results-driven process that’s much better than wishin’ and hopin’ in this article. 

Small Firm Focus: Over the last 16 months, CPA firms have had a front-row seat as witnesses of the unstable economy. Though CPA firms in general were not hurt by the pandemic, there are lessons we can all learn from the 40% of small business owners who made it work. In this article, read about what small accounting firms can learn from start-ups.

Meet a Member: Katie Butler Cohodes is the Marketing Manager at Weinstein Spira in Houston, Texas and also AAM's President for 2021-2022. Learn more about Katie in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: August 2021

July 2021: Areas of Opportunity

Beginner's Guide: 
The challenge of determining when and how to grow is one that plagues many firms. This is especially true for “generalist” firms. If your firm is in this boat, this article will help you begin to develop a niche practice. 

What Do You Think? Each month, we asked readers to contribute to our conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In June, we asked about your cross-selling strategies. 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 about how you find areas of opportunity.

The Seasoned Marketer: You may never receive a dramatic wake-up call to work on your differentiators, but you can begin the process today and help prepare your firm for the future. Once you select differentiators that are true, relevant, and provable, they will be an invaluable aid to your marketing and help your firm gain new business, retain clients, and attract new talent. Learn how to differentiate your firm for the future in this article

Business Development: There are so many different theories and strategies out there to help accountants sell that they sometimes create confusion. Here are five strategies to follow that work for clients and prospective clients alike. 

Meet a Member: Katie Lyles, Events & Marketing Coordinator for Lane Gorman Trubitt in Dallas, Texas, was recently named AAM’s Rookie of the Year during the 2021 Summit. The Rookie of the Year honors a marketer on the rise who shows creativity, initiative and ambition in their firm. Learn more about Katie in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: July 2021

June 2021: How to Cross-Sell to New Clients

Beginner's Guide:
Finding ways to contact and nurture cold prospects is daunting. Cross-selling, on the other hand, is an often underutilized strategy that can bring in revenue and help you effectively hit new business/growth goals using an audience you are already connected to. This article has some quick tips to get started creating a lucrative cross-selling strategy.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore our monthly topic. This month's articles relate to creating and implementing cross-selling strategies to grow your firm. Cross-selling services to existing clients is a great way to increase profits. Also, the more services you can provide to clients, the less they need to look somewhere else for help. Done right, you are helping clients by adding additional services that help their businesses. Done wrong, you come off as too salesy and profit-pushing. Here are some articles to help you get started cross-selling the right way: 

  1. 5 Tips You Need to Cross-Sell Your Firm’s Services
    This quick article by the AICPA gives you five tips to get started cross-selling services to your firm’s clients

  2. 3 Tips to Cross-Selling More Services to Your Tax Clients
    This article explores how keeping data simple is key to cross-selling tax services to busy small business owners.

  3. Grow Your Accounting Practice Sales by Cross-Selling Existing Clients
    This article explains the important difference between cross-selling and upselling. It also explores ways to start the cross-sell conversation with clients and keep them reminded about your additional services.

  4. If You Ask, They Will Buy: Selling Additional Services to Existing Tax Clients
    This article covers the importance of cross selling to clients. It also explains how to prepare staff to cross-sell to existing clients.

  5. Cross-Selling to Grow Your CPA Practice
    This article includes a script and schedule for how to cross-sell bookkeeping and accounting services to existing clients.

  6. 6 Tips to Learn How to Upsell and Cross-Sell
    This article teaches you how to cross-sell and upsell to clients with integrity.

What Do You Think? 
Each month, we asked readers to contribute to our conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In May, we asked about your client on-boarding strategies. 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 about cross-selling.

The Seasoned Marketer: Are you missing the opportunity to do more business with your existing clients? In this article, two accounting marketing experts share their top five tips for baking a cross-selling mindset right into your firm culture.

Business Development: When talking to professionals about the importance of cross-servicing, you are likely greeted with a series of reasons why it can’t get done. This article explores some quick-start tips to make cross-selling magic happen.

Meet a Member: Kristen Lewis, Marketing Director for EisnerAmper in New York, was recently named to AAM’s Hall of Fame during the 2021 Summit. She is regarded by her peers as a leader in the industry, and is described as incredibly savvy, driven to succeed and always willing to help. Learn more about Kristen in this month’s Meet a Member.

New Members: June 2021

May 2021: How to Onboard New Clients

Beginner's Guide:
The client onboarding process is crucial in the accounting services industry and can differentiate your firm. Here are six creative ways to boost your new clients’ experience in the first 90 days.

Articles of Interest: A client’s experience with your firm after they have signed their engagement letter is becoming an increasingly critical process for firms all across the globe. This month’s Articles of Interest take a look at some ideas and strategies from companies across the board that can help you design a better process that will earn you loyal clients.

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Customer Onboarding
    A positive onboarding experience confirms to your customers that they made the right choice. It also, ultimately, helps you retain them. You can do this by making sure their experience using your product is as good as your sales process, and fulfills the promises made in your marketing efforts. Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide to Customer Onboarding will teach you everything to know about customer onboarding including an onboarding checklist, best practices, real-life examples, and some links to onboarding templates and welcome emails.

  2. 3 Fundamental User Onboarding Lessons from Classic Nintendo Games
    What do classic Nintendo games like Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, and Contra have to do with client onboarding? Think outside the box with 3 Fundamental User Onboarding Lessons from Classic Nintendo Games, plus some ideas on how to use these strategies to level up your onboarding experience.

  3. 10 Great Examples of Customer Onboarding That You Can Learn From
    What happens when a client signs up for your service? Your client’s first experience is absolutely critical. If you want to design an experience that will earn you loyal customers, take a look at these 10 examples of onboarding we can learn from for some ideas where your own onboarding process may be lacking and could use some clever optimization.

  4. A Guide to Client Onboarding: 7 Steps to Happier Clients and Less Churn
    Did you know that clients are three times more likely to churn during the first 90 days? It doesn't matter whether it is an accounting practice, business consultancy, digital agency, wealth management firm, or any other client-focused business—your onboarding process is incredibly important. This article from Practice Ignition will give you some actionable advice to improve your firm’s process.

  5. 33 Incredible User Onboarding Emails
    Eighty-six percent of people say that they are more likely to stay loyal to brands that support, welcome, and help them post-sale with onboarding content. But an even bigger 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from could do better when it comes to onboarding. Learn what a great onboarding email looks like in this article with 33 examples from brands both big and small across all kinds of different niches.

What Do You Think?
Our April issue focused on the first of our three-part series dedicated to Client Experience. First up was buyer personas. Click here to see what AAM members had to say.

Take a minute to complete this poll and tell us about client onboarding in your firm.

The Seasoned Marketer: Client onboarding is getting a lot of attention these days, especially with the challenges presented by the pandemic. Read this article to learn the role analytics play in measuring client onboarding efforts, pertinent for both large and small firms.

Business Development: When a new client joins your firm, it is the time to reinforce the fact that they made the right decision and show them firsthand the exceptional service you touted during the sales process. Unfortunately, that is not how many firms approach onboarding. This article covers several components of the client experience that can improve your onboarding process.

Small Firm Focus: Marketing managers at smaller firms are often given little resources and are expected to deliver big. And, though it can be done without the help of technology, sometimes the juice is not worth the squeeze. In this article, learn five ways to help you win buy-in for marketing technology.

Meet a Member: Jody Grunden is the CEO and co-founder of Summit CPA Group, a virtual CFO services firm with 50 employees. Learn more about Jody and his team in this article.

New Members: May 2021

April 2021: Who Are Your Ideal Client/Buyer Persona?

Beginner's Guide:
What is a buyer persona? How is it different than a target market? This article will introduce you to the concept of using a buyer persona in your marketing efforts and give you some ideas to get started incorporating them into your next campaign.

Articles of Interest: Buyer personas can have a great impact on the marketing strategy of your accounting firm. They help you understand your clients better, which makes it easier for you to customize your marketing messages, content, and services to their specific needs, goals, and concerns. Creating buyer personas can be difficult and often skipped in the marketing strategy process. Read and watch the resources below to help you create and get the most from your buyer personas. 

  1. HubSpot
    According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client based on market research and real data about your existing clients. Buyer personas help you understand your clients better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of the members of your target market. Check out HubSpot’s free Buyer Persona Templates and Make My Persona tool for help.

  2. LEARN: Creating Buyer Personas
    For an excellent six-minute overview of buyer personas, check out Marketo’s video, Creating Buyer Personas. It defines buyer personas, how to gather information about your ideal clients, and explains how to create buyer personas using the information collected, including examples.

  3. 6 Common Buyer Persona Mistakes to Avoid
    While we may agree about the importance of buyer personas in our marketing strategy, are you receiving a return on your personas? Read Kapost’s article, 6 Common Buyer Persona Mistakes to Avoid, for advice on what not to do when creating buyer personas

  4. How to Identify Buyer Personas for Professional Services Marketing
    A lot is written about buyer personas in the B2C and B2B markets, but not as much specifically for professional services. Hinge’s blog post, How to Identify Buyer Personas for Professional Services Marketing, outlines four questions to ask when creating buyer personas

  5. How to Use Your Buyer Persona to Create Targeted Content
    Once you have created your buyer personas, read Copypress’ article, How to Use Your Buyer Persona to Create Targeted Content for tips on how to use your buyer personas to create content..

What Do You Think?
Our March issue focused on digital marketing. Click here to see what AAM members had to say on digital marketing strategies.

Take a minute to complete this poll and tell us about buyer personas in your firm.

The Seasoned Marketer: Few firms have deployed buyer personas. For the firms that do, the persona often does not line up with the profile of the clients the firm truly wants to attract. This month’s Seasoned Marketer article teaches you how to align your buyer personas with Ideal Client Profiles so that you can create compelling, memorable personas that help your prospects feel truly understood, and impact your firm in tremendous ways.

Meet a Member: Holly Shier is the Chief Marketing Officer for Rehmann, located in Troy, Michigan. Learn more about Holly, her advice on focusing, and how Rehmann is using buyer personas here.

