Just recently, I was reading an online article in the East Bay Business Times, a California business-to-business newspaper, and I noticed a very effective ad for the San Ramon Valley Conference Center. It linked me to www.sanramonvalleyconferencecenter.com, the Web site for the conference site, where I was able to take a virtual tour of the facilities.

What I liked about the ad, which I find lacking in many other online ads, is the fact that it reached, to a great part, its targeted audience: local businesses and businesses that had an interest in that particular region in California. The ad was for something those readers would likely utilize. In addition, the ad really encouraged a click-through and when you go to the site, it was likely you would spend some time at the site seeing what the conference center offers.

Interestingly, the online article that generated my perusal of the conference center ad, was about the fact that Armanino McKenna LLP, headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., has joined forces with publishing veteran Vintage Foster to form Armanino McKenna Foster, a media consulting firm that will provide strategic communications and media services to businesses in California and nationally.

That development was the subject of yesterday’s WebCPA column by Bill Carlino, editor-in-chief, Accounting Today. In his column, Bill pointed out how far accounting firms have progressed with regard to marketing, both for their firms and now as revenue-generating engagements. In a way, that conference center ad in an online business newspaper is indicative of that same trend. Many accounting firms already are advertising in print and online versions of local business-to-business newspapers. As they see success, these and other firms will be placing more ads and will be advising clients on creating and placing ads for their businesses in a similar manner.

Accounting firms, because for the most part they have developed their marketing expertise during the Internet age, are particularly well positioned to offer advice on modern marketing and media services.  Besides, now possessing the requisite expertise, there is a comfort zone in utilizing the latest technologies, and equally important, a very deep understanding that the more targeted the marketing, the better the results.

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