INSIDE Public Accounting Again Partners with Association for Accounting Marketing; Nominations Open For 2017 Marketer of the Year

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) is proud to announce that it is sponsoring the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) Marketer of the Year Award for the fourth year, and is soliciting nominations during the month of January.

The award, presented annually at AAM’s Summit, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary performance in the field of accounting marketing. To be eligible, all nominees must have held a senior-level marketing position in an accounting firm for at least three years, although not necessarily at the same firm.MOY 2014_Final Image

“We’re proud to once again sponsor the Marketer of the Year award in 2017,” says INSIDE Public Accounting Publisher Kelly Platt. “IPA views the sponsorship as an extension of our long-standing commitment to the accounting profession. We’ve been recognizing ‘Best of the Best’ firms in the nation for more than 20 years, and it’s a pleasure to also recognize the dedicated and creative marketing professionals who help their firms succeed.”

Past Marketer of the Year award winners include Rhonda Maraziti of Princeton, N.J.-based Withum in 2016, Eric Majchrzak, of Tucson, Ariz.-based BeachFleischman in 2015, and Randy Mowat of Calgary, Alberta-based MNP in 2014.

Nominations should be submitted online by Jan. 31, 2017. Nominations are not anonymous, and self-nominations are welcome. Previous nominees are encouraged to re-apply.

Nominees will be judged on their strategic importance to their firm and their impact on helping the firm achieve its goals. Financial results, communication skills, execution of initiatives and leadership will also be considered. Nominees will be asked to fill out online applications by Feb. 21.

The Marketer of the Year Award will be presented at the Association for Accounting Marketing’s 2017 Summit, held in partnership with the AICPA’s ENGAGE conference, set for June 12-15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Please contact Christina Camara at moy@plattgroupllc.com with questions about the award. For information about the Association for Accounting Marketing and its annual summit, call AAM at (856) 439-0500 or visit the Summit website.

The Platt Group publishes the award-winning INSIDE Public Accounting newsletter and IPA Annual National Benchmarking Report. IPA provides thought leaders across the nation with practical ideas, benchmarking data and information to help firms succeed. To learn more about The Platt Group and IPA, please call (317) 733-1920 or visit www.insidepublicaccounting.com.

The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) promotes excellence, and elevates the professional stature of marketing, business development and other practice growth professionals to the accounting profession, directly impacting members’ professional development and careers through education, networking and thought leadership. Founded in 1989, AAM has more than 700 members, comprised of marketing professionals, business developers, CPAs, consultants, service providers, educators and students. To learn more about AAM, please call (856) 380-6860 or visit www.accountingmarketing.org.

Recruiting and Retaining Young CPA Professionals

Attracting and retaining talented staff is top of mind for firms across the country. Join Mike Platt, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), who will offer ideas on keeping under-40 CPA professionals involved, engaged and excited about their work.

IPA is sponsoring a webinar for the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) at 1 to 2:15 p.m. EST Nov. 29. The AAM High webinar is free for members. Register for the webinar.

Retaining this critical demographic has never been more important. IPA’s annual survey of more than 540 accounting firms shows average turnover among all non-Big 4 firms is nearly 14%. At firms of $75 million or more, it’s even higher, at 17%. While some turnover is healthy, extra emphasis needs to be focused on making sure the right people stay.

Platt will discuss results of an extensive survey/study of more than 700 professionals aged 21-40 on their key motivators and “stay factors.” IPA partnered with ConvergenceCoaching to conduct the research survey, which uncovered what young professionals like (and don’t like) about their jobs, and how the firm can position itself to appeal to this key demographic of future leaders.

This webinar will offer analysis from the research study, “The Road to Retention: Motivators and Drivers for Young Public Accounting Professionals.” Attendees will learn:

The best and worst parts of working in public accounting, according to Millennials (21-33) and Gen X professionals (34-40).

  • The top reasons they would make public accounting a long-term career.
  • The types of financial information they would like leaders to share with them.
  • How often they prefer feedback about their performance.
  • Their ideas on how different generations can work together more successfully.
  • Their top firm weaknesses and strengths.