New Members: April 2021

March 2021: Digital Ad Strategies

Beginner's Guide: 
So you are ready to leap into the world of Google Ads? It can certainly be an exciting and yet overwhelming endeavor. Learn some tips and tricks for creating and optimizing your Google Ads campaigns in this article.

Articles of Interest: Every issue, we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month's articles relate to tips and trends for being successful with your digital advertising in 2021. Read below about techniques you can use for LinkedIn and Google Ads as well as top PPC trends and leveraging location-based marketing.

  1. 10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2021
    A report from Microsoft on the global state of customer service indicated that 61% of customers have ceased to do business with a brand due to poor customer service. This article discusses the customer service expectations of customers in a post-pandemic world.

  2. Location-Based Marketing: Geotargeting vs. Geofencing
    Location-based marketing is an integral part of many marketing campaigns. This article discusses the difference between geotargeting and geofencing, providing examples of how popular brands are leveraging location-targeting tactics and how Coronavirus has changed location-based marketing.

  3. 2021 resolutions: 5 tips for your Google Ads campaigns
    Was your 2021 resolution to stop wasting your Google Ads budget and start improving your campaigns' profitability? This article shares what is “in” and “out” for 2021 Google ads, how to declutter your campaigns, double down on your strengths, and spend smarter.

  4. 30+ Most Important Tips on LinkedIn Advertising
    In this article there are more than 30 tips to help you nail down your LinkedIn KPIs, develop the strongest creative, produce talked-about content, keep your campaign strategies fresh, make sure your message is cohesive, and always stay on top of trends.

  5. 10 Insider Tips for Winning with LinkedIn Advertising
    Here are just a few tips from the LinkedIn in-house team of experts. This article covers the three commandments of marketing on LinkedIn and share tips to fill in the blanks to that commandment framework.

What Do You Think?
Take a minute to complete this poll and tell us about digital ad strategies in your firm.

The Seasoned Marketer: Listen in or read here as three AAM Minute committee members discuss their digital ad strategies and how they use Hubspot to support them.

Business Development: In this age of information overload and overcrowded inboxes, how many touches does it take for your prospect to agree to a meeting? This seven step process from Rev Grow’s Mark McIntosh will help you use LinkedIn to turn those touches into prospects, and those prospects into new clients.

Meet a Member: Scott Dine is a Partner + Technical Director at Catalyst Group Marketing in Indiana. Learn more about him and his top digital marketing tips here.

New Members: March 2021

February 2021: Managing Client Expectations During COVID

Beginner's Guide:
Clients expect their CPAs to be proactive, to get to know them and their businesses, to show their care for them, to communicate frequently, and to enhance client service with technology. Read this article to learn how fellow AAM members have been managing client expectations during COVID plus a few ideas to adapt for your own firm.

Articles of Interest: We all hope that 2021 will bring us back to normal. However, as things continue to improve, we will still need to focus on events being digital for at least the first quarter of the year. Here are some articles on how you can you make the most of your digital events.

  1. What does exceptional customer service look like in a post-COVID world?
    A report from Microsoft on the global state of customer service indicated that 61% of customers have ceased to do business with a brand due to poor customer service. This article discusses the customer service expectations of customers in a post-pandemic world.

  2. Client experience in the next normal after COVID-19
    Firms that adapt to clients' changing needs will recover more rapidly and be better positioned than competitors. In this 42-minute webinar, McKinsey experts review three areas for leaders to focus on: digital, safety, and data analytics.

  3. Developing next-gen customer service
    Businesses seeking to remain relevant in the new normal of the post-COVID world have no choice but to reinvent their strategies, reprioritize their goals, and revitalize their ways of working. Change is indeed the need of the hour. However, this article dives into a different priority—a greater focus on the customer journey.

  4. Tips to get your clients to move to paperless billing
    We often talk about becoming more paperless in regards to accounting work, but COVID has made going paperless in other areas of our firms a larger conversation. Currently, many firms are attempting to move their clients to electronic invoices and payments so that employees do not have to come into the office or handle mail. This article gives some great tips on persuading your team to make the switch. If you are looking to include a few benefits of making the switch in your messaging to clients, this article recaps a few good ones.

  5. Tax pros take new approaches to marketing this filing season
    In this article from Accounting Today, accountants sound off on how they are approaching marketing this tax season. From saying they are being more aggressive, to loading up on the social media advertising, to discussing the tone they are taking with clients, learn what other firms are planning for this tax season.

What Do You Think? 
The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of the client experience. Tell us how your clients have adapted to these changes and if their expectations have changed.

The Seasoned Marketer: The pandemic has affected clients of all sizes as well as how we, as marketers, communicate with them over this past year. With safety restrictions, closures, work-from-home orders, and more, this shift in the way we do business has also pushed us to think differently when it comes to client interactions. Maintaining these relationships and reassuring our clients that we are still here every step of the way to provide that “seamless experience,” can feel more difficult than ever. Learn some tips and tricks that can help strengthen client relationships in this article.

Business Development: As firms settle into the reality of the new normal, they need to shift their sales strategy to embrace technology and an agile approach to prospecting. Learn three keys to selling more effectively throughout the duration of the pandemic — and beyond — in this article.

Meet a Member: Lauren Lucke is a marketing specialist at Grassi Advisors & Accountants in New York. Learn more about her and how Grassi is handling client expectations during the pandemic here.

New Members: February 2021

January 2021: Rethinking Events in 2021

Beginner's Guide:
With the cancellation of live events and conferences, webinars have taken center stage in our outreach strategies, making many of us look for ways to “up our game.” Here’s a handy checklist to help you plan, promote, and present webinars.

Articles of Interest: We all hope that 2021 will bring us back to normal. However, as things continue to improve, we will still need to focus on events being digital for at least the first quarter of the year. Here are some articles on how you can you make the most of your digital events.

  1. How to Host Your First Webinar
    Still on the fence about whether your firm should be producing webinars? Well, fall off that fence on the “pro” side because, as this article states, webinars are the gift that keeps on giving. This in-depth article will give you a quick soup-to-nuts on how to produce your firm’s first webinar. You can also check out this month’s Beginner's Guide article which includes a complete webinar checklist!

  2. 10 Ways to Repurpose Your Webinar Content for Wider Impact
    Putting on a webinar can be a lot of work, so it is important to maximize the impact of the content you produce. This article gives ideas of how you can repurpose webinars into additional content likes blogs and infographics. 

  3. Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Successful Virtual Cooking Class
    Firms across the country are looking for new ways to keep their staff, referral sources, and clients engaged with out-of-the-box digital events. Many firms are having great success with virtual cooking classes. This article will teach you how to put on your own virtual cooking event for your firm.

  4. Zoom Security Issues: Here's Everything That's Gone Wrong (So Far)
    As we have more meetings with clients and coworkers, it is important that we understand the security risks of using Zoom. This article gives you a brief rundown of security issues Zoom has faced.

  5. Zoom vs. Microsoft Teams vs. Google Meet: Which Top Videoconferencing App Is Best?
    This article describes the pros and cons of different videoconferencing applications.

  6. How to Turn an Offline Event into an Online Virtual Conference
    Many of us have annual firm events that we were forced to turn digital this year. This quick article will show you how to turn your usual in-person event to digital.

What Do You Think? 
Each month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. Weigh in on how your firm has adjusted to altering events and keeping employees motivated during the pandemic.

The Seasoned Marketer: As we are entering our second tax season dealing with COVID, here are some fantastic ideas to make your teams’ season just a little more enjoyable.

Meet a Member: This month's meet a member is Sarah Renard, Marketing Manager at Abbott, Stringham & Lynch. Find out what plans her firm has for events in 2021.

New Members: January 2021

December 2020: Favorite Things

Digital Tools:
View what Rachel Pompeani says are her favorite digital tools of 2020. 

Marketing Tools: As marketers, we have a plethora of tools in our toolboxes because we wear many hats: design tools, marketing automation tools, social media management tools, writing tools, CRM, digital marketing tools, and the list goes on…and on. Let’s take a look at some free tools plus some tools that are worth the upgrade to a paid version. See what Rachael McGrew has to say about her favorite marketing tools.

Favorite Fun Things: Chris O-Day discusses his favorite "fun" things in 2020. Also Check out some things we'd like to leave behind in 2020! Which do you agree with?

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Check out what Jennifer Cantero says are her favorite resources for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Employee Engagement: Jenn Gouveia shares her favorite things that enhance employee engagement. 

Marketing Books: Join AAM minute Committee Chair, Emily Taibl, as she discusses her favorite marketing books. 

New Members: December 2020

November 2020: Future Proofing Your Firm

Beginner's Guide:
Wherever your firm falls on the scale of “we would rather still be using abacuses” to “we implemented AI into our audit process 5 years ago” there are lessons that can be learned to drive change in your firm. This article discusses three ideas to help drive innovation at your firm.

Articles of Interest: 

  1. From essential to indispensable: The 5 stages of navigating COVID-19
    COVID-19 has caused many CPAs and accounting professionals to be busier than ever. However, according to Tom Hood, executive director of the Maryland Association of CPAs, “if we’re not careful, if we don’t manage to look ahead and devise the right long-term strategies for success, there’s a real risk for us and our organizations to busy ourselves out of business.” Click here to learn the five distinct stages we must navigate to get through the COVID crisis and why this is the chance to be the “most trusted advisor” the next normal will require.

  2. Report Shows Trends for Accounting Advisory Services
    A new report released by Bill.com, CPA.com, and Hinge Research Institute shows that many accounting firms are moving beyond traditional accounting and compliance services to more strategic offerings. Click here for survey data.

  3. What Makes A Successful Advisory Accounting Firm?
    Edi Osborne, author of Firm Forward: A Journey From the Land of Compliance to a World of Reliance, provides a four-minute explanation of what makes a successful advisory accounting firm. Watch it here.

