An “Out-of-the-Box” Marketing Idea

Nov 30th 2008
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By Allan Boress, CPA, CVA
Hard times require innovative and brilliant ideas.

Chances are your firm will be cutting back on marketing expenditures this coming year. So, what you do to create quality opportunities will have to be more effective.

Now’s the time to be brainstorming internally – to get everyone’s input, as you don’t know where ideas will come from. Had a client office of Andersen get one of their best marketing ideas from a simple office clerk.

Here’s an innovative and brilliant idea I think you should pay attention to, as a jump start perhaps to your own creative breakthroughs.

The idea is called WE Do the Math®.

Listen to what Susan Murphy, President of Circle®Brands, says about marketing in our profession:

“Even our own CPA admits that most CPAs firms have a very ME-driven, egocentric, mentality. That’s one of the primary issues that the WE Do the Math® brand addresses.

“It’s no longer about the CPA firm; it’s all about the CPA firm’s customers.

“Consumers are the new voices of brands in every industry today: they are the ones that create buzz, pass on viral messages and bring brands alive in pop culture so why not make it easy for them and give them something like WE Do the Math® to stimulate reaction, word-of-mouth and most importantly, business?

“’Risk’ is defined as ‘doing what everyone else in the marketplace is doing and expecting a different result.’ DDB (advertising) Worldwide puts it like this: “Ordinary ideas yield ordinary results. You’ve got to be daring to make a difference as the future belongs to the brave.

“And we all know that ‘CPAs do more than the math!’ But, of course! Since (many) CPAs offer ‘value-added services,’ that’s really no more a point of differentiation than a clothing manufacturer saying, “Our pants feature two legs!” At the core of accounting is math and while CPA’s all offer value-added services in addition to ‘doing the math,’ the bottom line is if their brand isn’t top of mind when consumers need their services then they will never know about all the value-added services that firm has to offer!”

“What can you do that is extraordinary to draw attention to your firm?” Susan Murphy concludes.

For over 20 years, I have been pushing the branding strategy of marketing the firm and separating it from the competition. Most firms still think branding is redesigning their stationary and logo.

The concept of “We do the math” is powerful, simple and easy to remember. And “out-of-the-box.” I think it’s an example of an entirely different, consistent way to market a CPA firm. They even have a vanity phone number, 1-800-CPA-MATH.

If you have an interest in purchasing or joint-venturing this brand, contact Susan at [email protected].

By Allan Boress, CPA, CVA – author of The “I-Hate-Selling” Book, available at


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