After attending, listeners can get a better understanding of what role they can personally play within their firm to retain young professionals, encourage a culture of openness and transparency, and involve young staff in firm initiatives. New and experienced marketers alike can benefit.

The Next Frontier of CPA Firm Differentiation? Exceptional Client Service

CPA firms once positioned themselves as local, talented providers of accounting services. Marketing then evolved to emphasize specialized expertise in specific industries. What’s next? Two accounting marketing leaders from IPA 100 firms contend the next competitive battleground is exceptional client service.

Mitch Reno

Mitch Reno

Mitch Reno, principal and director of client experience at Saginaw, Mich.-based Rehmann (FY15 net revenue of $116 million), and Leisa Gill, client experience leader at Brentwood, Tenn.-based LBMC (FY16 net revenue of $84.4 million), presented a webinar on the topic Sept. 14 for the Association for Accounting Marketing.

Consistently delivering memorable client experiences, Reno and Gill say, is how tomorrow’s top firms will be retaining clients, growing practices and increasing market share. Now is the time, they say, for marketers to become directly involved in client service. Marketers can take the lead in gathering information from clients and using it to develop a customized plan that ensures clients get consistently exceptional service with every interaction, at every step along the way.

Consider this quote from the CMO of Deloitte, Diane O’Brien: “Marketing has transformed, and the entire organization now needs to be empowered to share the client experience.” (Direct Marketing News)

Leisa Gill

Leisa Gill

Marketers are working hard to build their firms’ brands, but in the financial services industry, the alignment between brand promise and delivery on that promise is low – at a “shocking” 40%, Gill says, citing a recent Gallup poll. The airline, retail and hospitality industries, by contrast, show a strong alignment, and accounting marketers should look outside their own profession to learn about their successful customer service models.

Exceptional service can retain clients, build loyalty and result in larger profits. Reno points out that it costs six to seven times as much to acquire a new client as it does to keep an existing one. In addition, profits can increase from 5% to 95% from boosting customer retention rates by 5%, surveys show.

Reno and Gill shared what one CPA firm partner said about client experience. “Consistency is important. Client needs are paramount. Making it easier for them to do business with you is required.” And a client said, “They have great people who are passionate about serving us, and it shows in everything they do.” Note that the client didn’t say, “They produce great tax returns.” Some experts say that only half the reason clients remain loyal is due to technical expertise; the remainder relates to their experiences with the firm.

Gathering meaningful feedback from clients is key. Reno says he’s conducted many dozens of client interviews, and the information has changed his approach to his work and is persuasive with firm leaders. “Their words are far more powerful than anything I could personally say. There’s no question.”

Firms are beginning to use client information to develop a client experience service model, firmwide standards and training. In the end, superior client service can become embedded in the firm culture.

Gill notes that these programs are not only about the client retention and expansion, it’s also about employee retention. Customer experience training can develop professionals and get them excited about being part of the culture.

AAM Webinar to Feature IPA Interview With 2016 Marketer of the Year

Rhonda Maraziti

Rhonda Maraziti

INSIDE Public Accounting and the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) is presenting a free webinar to members from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Eastern, Aug. 16: “Driving New Business: Top Tips from AAM’s 2016 Marketer of the Year.”

Rhonda Maraziti, chief marketing officer for Princeton, N.J.-based WithumSmith+Brown, and her marketing team are credited with growing the firm to become one of the largest in the nation. Ranked No. 28 on the 2015 IPA 100 list, Maraziti’s contribution to the firm’s growth led her to earn AAM’s prestigious 2016 Marketer of the Year award, which is sponsored by IPA.

Her presentation will include a brief overview of her career and a discussion about her marketing and business development efforts at Withum, which now has 14 offices up and down the East Coast, from Boston to Orlando, Fla., new practice areas and an expanded management consulting practice.