  4. The Future CPA: Make Your Practice the Accounting Firm of the Future
    In its whitepaper, The Future CPA: Make Your Practice the Accounting Firm of the Future, Thomson Reuters asks, “Are you changing your business to adapt accordingly, effectively, and profitably? Or, is your business remaining static in a dynamic profession?” The theme is “change your mindset” and includes a change your mindset checklist. Download the PDF here.

What Do You Think? 
Each month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In October, we asked about the AICPA’s .CPA domain. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

The Seasoned Marketer: Firms have begun to look at their business models from a different angle, shifting their mindset from only compliance services to a more consulting-minded approach. Take a look at a few areas where firms are offering new services in this article.

Business Development News: Clients and potential clients of your firm need compliance work, but if you think that will impress them or earn their loyalty, think again! Learn how automated technology can help make your firm future-ready in this article.

Meet a Member: Sarah Cirelli is the Marketing Practice Leader for Grassi, an international accounting firm with offices in New York and Italy. Sarah is a Johnson & Wales University alumna and has 13 years of marketing experience. Watch in this first-ever AAM Minute Meet a Member video as Sarah and AAM Minute co-chair Rachael McGrew talk about innovation at Grassi and other marketing topics.

New Members: November 2020

October 2020: Communications 101

Beginner's Guide:
In this new virtual workplace, our daily routine is saturated with communication, which can be overstimulating and lead to burnout. Hit refresh on your communication strategy, and try out some of these methods.

Articles of Interest: 

  1. 5 Questions that (Newly) Virtual Leaders Should ask Themselves
    Unless your business has always been virtual, we are all new to this virtual reality, and leading a team in this context is quite different. This article touches on the challenges of working virtually, and provides tips to be the best leader you can be during this time.

  2. TED Talk: The Future of Digital Communication and Privacy
    Tune in to this TED Talk as the head of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart, addresses how COVID has changed his company, where digital communication is going, and why privacy is more important than ever.

    Summary: People send 100 billion WhatsApp messages every day -- and they are all encrypted to protect them from potentially curious entities like companies, governments, and even WhatsApp itself. With our increased reliance on digital communication tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, our fundamental right to privacy is more important than ever, says Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp. He describes the tech and protocols the company built to prevent encryption services from being misused to spread disinformation or commit crimes -- while still safeguarding privacy. (This virtual conversation, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded June 16, 2020.)

  3. 5 Essential Virtual Presentation Recording Tips
    Our team members and clients communicate virtually on a daily basis now. In person meetings are in the past and virtual meetings and presentations are now the new norm. This article addresses some simple yet powerful tips that will ensure your video presentation is engaging and professional. 

  4. How to Conduct an Effective Virtual Meeting
    Virtual meetings have taken over businesses, and in order for them to be productive, an effective plan needs to be set in place. It is important to make the purpose clear, be flexible, and know your audience. This article gives a deeper understanding of these points.

  5. Top 15 Communication Skills Podcasts in 2020
    This is not a specific podcast, but a list of the best podcasts on communication in 2020. Since there is an abundant amount of content on communication, especially now, check out this list for the top 15 communication skills podcasts to follow in 2020.

What Do You Think?
Each month, we ask readers to contribute to our topic of conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In September, we asked fellow marketers about business development at their firm. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

Take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about your firm’s plan for the .CPA domain.

The Seasoned Marketer: Communication in the midst of a crisis, where emotions are running high, requires a great deal of effort to ensure that misunderstandings are minimized. This article takes a look at how you can reimagine your communication during the current pandemic.

Business Development News: Working with clients is often more about communication than the work itself, and great communication needs to start before they ever become a client. Read this article to learn about the Focused Conversation Method for having conversations with a purpose.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Sensiba San Filippo’s Marketing Communications Coordinator Kiki Brosnan and her career in communications in this article.

New Members: October 2020

September 2020: Starting A BD Office From The Ground Up, BD 101

Beginner's Guide:
Whether you are a seasoned business development pro or new to the concept, there are a few key skills that are beneficial to have in your toolkit. This article focuses on some of those skills and why they are key to improving your business development game.

Articles of Interest: 

  1. Business Development: The Basics
    While very generalized for easy application to a wide variety of businesses, this article gives a very thorough overview of what business development is and what it looks like when it is implemented successfully. Learn more about the nitty gritty aspects of business development in order to build a detailed strategic plan at your own company.

  2. Demystifying Business Development at Your Firm
    At many accounting firms, the concept of business development carries assumptions and mysteries that need unpacking. And it will take patience to do so. The four-point roadmap in this article aims to help you in unlocking fears, getting stakeholders the right mindset, and establishing a framework for initiating honest discussions around successful business development. And while it was written in 2016, it is more relevant now than ever.

  3. Leadership’s Role in Driving Business Development
    Leadership at any company are responsible for guiding and deciding factors that directly impact the bottom line. With business development bringing in revenue, stakeholders must make critical decisions that will drive substantial growth for the firm. Learn what steps leadership can take to drive a “BD engine.”

  4. The 10 Best Ideas for Accounting Firm Business Development
    An effective business development strategy requires all members of an organization to be on the same page. And at an accounting firm, that means getting your CPAs up to speed. Read this list of the best ten ideas for both filling the pipeline with qualified prospects and also converting prospects to clients specifically crafted with CPAs in mind.

  5. 5 Steps for Developing a Business Development Plan
    Professional services firms face unique and complex challenges, but your business development plan does not need to be as complicated. In this video, Lee Frederiksen breaks down the five essential steps for generating a business development plan sure to address your biggest barriers.

  6. Using Practice Management Systems to Focus on Business Development
    Accountants are often in the business to help people, so naturally the best way to help people is to earn their business. But for many CPAs, “selling” the firm may not come naturally. Thankfully, in the digital age you don’t have to be a sales expert to bring in business. Business development can be managed as part of your day-to-day workflow with a simple practice management system.

What Do You Think?
Each month, we ask readers to contribute to our topic of conversation and share a little about what they do at their firms. In August, we asked some questions about client accounting services and your role with marketing new accounting services. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

The Seasoned Marketer: COVID-19 has not only interrupted the business environment and deadlines, but also the approach most firms have successfully utilized to gain new business. Throughout all the changes we have all experienced, the role of leaders in the business development process has also changed. Here are some insights we have gathered from partners of firms across the U.S.

Business Development News: Is your firm looking to hire a Business Development Executive? Many factors go into determining a compensation structure for this role. For help getting started, check out this handy table outlining a compensation formula based on firm size.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Chris Perrino at Barnes Dennig and his accounting marketing (and BD) career in this article.

New Members: September 2020

August 2020: How Marketing Can Get A Seat At The Table for Discussions on CAS Topics

Beginner's Guide:
In recent years, Client Accounting Services, or CAS, has become a trending topic in the accounting industry as firms make the shift into a more advisory mindset. CAS has a wide variety of names and plenty of marketing methods. Learn more about CAS and how a few firms are using these services to add to their bottom line in this article.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles surround the topic of Client Accounting Services (CAS) and what this means within your firm.  Is your firm currently offering these services in 2020, or are you looking to expand your revenue streams into additional services? Look no further than the articles below to learn more!

  1. What exactly is CAS?
    What exactly is CAS and what is its true scope and objective? This article dives into “Client Accounting Services” and what this traditionally means. It explains that you are a true practitioner of CAS if you are able to customize your accounting practice to best serve your client’s needs, while adding value to their business and maximizing your firm’s profits. Read more to learn the details of this concept.

  2. Client Accounting Services – The Future of CPA Firms [INFOGRAPHIC]
    This helpful infographic and article explain how Client Accounting Services are the future of CPA firms. CAS is considered the fastest growing new revenue segment for many top accounting firms. Tasks such as bookkeeping, providing financial statements, and taking care of sales tax filings are just a few examples of the various activities that fall under this umbrella.

  3. How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
    According to CPA Practice Advisor, aside from the traditional tax and audit services, clients have been increasingly interested in additional services such as payroll and bookkeeping from their CPA firm. Firms eager for new revenue streams and stronger connections with their clients may find that expanding their services and technology may pay off in the end. This article explains entry points for CAS and strategies to consider when exploring these services.

  4. Client Accounting Services (CAS) — The Future of CPA firms
    “How is Client Accounting Services (CAS) different?” This article explains that the main objective of CAS is to present your firm as more than just an accounting and tax provider. A full scale CAS practice manages a wide range of services necessary for running a successful business.

  5. Fast-Tracking CAS: 4 tips for getting started
    Interested in how you can expand your firm’s service offerings and get started with more day-to-day accounting functions? Accounting Today outlines 4 tips for getting started including getting support from your firm leaders, carving out a niche, leveraging new technology, and finding your low-hanging fruit opportunities.

What Do You Think? Every month we ask our readers to contribute to the conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In July, we asked about the role that segmenting and personalization play in your marketing strategy. Click here to see how you answered.

Does you firm offer client accounting services? If so, which services do you offer? AAM would like to know! Answer a few short questions in our monthly AAM Minute Poll, and we’ll report the findings to you next month.

The Seasoned Marketer: With “product” as the first P of the 4Ps of marketing, marketers need to get into the conversation about new service/product development. However, many are not contacted until the service/product has already been created. How can marketers take a lead role in new service development from the beginning? Read this article for three examples.

Business Development News: To many, client accounting services (CAS) is one of the hot new services for CPA firms. But, in reality, accountants have been providing accounting and bookkeeping services for their clients for decades! Is there a single formula to use when setting up or growing your CAS practice? Unfortunately, not. But you start by answering the five “W’s.” As an accounting marketer or business developer, you can guide your firm through these important questions and help shape the strategy for a successful practice.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Julie Barnes at Smith & Howard and her accounting marketing career in this article.

New Members: August 2020

July 2020: Segmenting and Personalization

Beginner's Guide:
With people’s increased desire for targeted, customized communications and service offerings, it is important for marketers to pay attention to market segmentation and personalization. Click here to learn how.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share links to interesting articles that explore the monthly topic. This month’s article relate to the importance of segmentation and personalization in marketing efforts. They are worth clicking.

