I have been on a marketing tear for the last two years at Practical Accountant. There have been a number of cover stories and features on marketing in general, and on topics such as client testimonials, mission statements, branding, proposals, networking, and client newsletters. I have also showcased a number of accounting marketers--many members of the Association of Accounting Marketing--who do a remarkable job in promoting their own firms and sharing their expertise with others in the accounting profession.

Why do I think marketing is so important? There are a number of reasons including the fact that traditional services are being more and more treated as a commodity. Also marketing allows what is unique about a firm to be showcased. If firm members can't describe what is special about their firm in two or three sentences, what can they expect potential referral sources to say about them?

A firm-wide marketing effort also increases the chance that all the firms members will have the same shared vision and will be looking to take advantage of revenue opportunities. This can really pay off especially with regard to any efforts in selling additional services to current clients who are already satisfied with the services that they are receiving from the firm.

I can imagine there are a number of you out there saying, "Enough already about marketing! Give me an article instead on like-kind exchanges." I will if you can explain the following results of a recent survey asking about satisfaction with marketing efforts.

● Happy With--19 percent

● Unhappy With--34 percent

● Nonexistent--47 percent

Are those firms too busy for marketing? Don't think it is very important? Do they already have a slew of new clients beating down their doors? Is it shortsightedness? Or maybe, it might be that the leadership of the firm has simply not got it yet. What do you think?

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