Rhonda launched the firm’s niche marketing strategy, heads up growth for 12 industry niches and eight practice lines and has been credited with being “instrumental” in the firm’s 9% growth rate. She will share specifics of particularly successful campaigns, including clips of Withum’s 2012 “Party Rock” flash mob video that’s been viewed more than 70,000 times!

IPA editor Christina Camara will interview Maraziti in this webinar to find out how she:

  • Increased brand awareness of Withum in a crowded marketplace
  • Made thought leaders out of partners who head various practices
  • Strategically marketed niches to generate new business for the firm

Rhonda will answer questions throughout the session so participants can gain a greater understanding of her approach to marketing and business development. This webinar, offered at no cost to AAM members, should benefit both entry-level marketers and experienced professionals alike. Register today.

AAM Announces 2016-2017 Board of Directors

Kristen Lewis

Kristen Lewis

The Association for Accounting Marketing announced its Board of Directors for the term beginning July 1. The association will be led by Kristen Lewis, director of marketing at EisnerAmper LLP, who assumes a one-year term as president.

Joining Lewis on the executive committee are:

  • Laura Snyder, senior manager at Crowe Horwath, president-elect
  • Joe Kovacs, marketing director at Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman, vice-president
  • Caren Rodriguez, director of marketing, DMJ & Co. PLLC, secretary
  • Sara Robertson, director of marketing, GBQ Partners LLC, treasurer
  • Jack Kolmansberger, chief marketing officer, HERBEIN + Co., immediate past president

The AAM Board of Directors guides the association through programs designed to assist accounting marketing and practice growth professionals, including meetings, webinars and other educational events, to generate effective responses to the unique challenges of promoting and selling professional accounting services. The association also assists members by providing networking opportunities, benchmarking research data and delivering career development guidance.

AAM Announces Category Winners of the Marketing Achievement Awards

Twenty-six awards for marketing accomplishment were awarded for accounting marketers recognized for achievement at the Association for Accounting Marketing annual award gala.

Expert category judges, including professionals in marketing, advertising, communications and professional services, reviewed and judged 88 entries. Winning entries were recognized for the accomplishment of a specific goal or objective, executing a project strategically and measurable results.

The categories and winners are as follows:

Advertising

Digital Advertising: GBQ Partners LLC

Print Campaign: Total Spend of $24,999 or Less: The Doty Group PS

Print Campaign: Total Spend Above $25,000: Markowitz Fenelon & Bank LLP

Branding
Integrated Branding Program: Budget Above $100,000: LBMC
Integrated Branding Programs: Budget Below $100,000: Honkamp Krueger & Co. PC
Logo: New or Refreshed: WithumSmith+Brown PC

Business Development
Customized Sales Initiative: Weinstein Spira

Collateral and Content Marketing
Blogs: Skoda Minotti
Brochures: Rea & Associates Inc.
Integrated PR Campaign: EisnerAmper LLP
Non-technical Published and Feature Articles: Richter LLP
Publications and Newsletters: BKD LLP

Events
Events: Budget between $10,000 and $24,999: Hartmann Blackmon & Kilgore PC
Events: Budget less than $9,999: Freed Maxick CPAs PC
Events: Budget Above $25,000: Barnes Dennig

Marketing Campaigns
Client Service/Survey: Brown Smith Wallace
Direct Marketing Campaign: Honkamp Krueger & Co. PC
Integrated Marketing Campaign: HoganTaylor LLP
Recruiting Campaign: Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
Social Media Campaign: WeiserMazars LLP

Video and Multimedia
Program Budget Above $10,000: Rea & Associates Inc.
Program Budget of $9,999 or Less: Berdon LLP

Website
Firms Between $10 and $24.9 Million in revenue: Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough
Firms Above $25 Million in revenue: Schenck SC
Firms Below $9.9 Million in Revenue: Shinn & Co

Members Choice
Video and Multimedia – Program Budget Above $10,000: Rea & Associates, Inc.

