Marketing and doing business in the digital age | AccountingWEB

Marketing and doing business in the digital age

Stimulating? Exciting?  Scary? Each of these are words that came to mind this morning as I listened to Google National Industry Manager, Seth van der Swaagh's presentation to members of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) on Google's Digital Vision - The Acceleration of Everything.

Accelerate with AIM

The topic and the speaker were an interesting choice when you consider that AIM represents companies in industries that have been around since the Industrial Revolution.  Yet, one of the conversations I had prior to the meeting shed light on how the Digital Age affects everyone.

Manufacturing in Massachusetts

The man with whom I spoke runs a manufacturing plant that is operating at full capacity.  In fact, he's even importing ball bearings to other parts of the world.

This came as a surprise.  After all, isn't this a down economy?  Isn't MA a high cost state?

Manufacturing in the digital age

As the manufacturer explained to me, he  runs a high tech operation.  Ten percent of his employees are engineers.

Because he has almost-fully automated his operation, his quality is better and his costs are only slightly higher than factories that produce similar parts elsewhere.

Skilled work forces make the difference

With currency fluctuations now in his favor, and long lead times in China, demand is outstripping supply.  His main problems are keeping up with the technology and finding enough skilled workers to maintain production.

Experience Google's vision here

So, after helping ourselves to coffee, we settled in to hear about the Google's vision-and what "the acceleration of everything" would mean for each of our businesses.  Just click  here to read what we heard.

The presentation was excellent-and itself fast-paced.  I highly recommend reading it-and perhaps exploring some of the links-before continuing.

The media is the message

One of the main messages I took away was that the media is truly becoming the message. By the time Seth finished, I think everyone in the room was worrying about their business' mobile and video strategies.  Without new media strategies, Seth warned us, our content would neither be relevant-or engaging.

Whither brands?

The other significant takeaway was that everyone and everything is moving toward commoditization-now that consumers can comparison shop anytime and anywhere.  According to Seth, even TV stars with strong brands are at risk.

He pointed out that a pre-teen amateur named Fred has a larger following on YouTube than does a famous late-night comedy host on broadcast TV.  Although after viewing his performance, I have no idea how he accomplished this feat.  That said, I don't stay up late enough to have viewed the competition...

Now what?

So, what does that mean for the rest of us?  Seth says his advice to his own kids will be to explore broadly, stay open, and try many things before going deep.  After all, he noted, when he graduated college Google didn't even exist.

Download our SEO and social media starter kit and place your messages where your best prospects seek information.


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by Barbara Bix - In tough economic times, more and more clients are looking to their accountants to help them improve the bottom line. Often, the best way to do that is to start with the top line-since one can only decrease expenses so far. This blog discusses concrete actions you and your business-to-business clients can use to accelerate revenues.

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Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.


Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.


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Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.


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Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.


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