  1. The Dialog between Segmentation & Personalization and its Impact on Customer Experience
    There are many things to consider when you begin the process of starting to segment and personalize. First of all, you must understand the important difference between the two. Click here to learn the difference..

  2. How To Wow Customers With Personalization & Segmentation
    At the heart of segmentation and personalization is improving customer experience. This article gives tips on using these techniques to wow your customers.

  3. The Importance of Market Segmentation During COVID-19
    There is no doubt, the landscape of marketing has changed since the emergence of COVID-19. This article explains why marketing segmentation is even more important now.

  4. The Ultimate Guide to Developing Buyer Personas (with Templates!)
    Part of knowing where to personalize is knowing your buyer personas. This article takes a deep dive (complete with templates) on what they are, why you need them, and how to create them.

  5. Map Your Buyer’s Journey: From Demand Generation to Hot Lead
    Another way you can personalize your message is by determining where your customers are in their buyer’s journey. This article details exactly how to do that, complete with an accounting software example.

What Do You Think? 
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. Click here to see how you answered.

How does segmentation and personalization fuel your firm’s marketing efforts? Does it shorten the buyer’s journey, and do your partners understand the value of segmentation? AAM would like to know! Answer a few short questions in our monthly AAM Minute Poll, and we’ll report the findings to you next month.

The Seasoned Marketer: Roundtables date back as early as 1155 when legendary King Arthur hosted many prominent warriors and distinguished men, who later became the Knights of the Roundtable, tasked with caring for the disenfranchised. Whether King Arthur existed or not is debatable, but the idea of a roundtable has been passed down throughout history as a way to facilitate discussion. The modern-day roundtable is an excellent tool to have in your marketing and business development toolkit. Read more here.

Business Development News: Our "new normal" has forced individuals and companies to change how they live and work. Companies are doing their best to manage through this time. Because of all the rapid change, many firms have struggled with how they acquire new clients. Evaluating how your business engages with clients will help you understand what adjustments need to be made to make more favorable connections. Learn some strategies here.

Meet a Member: Dana Bottorff is a one-woman shop, owning and operating Anadon Marketing/Communications in Sharon, Massachusetts. Click here to read what Dana has learned from her 25 years of experience in the marketing industry and how the AAM community has helped her along the way.

New Members: July 2020

June 2020: How To Do More With Less

Beginner's Guide: 
We are all trying to survive these days. With the new reality of working remote and working within budgets, marketers are learning innovative ways to stay creative while remaining budget conscious. We have compiled a list of eight budget-friendly resources to assist your firm’s goals and lift the stress off you, as the marketer. 

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles relate to how to do more with less during these uncertain times. Read below for some articles that speak on how to improve your marketing strategy with less and time-saving tactics that can help you stretch your marketing funds.

  1. Doing More with Less! 7 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Strategy
    According to Adlibweb, a digital marketing agency, an effective marketing is necessary to boost your sales and profits. Sometimes you can make a really big difference for your business without the need to invest a large amount of money. Here is an article about doing more with less.

  2. Why Marketing Budgets Are Cut First But Shouldn’t Be
    We are living in a period of big global economic recession. Lack of finances force accounting firms to avoid spending money. But, for all accounting firms, marketing is one of the few things that can bring fresh customers. This article touches on why marketing budgets are cut first but shouldn’t be.

    Digital marketing helps businesses of all sizes make themselves more visible. Your accounting firm may be hesitant to spend extra funds without guarantees of success. Here are some cost-effective strategies to use and attract people to your firm and its products and services.

  4. The $0 Marketing Stack: 41 Free Options to Popular Paid Services and Tools
    Are there tools out there where you don’t pay a cent? This article lists alternative platforms to popular tools and services that your marketing department will find useful. Your marketing department can do all the same work of a digital marketer and do it for free. We hope you find new ones that might be worth trying.

  5. Fifteen Ways to Show Your Value at Work
    When there are less marketing dollars, there are ways to get creative to show your worth at your firm. Work smarter than your competition and you’ll get ahead, every time. Here are fifteen ways to show your value at work.

What Do You Think? 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. At the beginning of May, we asked fellow marketers what steps they have made to adjust to the impacts that COVID-19 has had on their firms. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month we ask that you please take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about how the COVID crisis has impacted your marketing budgets.

The Seasoned Marketer: A lot of marketers consider themselves to already be a “jack of all trades”. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find yourself needing to take on even more to help your firm. Click here for ways to be a team player while still keeping on top of your usual workload. 

Business Development News: When humans think about change, we often think about it in the context of what has been lost. In times of change we lose our sense of comfort. We lose our ability to accurately predict an outcome. It can be easy to focus on what has been taken away. Read more about how you can keep developing new business here.

Meet a Member: Jeanne Hall is the Marketing Manager of LSWG CPAs, located in Frederick and Rockville, Maryland. Providing modern accounting solutions for individuals and businesses, learn about the type of strategies Jeanne’s firm is engaging in currently in order to continue growth during the pandemic and the uncertain times ahead. Read more about Jeanne and LSWG here.

New Members: June 2020

May 2020: How to Help Recession-Proof Your Firm

Beginner's Guide:
Partners hold the keys to greenlighting everything for accounting marketing. If you want to recession-proof your department and add job security, you must have the support of your partners. For you to gain that support, you will have to demonstrate to them that you can be counted on to deliver results. Click here to read about strategies you can employ to win over your partners’ trust and confidence.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles relate to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Read below for some articles that speak on companies embracing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business and how these methods can be implemented in your company.

  1. Recession Marketing: 5 Rules To Follow
    Blue Corona Marketing Company explains how crafting a recession marketing strategy now can help your company and marketing department navigate an economic downturn. From analyzing and tracking everything to focusing on existing customers, this article provides 5 rules to follow to help create the best outcome. 

  2. What Keeps Me Up at Night: Recession-Proof Marketing
    According to Bizwomen Business Journals, putting the brakes on marketing budgets, new-product rollouts, and long-term projects can actually harm a business more than continuing to support your brand. They explain that the growth of powerful media platforms and all of the tools available to marketers can help cultivate loyalty from your customers. Exceeding their expectations with valuable information during uncertain times can be a game changer for most companies when trying to deepen their customer relationships

  3. Keep Your Career Recession-Proof with These Tips
    "Focus on your value, not your job title" is just one of the takeaways from this article on how to recession-proof your career. Think about the value that you add to the company's services and how you can help solve problems for your employers during this difficult time. This article also explain how to stretch yourself to add value to who you are as a professional.

  4. How to Recession-Proof Your Career
    This Forbes article explains the steps you can take right now to move your career forward while facing the many challenges ahead. Viewing our career through a new lens and showcasing our skills is important, now more than ever. Leveraging theses skills for even more leadership responsibilities can benefit both you and your employer. This article explains how to grow your skills to stay competitive and how to be proactive during uncertain times.

  5. Prioritizing Your Marketing Dollars During a Recession
    According to The Marketing Insider, history has proven that brands that continue to market and spend during a recession end up reaping the largest benefits when the economy rebounds. Backed by various studies and facts, this article explains how your marketing department, combined with the use of public relations and social media, can help to stretch your marketing dollars for the better.

What Do You Think?Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic of conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. At the beginning of this month, we asked fellow marketers about their role in facilitating change and creating accountability at their firms. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month we ask that you please take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about how you recession-proof your marketing department.
The Seasoned Marketer: By now, everyone is keenly aware that we are amid a global pandemic. It is all COVID-19, all the time. This period is likely one of the most challenging, chaotic, and confusing times you will navigate in your career as a marketer. Click here to find out how to recession-proof your marketing department and turn it into a source of revenue.
Business Development News: Accountants and the breadth of accounting services that firms provide are critically vital to your clients. Many of you are an integral part of your clients' businesses, especially in today’s environment where nearly everyone is struggling due to coronavirus. It’s why you are probably referred to as a trusted advisor. So why is it so difficult, at times, to ask for the work? Read the full article here.
What We Can Learn from the 2008 Economic Crisis: Given our current economic crisis it is important to take a look back at a similar point in history. Click here to learn how accounting marketers handled the 2008 financial crisis and what we can learn from them.
Meet a Member: Maria Gambacorta is a Director of Marketing of Lumsden & McCormick, LLP. Lumsden McCormick's comprehensive suite of services include audit and tax, wealth planning, forensic accounting, and nonprofit technology. Read more about Maria here.
New Members: May 2020

April 2020: Change and Accountability

Beginner's Guide: 
Are you a marketing professional who has been tasked with overseeing business development? Well, that happened to me. One year ago, I was asked by my managing partner to develop a business development culture at my firm. In the 14 years I’ve been here, we haven’t pursued business development and are a little behind. So where to begin? It starts with your firm culture. Building a business development culture at my firm where business development efforts are always top of mind became my new goal. So, how do you change the culture at your firm to be focused on business development? Click here to read more.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles relate to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Read below for some articles that speak on companies embracing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business and how these methods can be implemented in your company.

  1. How to create accountability at your CPA firm
    Building an accounting firm where accountability is embraced positively is not easy. It required employees and their teams to incorporate it into every facet of the firm’s operations. Here is a four-step approach that can help a CPA firm build a culture of ownership and accountability.

  2. Voices Boomer’s Blueprint: A formula for transforming your firm
    More so than ever, transforming your firm should include compliance and advisory services. To change means to continue doing the same things but introducing some degree of variation. There ae four factors that will impact your ability and motivation to transform your accounting firm. Here is how.

  3. The continuous improvement approach to leading change
    The accounting world is changing dramatically, especially post COVID-19. How are you approaching the changes happening in your firm today? Change is the only certainty. This article highlights four overarching areas in change management.

  4. Coronavirus: How accounting firms are adjusting their business operations 
    Amid the audit and tax seasons, accounting firms must adjust to the global impact of COVID-19. Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business, examined how 15 influential individuals working in local, regional and international public accounting firms have navigated change during this pandemic. Read more here.