Recipients of the AAM-MAAs were announced at the AAM-MAA’s Gala that took place during the Association’s 2016 Summit in New Orleans on May 5th. This year’s summit marks the 27th edition for the organization. The AAM Summit is the largest event hosted by the association. Accounting marketing and business development professionals, as well as partners and firm administrators attend the Summit annually to connect with colleagues and learn new strategies to enhance their firm’s marketing and promotion efforts.

AAM Announces Individual Marketing Achievement Award Recipients

The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), the leading trade association focused exclusively on marketing and business development for the accounting industry, announced the recipients of its individual Marketing Achievement Awards (MAA). Individual awards are presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievements in the accounting marketing profession, as well as contributions to AAM.

Lori Colvin and Katie Tolin Inducted into the AAM Hall of Fame

Katie Tolin

Katie Tolin

Being inducted into the AAM Hall of Fame is the highest honor in the field of accounting marketing. Inductees must have 10 years or more of service and be known for their outstanding accomplishments as a leader of the association.

Katie Tolin, chief growth guide, CPA Growth Guides, a well-known leader in the accounting industry was named as one of this year’s honorees. A seasoned marketer with a history of working for Top 100 firms, today she works as a consultant helping CPA firms grow top-line revenue. She is a sought after speaker presenting to organizations both large and small. Over the years she has won numerous awards that include being recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting in 2014. Tolin has been a member of AAM since 2003.

Lori Colvin

Lori Colvin

 

Lori Colvin, partner and chief marketing officer at San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY14 net revenue of $129.5 million) was also inducted in the Hall of Fame. An AAM member since 2001, she is an experienced marketer promoting the goals of AAM as a speaker or mentor sharing her knowledge skills and expertise. Known for her passion for her work and her belief in her firm, she has effectively guided them to success. She is responsible for their strategic planning, implementation and growth initiatives.

Melissa Brogan Named Volunteer of the Year

Melissa Brogan

Melissa Brogan

The Volunteer of the Year award recognizes dedication to AAM, involvement on committees and/or special projects, as well as their professional accomplishments. Melissa Brogan of Cincinnati-based Barnes Dennig (FY14 net revenue of $15.7 million) has been instrumental the past two years in producing AAM’s annual conference. She is tireless in her efforts to support the organization and brings a fresh perspective to the projects she takes on as evidenced in this year’s theme, “InNEWvation”.

Katie Butler and Ian McManis Honored as Rookie of the Year

A marketer on the rise demonstrating distinction in the field, the Rookie of the Year shows creativity, initiative and ambition with their firm.

Katie Butler of Weinstein Spira focused on creating and fostering a marketing culture and leading a high-profile business development initiative. Due to her successful work, she has contributed to making record-breaking, upward-trending results a reality for her firm.

Ian McManis of Barnes Dennig was honored for making a powerful impact in a short time. Implementing logo and brand standard updates and serving as an integral part of the adoption and integration of his firms marketing automation and CRM systems.

Maraziti Named AAM’s 2016 Marketer of the Year

Rhonda Maraziti

Rhonda Maraziti

Rhonda Maraziti, chief marketing officer at Princeton, N.J.-based Withum, has received the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) 2016 Marketer of the Year award, sponsored by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA).

The winner was announced by IPA May 5 at AAM’s 2016 InNEWvation Summit in New Orleans. The Marketer of the Year presentation was the highlight of the 22nd annual gala, which also honors winners of dozens of marketing achievement awards.

Maraziti leads Withum’s efforts to communicate its unique culture and the expertise of its professionals. Her leadership has contributed to the firm’s steady expansion, with offices up and down the East Coast, new niches and an expanded management consulting practice.

“Sponsoring the top award in the profession complements our two decades of work naming the nation’s ‘Best of the Best’ firms, an honor Withum has earned over the past years,” says IPA Publisher Kelly Platt. “Withum has been a leader in using video as part of their marketing mix, and Rhonda is well deserving of this prestigious award.”

Leading the niche development process at Withum, Maraziti works with firm leaders to communicate their knowledge through articles and presentations while targeting specific audiences, conducting market research, encouraging involvement in trade associations and increasing the firm’s ‘win’ rate to 72% – up from 45% in 2010.

