It is readily apparent after perusing the results of the 2004 Accounting Marketing/Sales Responsibility and Compensation Survey that accounting firms' use of marketers has really taken hold with marketing becoming an integrated part of their operations.

The survey conducted by the Association for Accounting Marketing (www.accountingmarketing.org) had 220 respondents--marketers in local, regional, and national firms.

Here are some results of the survey that show how deep marketing is permeating within firms:

  • Twenty-seven percent of the firms have had a marketing/business development position in place for 10 or more years.
  • Sixty-six percent of the firms have written job description for the marketing position.
  • Thirty-two percent indicate that marketing is part of their firm's culture.
  • Fifty- seven percent of the firms have a formal, written marketing/sales plan.

And what are these firms paying these marketers? To give you an idea what most of them make, twenty-two percent are earning  $30,000 to $44,999, thirty-one percent earn $45,000 to $59,999, and twenty-one percent get $75,000 to $90,000.The survey confirms what I know about marketing at accounting firms. There are three basic stages to firms that have a marketing position. Either the firm has just created a formal marketing operation within the firm, or the firm has had one for a number of years and is well developed and finally where marketing has permeated throughout the entire firm.
What is so interesting is that it is a natural progression because as firms adopt a more formal and structured approach to marketing, they see the benefits and the payoff, and therefore, go further down the marketing road. What is equally fascinating is how accountants are really comfortable working with marketers and that is translated by the interaction between the two and the salaries and bonuses that are being paid to the marketers.

Marketing has become an integral part of the accounting profession in no small part because of the respect that has developed over the years among the professionals involved.

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