  5. Navigating uncertainty: Leadership accountability in times of crisis
    In the face of adversity, leaders must adapt to a more flexible workplace and create a culture of accountability to that their organization can successfully weather the COVID-19 storm. This article will walk you through the impact of leadership accountability, challenges facing leader today, and the characteristics of accountable leaders.

What Do You Think? 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. At the beginning of this month, we asked fellow marketers about their role in handling the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month we ask that you please take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about how you handle change and create accountability in your firm.

The Seasoned Marketer: Business development today looks different than it did just two months ago. The way you meet with a prospect is different. The services you thought a client was interested in have changed. Your approach needs to be even more helpful and advisory than ever before. Click here to find out how you can successfully hold people accountable to contribute to top-line growth.

Business Development News: Lisa Tierney, an executive life coach to the accounting profession and President of TIERNEY Coaching & Consulting, Inc. shares her insights into how to ask “power questions” and make “power statements” that shift the focus from the problem toward a solution, resolve conflict in the process and engage everyone in the conversation toward a well-formed outcome. Read the full article here.

Meet a Member: Carrie Steffen is a founding shareholder and President of The Whetstone Group. Whetstone has provided growth consulting services to hundreds of CPA firms, offering proven and effective tools for top-line growth, people growth and increasing firm value. Read more about Carrie here.

Special Edition: COVID-19

External Communications:
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, news is changing faster than we can move from one set of “work at home” pajamas to the next. As marketers, many of us are tasked with coming up with a strategy to keep our clients informed, and positioning our firms as resources for these changes. Click here to see what fellow AAMers their roles are in external communications.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month's articles relate to marketing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and ideas to keep your team engaged.

  1. Measuring Up: How Accounting Marketers are Navigating COVID-19

    Last week, Chair of AAM’s Growth Strategies and Practice Growth Specialist at Ericksen Krentel, Christian Moises hosted an AAM roundtable to hear feedback from our community on what they are working on. His recent blog post summarizes some of what he’s learned.

  2. American Marketing Association Support for Marketers

    Many of us have created COVID-19 Resource pages for our firms. The American Marketing Association has created a similar page with resources to help marketers. The site includes guides for working from home, tips for creating online events, and more. Acess the site here.

  3. 5 Ways to Do Smart & Responsible Marketing During COVID-19

    Times are tough, and many are struggling. So how can you market with compassion? How can you share your services without looking like you are capitalizing on the crisis?  It’s important to evaluate your message, your imagery, and the “why” behind what you are doing.  This article from Business 2 Community will give you 5 Ways to Do Smart & Responsible Marketing During COVID-19.

  4. Communicating Accurately, Frequently and Compassionately

    We all know that accounting marketing is its own beast. So what strategies should you be employing right now to communicate frequently (but not TOO frequently) and compassionately RIGHT NOW? AAM member and bbr Company’s President, Bonnie Ruszczyk breaks it down in this recent blog post.

  5. Making the Most of Your Marketing Team During COVID-19
    None of us have ever marketed during a pandemic, and for many this is their first time marketing during an economic downturn. This recent article from Forbes outlines ways to utilize your marketing team, and stay on top of your game during the COVID-19 outbreak.

What Do You Think? 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In February, we asked about diversity and inclusion within firms. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month we ask that you please take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about how you are handling the COVID-19 crisis.

Internal Communications: For many marketers, we are not only tasked with communicating with our clients and our community, but we are also leading the charge in keeping our employees informed and engaged during this time of working remotely. From virtual happy hours to fun videos, here is what some of our fellow AAMers are doing to keep their fellow employees engaged and informed.

The Marketer's Strategy: 
We have all been in crisis mode over the last few weeks. Dealing with working remotely, having kids underfoot, going crazy with the COVID announcements, tax extension announcements, relief-package-this, and CARES-Act-that. We’ve been cranking out communications both internally and externally as fast as our faded manicured fingers can type. The struggle has been REAL, and we know it is not over yet. Even if the pandemic ends next week, our economy is going to take years to fully recover. The markets might bounce back, but the long term effects on businesses around the world are significant. It’s time to go into recession mode. Most of us know that one of the first things to get cut is marketing. Click here to find out how you can have a hand in what gets cut and what doesn't. 

New Member List: March 2020

February 2020: Diversity and Inclusion

Beginner's Guide: 
Diversity and inclusion are extremely important topics both in business and in life. To create a successful environment where you are able to pull from a variety of skills and talents while creating a successful culture, you need to have both a diverse set of employees, and a sense of inclusion within your company. Here are 6 tips for beginning the conversation.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles relate to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Read below for some articles that speak on companies embracing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their business and how these methods can be implemented in your company.

  1. Diversity and Inclusion: A Beginner's Guide for HR Professionals
    According to this article, 60% of companies have metrics in place to measure the success of their diversity and inclusion efforts. Further statistics from these studies are explained, and takeaways that can be applied within your company are provided.

  2. 4 Common Diversity and Inclusion Myths in the Workplace

    This Forbes write up busts some common myths surrounding diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. Myth #4 explains how D&I is not just a human resources responsibility, but instead should be a leadership priority.

  3. Top 10 Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
    This article helps to explain exactly what diversity in the workplace looks like and includes an infographic to better explain this concept. This concept is not just a fad, and there are tangible and direct benefits to addressing diversity in the workplace.

  4. 50+ Ideas for Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

    This thought-out piece provided by LinkedIn’s Talent Blog gives 50+ ideas for cultivating diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The key, they say, is to start now because the longer you wait, the harder it will be to build a diverse workforce in the future.

  5. Society for Human Resource Management
    This “how-to guide” explains how developing diversity and inclusion initiatives can be broken down into four phases. 1. Data collection/analysis, 2. Strategy design, 3. Implementation of the initiative, and 4. Evaluation of the plan. Together these steps help to create an outline for those to follow when looking to create such an initiative in their own workplace.

What Do You Think?
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic of conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In January, we asked about what you do within your firm to promote employee engagement and retention. Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month we ask that you please take a minute and answer this month’s poll questions about diversity and inclusion

The Seasoned Marketer: With nearly 20 percent of people in the United States affected by a disability and the predicted increase in ADA website noncompliance lawsuits, it is important for marketers to learn how to make their firm’s website more accessible. Click here to learn how.

Business Development News:
Leaders in our profession – and across industries – often struggle with how and when to involve their people with various levels of experience, talents, skill sets, and backgrounds. It can be challenging to determine which opportunities will most effectively develop our teams. Yet we often complain that we can't delegate, we are too busy, or our people are not ready for the kinds of meetings, activities, and roles in which we so desperately need them to be prepared, while in fact, we are often the problem. Click here to read the full article.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Capstone Marketing's President, Jean Carager, and what she feels is the biggest issue facing marketers today in this article.

New Member List: February 2020

January 2020: How Do You Retain and Engage Talent?

Beginner's Guide: 
Tax season for many accounting marketers is akin to winter for the squirrels. You gathered up ‘nuts’ you can work on: website updates, creating marketing collateral, redesigning newsletters, and other activities to keep you occupied while others at the firm are too busy and too stressed to give you much time. This article provides ideas on how you can keep your staff engaged during tax season, so you do not have to reintroduce yourself at the post-tax season party.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles refer to ways your firm can engage and retain quality talent. Read below for some articles that offer employee engagement tips for your firm.

  1. 15 Essential Survey Questions To Measure Employee Engagement
    Does your firm issue a survey to their employees that measures employee engagement? If not, make sure you check out this article. It provides 15 essential survey questions you can ask your employees and measure their employee engagement.

  2. The 10 key drivers of employee engagement

    Recruiting and retaining top talent at accounting firms remains a top priority in 2020. Here are the 10 key drivers of employee engagement at accounting firms.

  3. 12 Ways You Can Implement the Big 4’s Employee Engagement Tactics
    When employees are actively engaged with their jobs, they tend to be happier, more productive, and more likely to stick around — all things that help your company thrive. Not sure where to start? This article discusses 12 ways your firm can implement the Big 4’s employee engagement tactics. There are some great ideas that any firm of any size can implement. 

  4. Stop Ignoring Your Employees For A Whole Year

    How many firms issue an annual employee survey to measure the motivation and satisfaction and then nothing comes of it? Raise your hand? Here is a great article that discusses the importance of listening to your employees throughout the year.

  5. 5 Industry Experts on How to Measure Employee Engagement Effectively in 2020
    Companies often struggle to figure out how to measure employee engagement. So much so, that several organizations don’t measure it at all. Make sure you read this article. Five industry experts weigh in on how to measure employee engagement effective in 2020.

What Do You Think? Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. We took a break from polling in December, but in November, we asked about what you are using for CRM (if any). Click here to find out how you and others answered.

This month we ask that you please take a minute for the AAM Minute and answer this month’s poll questions about employee engagement.

The Seasoned Marketer:  Busy season survival kits, end of year parties, ice cream days and company barbeques… creating strategies to engage employees can be a lot of fun. It’s a chance for marketers to use their creativity, and break up the monotony of desk work for their teams. However, employee engagement goes far beyond just fun and games. Check out this article on how to create an environment that optimizes employee engagement. .

Business Development News: 
When your partners think of employee engagement, they may think about fun activities during busy season, or HR related perks. When the focus is on the billable hour, sometimes engagement can seem like fluff, the extra stuff that is not that important. In reality, that could not be further from the truth. Recent studies have shown that satisfied employees may make the difference in turning a mediocre company into a great one. Logically, it makes sense - if you want your business to grow, you need a high performing workforce, and the only way to a high performing workforce is happy and engaged employees.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Marketing Coordinator, Brittany Winegarner, and how she is helping support employee engagement at TJS Deemer Dana LLP in this article.

