By Pamela Pyrc, Director of Marketing, LeMaster & Daniels PLLC for the Association for Accounting Marketing
The role of accounting marketers has expanded as the profession has matured over the past few decades. Today, the marketing director's (coordinator) responsibilities may range from coordinator of open houses and direct mail campaigns to strategic planner and practice development coach. But what activities can marketers do that are measurable? Jean Marie Caragher provided a variety of answers to this question in her presentation at this year's Association for Accounting Marketing Annual Conference. Caragher, a 16-year accounting marketing veteran, offered concrete ideas for marketing activities that will generate great results:
- Client satisfaction programs which can be done with surveys, personal interviews, telephone interviews, client advisory boards and special events. The benefits of having such programs are enhanced visibility of services or niche areas, ability to target new business opportunities, and establishing a stronger relationship with clients.
- Seminars are an excellent marketing tool to demonstrate your firm's expertise, launch a new product or service, and increase your firm's visibility within your target market. Effective seminars are those that are well planned, organized and rehearsed, the topic and speaker are of interest to your clients and prospects, and there is follow up with both those that attended and those who did not.
- Primary research is an excellent way to demonstrate expertise of specific industry issues or trends. Offering benchmarking data to your clients shows them that you are dialed in to the issues they are facing.
- Direct mail provides an ideal opportunity to elicit a response such as attending a seminar, returning the response card, calling for a free consultation, etc. Key points to consider in developing the letter are to use short words, sentences and paragraphs, single spacing for readability, and breaking sentences at the bottom of the page to encourage the reader to continue reading. Having a good mailing list is just as important, and some would suggest even more important, than having a good letter. Whether you use a list broker or compile the list yourself, it is essential to make sure that you are targeting the right audience with the right message.
In addition to the above activities, Ms. Caragher also recommends tracking and measuring these activities on a monthly basis:
- New business, lost clients
- Leads received, leads referred
- Proposals, wins and losses
Tracking these activities keeps your fingers on the pulse of new business opportunities, lost revenue and possible issues concerning client satisfaction.
Many accounting marketers will admit that at some point in their careers they have been asked the question, âWhat do you do?â Rather than be offended (or baffled) by the question, accounting marketers can look at this as an âopeningâ to demonstrate tangible results for their efforts.
Jean Caragher is a past president of the Association for Accounting Marketing and an independent consultant. She has over 16 years of accounting marketing experience, including marketing director positions with local and national CPA firms, and as executive director of an accounting firm network. She can be reached at [email protected].
This is the fifth of a series of articles on sessions presented at the 2002 AAM Conference.
The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is the leading trade/educational organization for individuals working in marketing, sales, and communication for accounting firms. Since 1989, AAM has provided members with the information, resources, and market intelligence needed to excel and grow in their careers.
For more information about joining AAM or to be placed on a mailing list for next year's Marketing Summit in Boston, MA in June 2003, contact Lisa Daniels at 816.221.1296, or [email protected].