“Rhonda cultivates a strong growth culture at Withum,” says CEO and MP Bill Hagaman, who nominated Maraziti for the award. “In her 10 years at the firm, Rhonda has developed a deep understanding of the profession and she has great long-term vision, but she also knows how to lead and execute complicated marketing strategies that drive new business to the firm,” he says.

Partner Andy Vitale calls Maraziti, “probably the most talented professional I have ever encountered in my 35 years in the business.” He adds, “She is in charge of our 12 industry niches and eight services lines. She has made thought leaders out of many of our practice leaders and her niche market approach has been instrumental in our 9% growth rate.”

Maraziti also led a firm rebrand, which was launched in January with a video and new logo.

This is the third year that IPA has sponsored the Marketer of the Year award. A panel of independent judges, who are themselves leaders in the profession, were selected by IPA to review and score each of the nominees.

IPA Publisher Offers Insights Into Culture at ‘Best of the Best’ Firms

Mike Platt

Mike Platt

A strong workplace culture is the foundation for accounting firms’ success, and marketers can play a huge role in influencing and promoting culture at their own firms.

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) has been naming the ‘Best of the Best’ accounting firms in the country for two decades, and IPA Publisher Mike Platt will share his research on the philosophical approaches and cultural components of these successful firms at the next Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) webinar, “The Five Cultural Building Blocks of the Best of the Best,” set for 1 to 2:15 p.m. (Eastern) Jan. 12.

This AAM High webinar is free for AAM members. Register today.

The IPA Best of the Best firms demonstrate consistently exceptional performance, regardless of outside factors. These well-managed firms come in all sizes and are geographically dispersed across the U.S., and are selected based on responses from more than 500 accounting firms on over 70 metrics.

Platt, a frequent speaker at partner retreats and conferences, will offer marketers steps they can take to positively impact the cultural building blocks. Invite your managing partner and HR director to this session!

In this webinar you will:

•  Learn the key cultural components that many ‘Best of the Best’ firms have in common.
•   See examples of how marketers have promoted the cultural benefits at their firms.
•   Hear what MPs have said about how they’ve changed the culture at their firms.

Every firm wants to uncover the “secret ingredients” that makes successful firms stand out from the crowd. Arm yourself with information on the most profitable and well-managed firms in the country.

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IPA Seeks Nominations for 2016 Marketer of the Year

For the third year, INSIDE Public Accounting is sponsoring the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) most prestigious award. “We are thrilled to once again sponsor the Marketer of the Year award, which recognizes the hard work, creativity and results produced by an exemplary marketer or business developer,” says publisher Kelly Platt. “Accounting firm marketers play a major role in the success of their firms. IPA’s involvement in this award complements our commitment to recognizing the ‘Best of the Best’ firms in the country for nearly 20 years.”

MOY-2016_Image-FINALNomination Information: To nominate an exemplary marketer, please complete the online nomination form.

NOTE: If you would like to nominate yourself, follow the same procedure.

All nominees must have held a senior-level marketing position in public accounting for the past three years. Strong candidates are those who have made a major contribution to their firms by strengthening an existing marketing program, creating/introducing a new marketing or business development program or making their firm more marketing-oriented.

The deadline for nominations for the Marketer of the Year award is Jan. 25, 2016

Please contact MOY@plattgroupllc.com for additional information.

Next Steps: Once all nominations have been collected, IPA will direct all nominees to fill out an online nominee form, with a deadline of Feb. 15.

The deadline for submission of all completed packages is Feb. 15, 2016.

Marketer of the Year Announcement: The 2016 Marketer of the Year Award will be presented by INSIDE Public Accounting May 3-6 at AAM’s  “InNEWvation” Summit at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Registration is open.

Please contact Christina Camara at MOY@plattgroupllc.com with questions about the MOY award. For information about the 2016 Summit, please contact AAM at (443) 640-1061 or info@accountingmarketing.org.

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