New Member List: January 2020

December 2019: The "My Favorite Things" Issue

Social Media SoftwareAs marketers, we are all busy growing our firms and barely have time for lunch, let alone social media management. With so much going on and a priority of billable hours, there’s no doubt that our firms’ accounting professionals also feel too busy to even think about social media. This is where a social media software tool will come in handy to help you save time, schedule your posts, and make it easier for others in your firm to do the same. My favorite social media software is ClearView Social because it helps me manage all of Henry+Horne’s social media accounts. Sprout Social and HootSuite also ranked on the favorites list. To get a broader perspective, I reached out to fellow AAM members on why these software tools made their favorite things list.

Creative Tools: The creative director role of a marketer is often the most fun part, but can be a daunting task. Take a look at some of the top creative tools you need in your toolkit.

Project Management: As we all know, marketing projects can take many different forms, from events to digital campaigns, SEO to content development- and accounting marketers handle it all! There’s no doubt, the world of marketing requires keeping many tasks going simultaneously. When you balance that many marketing projects at one time, it’s easy to miss a deadline. So how can you  track all projects in an organized manner and keep your marketing department running smoothly? Click here to learn more about what marketing tools are available.

Video: As marketers we hear it all of the time - people are moving away from reading and towards video. To stay relevant it is essential that we all learn how to incorporate video into our marketing. But without giant budgets, is it possible to do? Absolutely. This article will show you how.

Email Marketing: 
Email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers, stay top of mind with referral sources, and nurture your current clients. We recently dug into some of the best e-mail marketing platforms of 2019. Read more here

Marketing Automation: Sometimes a job in marketing can feel like a juggling act. You have to keep a million things going at once with many initiatives and multiple high-priority projects. So, in a world where there are things flying at you full speed, how can you be expected to nurture valuable leads as they come in the door? Enter marketing automation – your “virtual marketing assistant.” This article highlights some of 2019’s best tools for mastering marketing automation and freeing up a little bit of your time and brain space. 

New Member List: December 2019

November 2019: CRM Best Practices

Beginner's Guide:
CRM. Do those three little letters stress you out? CRM means different things to different people, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, especially in an industry where firm size varies so dramatically. In this article, learn what CRM is, what a CRM system does, what the benefits are, and a few options to consider.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month’s articles refer to strategies and best practices to keep in mind while using your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Read below for some articles that display the importance of managing client interactions and optimizing these relationships.

  1. 7 CRM Best Practices to Get the Most out of your CRM
    Choosing a CRM system that fits your needs, training your workforce to properly use it, and then turning the data into something actionable are just the first few steps this article explains about the basics of CRM. This piece contains essential details of CRM and how it can transform your business.

  2. 8 CRM implementation best practices

    “A poor-quality CRM implementation can significantly impact the bottom line.” This article speaks on both the pain points and goals when introducing a CRM system to your business. Customization and specific tailoring of the system to fit your individual needs are critical to ensure a smooth introduction to this helpful tool.

  3. Best practices to maximize your CRM
    Not all CRM users are utilizing the software to the best of its ability. The data is only as useful as you make it, so keeping data up-to-date is crucial when managing this system. Learning from analytics is another key takeaway from this article. Analyzing customer trends and behavior allows you to shape your sales and marketing tactics.

  4. Best Practices: Customer Relationship Management

    What exactly is a CRM system, and why is it important to have a plan? This article outlines strategic CRM capabilities and how you can develop a balanced approach to implementing it in your business. Technology, people, processes, and knowledge/insight are the four main components to strategic CRM capabilities.

  5. 6 Best Practices For Improving Your CRM Data Quality

    Understanding your CRM user’s needs is crucial when streamlining the process for all users on a day-to-day basis. According to Introhive, the average user spends 5.5 hours each week entering data or logging activities into their CRM system. Building your CRM to cater to your user’s individual needs will maximize the time spent by your employees.

What Do You Think? 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 how your role as a marketer is evolving. 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 about your experience with CRM.

The Seasoned Marketer:
 After years of trying to get your firm’s partners on the same page with business development, you have finally found the solution: a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). You return to your office glowing with conference pixie dust, telling everyone about this fantastic “deus-ex-machina-like-CRM” that will solve all of your firm’s business development and accountability issues. Check out this article to find out more. 

Business Development News:
We are closing in on the end of another year, and it is always a good time to reflect on where we started, where we think we are now, and what we are going to do differently in the coming year to get the results we are looking for. One area where many firms struggle is CRM. Though CRM has been around for years, it is surprising that many of the challenges remain the same: collecting data, getting marketing aligned, encouraging and facilitating adoption, and leveraging CRM to move the revenue needle. Let’s look at some of the areas where business development executives (BDEs), and those who manage them, might want to make tweaks in the coming year.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Lora-lynn M. Williams, Marketing Manager and Executive Assistant at McLaren & Associate CPAS in this article.

New Member List: November 2019

October 2019: Our Evolving Roles as Marketers

Beginner's Guide: 
This article discusses how accounting marketers are quickly evolving into data scientists and the importance of understanding the pictures your data paints. Learn about some useful data points to analyze and help create compelling, strategic marketing plans.

Articles of Interest: Every issue we share articles with AAM readers that explore the monthly topic. This month's articles relate to the evolving role of the marketer. Read below about how accounting marketing can keep up with changes in the accounting industry, which include integrating artificial intelligence, creating personalized content, and maintaining a digital presence.

  1. Using Artificial Intelligence
    There are ways to integrate AI into your marketing processes now. Using AI can create a more personalized experience for consumers. For example, AI can be used on your website to analyze and track pathways and clicks. As you record leads, you can create content, personalized emails, push notifications and suggestions based on what an individual has clicked on leading to increased conversion rates (think about Pandora suggesting songs/stations based on what you listened to). Learn more in this article
  2. Marketing an Accounting Firm in the Digital Age
    Maintaining a website and email blasts are no longer enough - you need to consider your entire digital footprint, because 60% of the time a decision is made BEFORE someone calls your firm to inquire about services. Some of the primary duties for a marketer will be to consistently maintain an updated website and blog, use social media to have dialogues, and stay on top of local SEO results. Your content should be personalized with seasonal and eye-catching updates that focus on strategy, not just accounting. Learn more
  3. AI Meets Accounting Marketing
    To be effective, a marketer needs reliable data. Implementing AI to capture data can help marketers analyze and predict consumer trends. If you haven’t yet, take some time to listen to this AAMplify podcast episode to learn more. 
  4. Accounting Marketing is Not Sales
    Now and in the future, accounting firms should distinguish the difference between marketing and sales. A marketer’s job is to understand your marketplace and competitors, your firm’s market position and services, and promote/price these to your target audience. This
    article explains the four basic things marketing departments need to deliver results.
  5. Marketing Trends for 2019
    Although this article describes 2019 trends, it has great information on the trends accounting marketers should be prepared for when it comes to design
    . Yet again, the first key takeaway is PERSONALIZATION. Clients are only going to consume information that speaks directly to them. How to do it? Use smart advertising through Google business listing and social advertising. Get reviews from satisfied users. Content, content, content – your content should personalize your firm and brand while communicating your firm’s talent. You can use paid content, motion graphics, and video to catch the customer’s eye, but keep the design simple and consistent.

What Do You Think?
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In September, we asked about SEO. 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 about how your role as a marketer continues to evolve. 

The Seasoned Marketer:
With years of experience in the accounting marketing industry I have seen how the marketing professional role has evolved into what it is today. Click here to understand the big picture and hear from seasoned marketing professionals on their perspective of how the marketer role has changed over time. 

Business Development News: As more firms realize that advisory services are instrumental to their future success, they struggle with what these services look like. And then they realized that selling advisory services takes a different process. It starts with a deep knowledge of how a business works coupled with ongoing effort to identify potential leads. Click here to read how to develop a growing sales funnel. 

Meet a Member: Learn more about Chris Walker, Partner/CMO at Peterson Sullivan, LLP (soon to be BDO USA LLP), and her accounting marketing career in this article

New Member List: October 2019

September 2019: The SEO Issue

Beginner's Guide: 
In 2018, we addressed the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the digital world. As marketers, we constantly deal with change—often being dictated by Google. We have transformed from newspaper and magazine advertising to Google Ads and Pay-Per-Click (PPC). How can we possibly keep up? Click here to find out how to stay present in the digital world.

Articles of Interest
  1. Before You Hire an SEO Company, Try These 16 DIY Tips: An SEO expert or agency can help ensure when consumers do a web search, your website is one of the first resources to appear in the search results. If your marketing budget is tight, you may want to enlist a few DIY tips yourself to give your SEO a boost. Click here for 16 do-it-yourself SEO tips that you should try before hiring an SEO firm.
  2. How to Evaluate Your SEO Agency: If you’re like most accounting marketers you are likely aware of the amount of traffic coming to the site, but beyond that you may have limited time and resources to analyze the rest of the data. To help accounting marketers and others assess their current SEO provider and hopefully affirm they rock or (at least) make positive changes, click here for a brief list of key areas to review.
  3. DIY SEO: A Basic 4-Step Guide That Anyone Can Follow: Does your budget not allow you to hire an SEO agency? Are you in-charge of implementing SEO for your firm and must do it all yourself? Click here for a basic 4-step guide to get you started.
  4. Using SEO to Find Great New Clients: While marketers of the past spent their budgets on print ads and mailers, savvy marketers are now relying on inbound marketing. One of the most effective tools for inbound marketing is Search Engine Marketing (SEM), more commonly referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If optimizing your SEO is not on your marketing radar, you might want to consider adding it to your strategy. Click here to understand how SEO works.
  5. SEO Best Practices for Accounting Firms: Click here for the 5 best SEO practices your accounting firm should be using. They are not quick tricks (quick tricks do not work), but by paying attention to these, you will be able to get on the first page, and even the first few results of your prospects' search results. 

What Do You Think? 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In August, we asked about your experience with GDPR, CCPA and data compliance. 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 about how your firm utilizes SEO.

