Accounting Marketing Tricks & Tactics

aam_logoI'm attending the Association of Accounting Marketing conference in Las Vegas. It's refreshing to come to a marketing program and hear totally new speakers with ideas I haven't thought about before. It proves that we can learn more from marketers in accounting, consulting and other fields.
There are 400+ attendees at the Venetian Hotel, a mammoth, ornate place that takes 15 minutes to walk through. The accounting marketers are facing exactly the same issues that law marketers are: the advent of sales, finding mentors, demonstrating ROI.

I picked up several good ideas, which will soon be articles in Professional Marketing magazine:

*Promote a niche practice by "productizing" it - marketing the service as if it were a product, complete with its own brand, a brand manager, a fixed price and a fixed offering. Consultant and CPA Gale Crosley of Atlanta will write about this; I had never met her before because she only works with accounting firms.
*Hold "pipeline" meetings to smoke out efforts to land Large Opportunities. At the pipeline meeting, the partners disclose what pitches and RFPs they have "in their pipeline." The information is recorded into a spreadsheet. Then rather than having a single lawyer focusing on the RFP/pitch, a team of lawyers starts a "calling program" to investigate the prospect and meet contacts there. The proposal/pitch reflects the information gathered. Marketer Ilana Isakov of SS&G Financial Services in Cleveland agreed to write about this. Their firm has an incredible 82% win rate.

Last night there was an awards ceremony, exactly like the LMA's Your Honor awards. There were 150 entries in 19 categories. Three large firms (over 75 professionals) cleaned up:

1.Grant Thornton's Chicago office won 2 awards for their newsletters and niche building camping. In the latter, they pursued not-for-profit organizations by showing how Sarbanes Oxley applied to them. Their NFP Perspectives newsletter cost $8500 to distribute and brought in many new engagements.

2.Blum Shapiro of West Hartford, CT, won 2 awards. One was for a direct mail campaign. They mailed 150 binoculars inside of boxes that said, "It's time to take a closer look at Blum Shapiro." The letter hit four points that distinguished the firm. Blum Shapiro identified targets using Dun & Bradstreet that had revenues of $30 to $250 million and more than 50 employees. The project cost $13,500 and brought in a $75,000 project.

3.BKD CPAs and Advisors, a top 10 firm with $277 in annual revenues and 200 professionals, won for a direct mail campaign, a web site redesign and for event marketing. Their new web site at is bright, tightly organized and focuses on industries served. It has content on the home page (which is good for attracting search engines), compies with we site usability principles (which visitors like) and is just chock full of content.

It pays to get out of your own industry and see what marketers in other fields are doing.

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Matthew Homann - June 14, 2004 1:47 PM

Larry, I'm doing the same thing in my weblog, the [non]billable hour. Today, I have a feature called "Five by Five" where I ask five non-lawyers for their five ideas related to the marketing, delivery and pricing of legal services. My first group of experts are all women marketing gurus. The direct link is:

Take a look.

Rick Klau - June 16, 2004 12:58 PM

Careful about learning too much from those AAM conferences:

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?