CPA Growth Trends, Marketing

Seasoned Marketer: Collaboration in Action: 3 Takeaways from a Summit Keynote

In the dynamic world of accounting, the intersection of marketing and firm management plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of a firm. One of the keynotes at this year’s AAM Summit was “Collaboration in Action: Marketing and Firm Management,” presented by AAM Board President and Chief Operating Officer of Johnson Lambert Courtney Kiss and her Managing Partner, John Prescott. In their discussion, they talked about creating a collaborative relationship between marketers and firm leaders, as well as what matters to a managing partner from a marketing and growth perspective.

Their discussion shed light on the strategies that foster a growth-oriented culture, the importance of internal relationships and the understanding of the firm’s landscape—all essential components for any marketer or growth professional aiming to make a significant impact in their firm. Here are three key takeaways from their dialogue that offer valuable insights into the synergy between marketing and firm management.

  1. Building a Growth Culture and Partnership
    • The introduction of Courtney Kiss as COO alongside John Prescott as Managing Partner marked a new era of growth and collaboration at Johnson Lambert, LLP.
    • Emphasizing the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit, they focused on engaging all levels of the firm in understanding the necessity of growth, transparency and the opportunities it brings.
    • They worked together to ensure the firm supports smart growth through resource management, technology investments and aligning clients with the firm’s direction.
  2. Fostering Strong Internal Relationships
    • The discussion highlighted the importance of marketers and growth professionals deeply understanding the business, its market position, challenges, opportunities and unique value proposition.
    • Building relationships within the firm and with clients is crucial, as is clear and strategic communication between marketing and leadership to align on goals and strategies.
  3. Understanding the Firm Landscape for Success
    • Key ingredients for success include an openness to change, leadership buy-in and strategic use of influence by marketing and growth professionals.
    • The firm culture should encourage these professionals to be impactful by being informed, connected and proactive in their roles.
    • The marketing team’s goals are to work closely with partners and leaders, align marketing plans with growth objectives, leverage technology and stay attuned to industry trends.

Courtney and John stressed the importance of a united front in fostering growth, understanding the business and maintaining a dynamic approach to firm management and marketing strategies. How can you apply this at your firm? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Cultivate a Collaborative Growth Culture
    • Start by fostering a culture that values growth and collaboration between different departments, especially marketing and management.
    • Encourage transparency and open communication about the firm’s goals, challenges and achievements.
    • Recognize and celebrate successes that result from collaborative efforts to reinforce the growth culture.
  2. Strengthen Internal Relationships
    • Ensure that your marketing team and firm leaders have a deep understanding of the business, its market position and unique value propositions.
    • Create opportunities for team members to build relationships across the firm, including with leadership and clients.
    • Implement clear and strategic communication channels to align marketing efforts with the firm’s objectives.
  3. Adapt and Innovate
    • Be open to change and encourage innovation within your firm.
    • Seek buy-in from leadership and empower your marketing and growth professionals to take initiative.
    • Stay informed about industry trends and technological advancements to keep your firm competitive and efficient.

By integrating these strategies into your firm’s operations, you can create a dynamic environment where marketing and management work hand-in-hand to drive success and growth. Remember, the key is to maintain a focus on collaboration, understanding and adaptability to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the accounting industry. Ultimately, the synergy between marketing and firm management is a powerful catalyst for progress.

To watch the full conversation, purchase the AAM Summit recordings here:!/


About Rachael McGrew

Rachael McGrew is the Business Development Director for Landmark CPAs, one of Arkansas’ largest accounting firms. In her role, she wears many hats, including overseeing the firm’s marketing and business development strategy, managing internal and external communications, maintaining the firm’s social media and web presence, planning and executing firm events and community outreach programs, assisting with M&A, coordinating recruiting campaigns, and serving on industry association committees. Within AAM, Rachael leads an AAM Circle focused on HubSpot. She is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Smith program and a 40 Under 40 honoree by both the Arkansas Business Journal and the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. She is also a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas’ Western Council. Rachael holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Arkansas and a Technical Certificate in Graphic Design from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. She is married to an outgoing entrepreneur she’s known since junior high, and they have a witty teenager they follow around to volleyball practice and tournaments.

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