The Seasoned Marketer: 
As marketers for accounting firms, we are often pulled in a million different directions. Our lists of tasks and “to-dos” can seem a mile long, and it can be hard to prioritize where to focus our limited time and resources. So with all of this on our plates, where does search engine optimization (SEO) fit in, and how do we know when to do it ourselves and when the time has come to outsource? Click here to find out.

New Accounting Marketing Budget Benchmark: If you are looking for a better way to market your accounting firm, you probably have a lot of questions. How do I get more quality leads? What’s the best way to spend my limited marketing dollars? What techniques actually work? And what are my competitors doing? As any marketer knows, answering questions like these can be a real cranium scratcher. The only way to get intelligence like that is to survey the entire industry.Which is exactly what we did. Click here to read more.

Business Development News: Search engine optimization (SEO) has helped firms increase their digital awareness and connected qualified prospects with their site. As a result, firms are getting the conversions desired. However, that’s only the starting point. Since partners evaluate efforts based on the value of new business generated, the number of prospects identified is not enough. Click here to read the full article.

Meet a Member: Meet AAM member Brian Swanson. Brian is the Chief SEO Strategist of FlashPoint Digital with 18 years experience in marketing. In this article he shares advice on planning an SEO strategy. 

New Member List: September 2019

August 2019: GDPR, CCPA, & Data Compliance

Beginner's Guide: 
With data becoming a major player in your strategic marketing plan, it’s important to understand compliance so you don’t find yourself in hot water. Read the full article here.

Articles of Interest
  1. What Is GDPR and What Do Accounting Firms Need to Know – This article by CPA Practice Advisor is a good place to start when learning about the GDPR. It covers the basics of the regulation and how it may affect your clients and firm.
  2. GDPR one year on: its impact on auditors and accountants? – This recent article covers what GDPR means for auditors and accountants in their daily work in Europe. Although it may not be relevant to those living in the US, it is interesting to know what our friends across the pond must consider in their work.
  3. 5 Steps Accounting Firms Need to Take Before GDPR Hits – This Accounting Web article covers 5 steps accounting firms should follow to become compliant with GDPR. It also covers what to tell clients about the regulation, and why you should educate your staff on GDPR.
  4. How GDPR May Impact Your CPA Firm – This article by the AICPA covers the GDPR for accounting firms and interesting scenarios of how the laws may apply to US firms including: What if the firm begins to actively market its services through its website to U.S. expatriates living in the EU? What if a CPA firm actively markets services to high net worth individuals who have seasonally relocated to the EU, and the firm accepts payment in Euros for the client’s convenience? What if the firm markets audit services to multi-national companies through its website, which is translatable into various EU dominant languages, and routinely communicates with EU-based subsidiaries of U.S. companies? 
  5. The EU GDPR website – For the latest updates and news regarding the GDPR, visit the website dedicated to the regulations.
  6. ‘2019 is the year of enforcement’: GDPR fines have begun – If you thought they weren’t going to enforce GDPR don’t tell that to British Airways or Marriott International. British Airways got slapped with a $228 million dollar fine and Marriott International $124 million for leaking personal data of customers…ouch.
  7.  GDPR for US Websites: Here’s What Businesses Need To Know About Site ComplianceMake sure your website is compliant with the GDPR by reading this article. 

What Do You Think? 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In July, we asked about AAM Engage takeaways 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 about your experience with GDPR, CCPA and data compliance.

The Seasoned Marketer:
If you are vaguely familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and similar data privacy concepts, then you may also be precisely confused about where to start and how to become compliant. Here are three steps to facilitate data privacy.

New Accounting Marketing Budget Benchmark:  If you are looking for a better way to market your accounting firm, you probably have a lot of questions. How do I get more quality leads? What’s the best way to spend my limited marketing dollars? What techniques actually work? And what are my competitors doing? As any marketer knows, answering questions like these can be a real cranium scratcher. The only way to get intelligence like that is to survey the entire industry.Which is exactly what we did. Click here to read more.

Business Development News: CPA firms want to build their book of business by staying in front of clients, referral sources and prospects. That can be a challenge when there is no work in progress or without a direct opportunity to pitch to them. In reality, firms have hundreds—if not thousands—of contact points to build upon. Click here to read more.

Meet a Member: Meet AAM member and AAM Minute Chair, Emily Taibl. Emily is the Marketing Manager of Sweeny Conrad, PS with 15 years experience in marketing. In this article she shares what she feels is the biggest issue facing marketers today and discusses lessons learned.

New Member List: August 2019

July 2019: AAM Summit Recap

Beginner's Guide:
 The AAM Minute followed up with first time Engage Summit attendees to find out what really hit home and stuck with them after the conference. In this article, we recap some of the best advice they walked away with.

Articles of Interest
  1. The 2019 Hinge Marketing Budget Benchmark Study was released during Engage.
  2. Artificial Intelligence for People in a Hurry. This short video gives context on how to think about AI.
  3. In case you missed the great Simon Sinek, here is his famous TED talk “How great leaders inspire action,” to inspire you.
  4. Are you in tune with your conscious and unconscious biases? In the session “Uncovering Unconscious Bias,” they shared a link to a test from Harvard’s Project Implicit.
  5. Client experience is all the buzz right now. So, where do you start to dig in to measure your firm’s client experience? With journey mapping of course! Check out these links here and here for downloadable PDFs on mapping your client’s journey from start to finish. 

What Do You Think? 
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In March, we asked about blockchain technology. 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 about your experience at AAM’s Engage in June.

The Seasoned Marketer:
The AAM Minute followed up with Engage Summit attendees who have been to a few Summits, seen some things and are happy they don’t have to carry binders with printed hard copy presentation anymore. Here are some great takeaways that our season marketers found useful. 

New Accounting Marketing Budget Benchmark:  If you are looking for a better way to market your accounting firm, you probably have a lot of questions. How do I get more quality leads? What’s the best way to spend my limited marketing dollars? What techniques actually work? And what are my competitors doing? As any marketer knows, answering questions like these can be a real cranium scratcher. The only way to get intelligence like that is to survey the entire industry.Which is exactly what we did. Click here to read more.

Business Development News: As firms continue to navigate their future ahead of the disruptive forces in the market, it’s becoming clear that marketing and sales professionals need to play an active role in the transformation. In particular, savvy business development executives (BDEs) who aspire to be strategic contributors in their firms need to align their activities with the firm’s plan for growth. Click here to read more.

Meet a Member: Meet AAM member and 2019 Rookie of the Year recipient, Korby Boswell. Korby is the Marketing and Growth Specialist for Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd. (ABBB), in this article he shares his biggest "must know" for accounting marketers and the top three things he learned at the 2019 AAM Summit.

New Member List: July 2019

June 2019: The Marketers Place in M&A

Beginner's Guide:
In this article, you will hear the real-life acquisition tale from a marketer who went through it firsthand. Learn the things that went wrong in her experience and what things she learned along the way. 

Articles of Interest
  1. As Mergers & Acquisitions become more common among corporations, it is essential that marketers are prepared and understand how it will affect their company in the present and the future. This article speaks on the many do’s and don’t when undergoing an M&A.
  2. This article talks about the truths of mergers and acquisitions and how communication with your employees is critical. Making sure that your employees see the change as a positive move forward and keeping that two-way communication open among your employees is an important step.
  3. According to this article, marketing should play an integral role during M&A. So much of this process demands a marketing perspective to plan for a successful transition both internally and externally.
  4. Mergers and Acquisitions are often viewed from a financial perspective when, in fact, less tangible factors such as branding play a crucial role. This piece explains how aligning the business strategy with the brand strategy is a vital step to take.
  5. This article speaks of the importance of charting your course carefully when combing two company’s cultures and how to arrive at a unified brand. As marketers, it can be a daunting process but also presents an opportunity to improve client relationships and strengthen your Firm’s position within the market.

What Do You Think? Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In May, we asked about what types of culture shock you’ve seen in your firm or are currently going through. 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 about your role in mergers and acquisitions in your firm.

The Seasoned Marketer:
Whether you’ve been through one merger or 20, most seasoned marketers would agree there are a couple of things that make the process easier: preparation and communication. In this article, we chat with Mazars Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Palmer Farrington about how marketers can help the merger and acquisition (M&A) process. Click here to read more.

Business Development News: Business development professionals have a natural role to play as part of a firm’s M&A process.  While building firm revenue through a successful merger or acquisition may appear different than a traditional sales “win,” the process and results share many themes and traits.  In this article, learn more about how a business developer can be a valuable part of the M&A team. 

Meet a Member: Meet AAM member and 2018 Hall of Fame recipient, Eric Majchrzak. Eric is the chief strategy officer at BeachFleischman PC. Click here to read the advice he has for marketers whose firms are going through a merger and/or acquisition.

New Member List: June 2019

May 2019: Culture Shock

Beginner's Guide:
Every day we’re hearing about new technologies, changes, and disruptions happening to every industry in the world. Accounting is not safe from this culture shock and we’re constantly seeing things that will change the way our firms do business. In this article, read about some of the biggest things that are disrupting the accounting industry and a small glimpse into what they truly mean for us.

Articles of Interest
  1. Value-based pricing lets you expand your services and increases engagement with your clients while also liberating your employees to work more creatively, constructively, and productively. This article includes five steps to get your firm started.
  2. Millennials are causing some disruption to traditional leadership. Here are seven ways they are influencing leadership today.
  3. Not only are millennials affecting change in traditional leadership, they’re also influencing change in social responsibility and causing more businesses to look at a triple bottom line. Learn what that means in this article from Forbes.
  4. Don’t forget about Generation Z. The newest generation to be named—some as young as four years old right now—have a high-tech and hyper-connected upbringing. They’re disrupting recruiting, training, managing, and more. Read how they’ll transform the future workplace here.
  5. Different types of culture shock are effecting the accounting industry as many firms struggle to change their approach to meet the accelerating disruption in the market. Solving these four critical challenges will put your firm on the path to differentiation.

What Do You Think?
Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about they do in their firms. In April, we asked about how your firm is handling consulting and advisory services. Click here to find out the results and where your answers fall. This month we ask that you please take a minute for the minute and answer this month’s poll questions about what types of culture shock you’ve seen in your firm or are currently going through.

The Seasoned Marketer:
In the 21st century, we are on the verge of a great shift — from Capitalism 1.0 to Capitalism 2.0. In traditional shareholder capitalism, the company exclusively maximizes the shareholder value. In the Capitalism 2.0 model, stakeholder capitalism will create social and shareholder value simultaneously. Click here to read more.

Business Development News: The accounting industry is changing, with a higher importance and greater sense of urgency being placed on selling consulting services. For some, these services are easy to sell. But for others, it’s a big unknown. In this article, you can read about the four key steps business developers and marketers who are trying to drive the sales efforts of practitioners should consider. 

Meet a Member: Meet AAM Member Kristen Lewis, Director of Marketing at  EisnerAmper LLP. In this article, Kristen shares with us what she has learned the hard way in her 18 year career.

New Member List: May 2019

April 2019: Consulting and Advisory Services...Accounting Survival

Beginner's Guide:
People that work at accounting firms can no longer just rely on basic bookkeeping and accounting services. What was once a cushy tax-and-audit monopoly has become a low-growth commodity. In this article, find out if you are ready for the next chapter?

Articles of Interest
  1. As technology performs more compliance-related tasks and CPAs shift their focus to advisory services and value-added strategic input, the prospect for profit and growth appear to be as bright as any point in the profession’s history. Click here to learn how technology plays a role in the future of advisory services and what your firm should be doing.

  2. Your firm can avoid becoming insignificant by creating value in industry specialization and consulting/advisory services. Click here to learn how to transform your firm from the traditional accounting firm model to a professional services firm model.

  3. Click here to follow these nine steps to build a unique value proposition that will help sell the value of your firm’s consulting services and win new clients.

  4. The world of accounting is evolving at a fevered pace. Knowing the trends that are shaping growth for the accounting firm of tomorrow will help you move up the value chain. Click here to learn about the 5 trends that should be on your radar.

  5. Disruptive technology, the rise of new business models and the pressures exerted by intense global competition are transforming the marketplace. Click here to learn the challenges your firm could face as you move into consulting and advisory services.

What Do You Think? Each month we ask readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In March, we asked about blockchain technology. 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 about how your firm is expanding into consulting and advisory services.

The Seasoned Marketer:
It is a thrilling time in the accounting profession. Businesses are seeking more consultative advice, strategic direction and looking for workable solutions to remain competitive, secure, and financially healthy. The world and business climate is changing. Technology is impacting the way we work, communicate and compete. Click here to read more about marketing's role in elevating consulting and advisory services.

Business Development News: The automation revolution is here! And, it’s transforming the way accounting firms and their clients do business. You have heard for years now … accounting firms will not survive with a hefty book of compliance clients. This article discusses the need to diversify and expand advisory services is imperative for future sustainability and continued growth. 

Meet a Member: Meet AAM Member Becca Davis, Director of practice growth at Rea & Associates. In this article, Becca shares what she believes is the biggest issue facing accounting marketers today. 

New Member List: April 2019

March 2019: What is Blockchain Anyways?

Beginner's Guide:
This article breaks down some of the basics of blockchain — what it is, what it does and why it is so revolutionary. Learn a bit about how it will impact the accounting industry and why marketers need to pay attention.

Articles of Interest
  1. Visuals always improve the learning process. Reuter’s created this infographic to explain blockchain.

  2. What is a blockchain and how do they work? Simply Explained – Savjee’s YouTube video explains why blockchains are so special in simple and plain English. This video has been viewed more than 2.6 million times so invest six minutes and learn about blockchain.

  3. For a video specifically related to the accounting industry check out Blockchain Might Remake Accounting. Tom Hood, president and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute, discusses big data and blockchain technology. He helps us understand basics of blockchain including potential uses in supply chains, smart contracts, and audit automation.
  4. Will Blockchain Render Accountants Irrelevant? This brief article by Innovation Enterprise discusses the potential of blockchain to completely revolutionize the accounting industry.
  5. According to a Forbes Insights survey in association with KPMG of 250 finance executives, almost 41% say their firm uses blockchain in some manner, and another 50% expect their organization to start using blockchain within two years. Read this article on how blockchain may impact both auditors and CFOs.
AAM Monthly Poll: Each month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In February, we asked what intimidates you about AI and if you are currently using it. 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 about blockchain.

The Seasoned Marketer:
Have you ever wondered what oranges and blockchains have in common? Well, IBM’s blockchain expert in the financial services market is going to give a bit of background on blockchain and how it is disrupting oranges, yep, oranges. In this article, Sesso uses oranges to help illustrate how blockchain can be used for more than just cryptocurrency.

Business Development News: Blockchain and other rapidly advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence big data analytics, virtualization etc. will have disruptive and transformative powers on the accounting and finance industries, as well as the clients they serve. This article digs into opportunities that business developers can leverage with blockchain technology. 

Meet a Member: Meet AAM Member Teresa Hansen, Senior Marketing Manager at Mazars USA, LLP.  In this article, Teresa shares her "must know" for new accounting marketers. 

New Member List: March 2019

February 2019: AI in Marketing...Hello, Dave.

Beginner's Guide:
You probably already use Artificial intelligence (AI) on a daily basis, but what does it mean to use AI as an accounting marketer? Click here to learn what AI is and how it can make you a more effective marketer. Hint: it’s likely to be your future superpower.

Articles of Interest
  1. AI is disrupting many industries and changing the way we do business. As marketers, this article gives an overview of how AI will reshape what we do.
  2. For most, when you think AI you think of the large costs that will most likely be associated with it. As AI continues to grow, we’re seeing many affordable AI tools becoming available. This article will show you how AI marketing is within reach for small businesses.
  3. As marketing AI continues to advance, a question for many of us is what that means for content marketing. This article dives deep into showing us the future of content marketing and AI. 
  4. Understanding how AI will fully be used in brand marketing and communications is still unknown. This recent Forbes article brings us the top AI predictions from twelve experts.
  5. While marketing automation continues to grow and become the norm, we start to look at how AI can further our marketing automation efforts. This article describes the most popular use cases of marketing automation and AI.

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 January, we asked about what data is important to you. 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 what intimidates you about AI and if you are currently using it.

The Seasoned Marketer: 
In this article, Paul Roetzer, the creator of the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute, shares a nine step action plan to tackle AI for your firm - from strategic evaluation to tips on educating and engaging your management. 

Business Development News: For professionals in marketing and business development who earn their living by identifying, nurturing and converting leads, Artificial intelligence is going to make a big impact. In this article we focus on getting past the fear of AI and seeing the possibilities for a new ally in business development. 

Business Development News: As technology continues to evolve at light speed, many of us are constantly impressed at the level of innovation. Much of the buzz these days seems to be centered on the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) and how it is being applied to business. In this article, learn about the role for AI in business development. 

Meet a Member: Meet AAM Member and AAM Minute Chair, Jennifer Cantero. Learn more about her experiences in her 20 plus year career in marketing in this article

New Member List: February 2019

January 2019: Your Data is Talking, are You Listening?

Beginner's Guide: 
In this article, learn what a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is and how you can use them to measure your success and growth as a marketer. Learn which KPIs are important to look at and how to leverage them to make sound marketing decisions.

Articles of Interest

  1. Google Analytics is an integral tool that every marketer should be using. After all, Google Analytics is a free and automatic way to collect data-what’s not to love? Well, if you are suspicious that the data it’s giving you is inaccurate and you don’t know how to fix it, you might end up giving up on it. This article from Hinge covers several common scenarios where your data is inaccurate and ways to troubleshoot them.
  2. Google Analytics is not the only free tool on the market that you can use to collect data. This Forbes article understands that many businesses are investing 3% or less of their revenue into marketing, and shares a list of free online tools. Track keywords, clicks and social posts without any spend.
  3. A CRM platform is the streamlined way to track and report on all of your sales data, but the market is so crowded and it can be overwhelming to choose one. This piece aggregates reviews of the best CRM software for 2019 and includes a features chart for easy comparison. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for your first CRM, or looking for a change. 
  4. We all want to understand how our marketing efforts are driving growth for our firms.  This article gives great background on the methodologies behind measuring programs’ effectiveness, including advantages and disadvantages to tools that measure ROI using each of these methodologies. If you can decide the right methodology for your firm, you’re on your way to selecting the right software and getting the results you need. 
  5. Don't miss this recent AAMplify! episode with Heath Alloway, National Growth Manager with BKD, LLP. In less than 20 minutes, you’ll learn how accounting firms can use big data to save time and improve decision making. 

AAM Monthly Poll: 
Each month we asked readers to contribute to our topic conversation and share a little about what they do in their firms. In December, we asked about your upcoming milestones. 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 what data is important to you.

The Seasoned Marketer: 
There’s certainly an art to making marketing and business development initiatives work. But the intersection of that art with the science of data is where the real magic happens. In this article, learn about the many key performance indicators you can use to tell the story of your practice. Included are some categories of metrics, and how you can put them to work as you build growth plans.

Business Development News: 
Many business developers and growth professionals in CPA firms are responsible for driving the growth of the firm. But how do you know you are making progress? Sure, top-line growth comes to mind and is often the catch all measurement. But is that the only metric? Are there other things you should consider? In this article, learn how to use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to drive growth in your accounting firm.

Meet a Member: Learn more about Caitlin Balcerzak at TDT CPAs and Advisors and her accounting marketing career in this article.

New Member List: January 2019

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 Management 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. 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. 

  4. 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

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Editorial Calendar

January 2022: The Generation Gap

February 2022: Marketing and Firm Culture

March 2022: How to keep marketing moving during busy season(s)

April 2022: SEO

May 2022: Summit Recap

June 2022: Google Analytics/Tools

July 2022: 

August 2022: 

September 2022:

October 2022: 

November 2022:

December 2022: