Accountants and Marketeers Working Together?

Can these professions actually work together pro-actively and deliver excellent results for a client or for a business?

Tug Of War

Accountants and Marketeers pulling together?

At the beginning of 2009 when fear had totally gripped the whole business community I was staggered by the amount of clients ringing to cancel their Marketing activities – Advertising, PR and even some suggestions to get rid of their websites!

As someone who is a reformed accountant it made me cast my mind back to those days in practice and I had to question myself – when I was wearing those shoes is that the advice that I would have been giving my clients?

The logic is simple – Remove “unnecessary” expense to protect the bottom line.

With my marketing hat on I always question where current and future sales come from and I ask why did the business conduct these activities in the past?

Is attracting customers less or more important in a downturn?

Ok, we have to extract the best value for money, be extremely careful as to where every single euro is being spent and make sure that every euro must work hard in delivering value. However we just can’t cut out the activity totally.

Is this how accountants generally view Marketing?  Many of them don’t but I wonder do many think this way?

How about a scenario whereby the Accountant and the Marketeer work together for clients in devising proactive but yet prudent solutions that protect the business in the short term and the long term?

We have only ever once met a client with their accountant – Should this be the case?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

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6 Responses to “Accountants and Marketeers Working Together?”

  1. Liam O'Doherty Says:

    Hi Greg,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Having a bit of experience in this field I have begun to see more and more accountants becoming business advisers not only in name but in actions. They take time to know your business and tell you where you should be, but not necessarily how you should get there. Some accountants have seen this opportunity and have been making strategic alliances with Business Coach’s, Marketeers etc., and i think it is a growing trend but it can be a fad and the quality of the participants is crucial.

    Clients are challenging Accountants more than ever to be an adviser and not a compliance officer. I for one think that those who grasp this difference will be the practices that can develop their client base and revenues over the coming years.

    Great blog Greg as usual !!!

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Liam,

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and comment.

      I find that when you know the financial picture and challenges you can write better Marketing & PR plans – when the financial side of the house are aligned with your objectives then a real practical synergy of professional services is possible – better all round for the client in my book.

      However both the professionals must be open minded and progressive as well as being practical for it to work.



  2. Donal Cahalane Says:

    Couldn’t agree more Greg. When you look at it big picture, I guess it says a lot about the average businesses perception of marketing expenditure, as if it was an inevitable cost with no measurable return! Under that scenario it’s easy to see why it doesn’t stand up well to the accountants axe!

    My two cents – Businesses in the marketing profession must take it upon themselves to focus more on return on investment. The casualness of some marketing businesses towards ensuring that the money paid to them provides a “payback” for the customers business was a big issue of the past and its legacy still haunts. Agencies must work with the clients to develop targets and goals for campaigns (realistic ones of course) and then strive to meet those goals. Only then can clients slowly come to see marketing as a worthwhile investment, worth preserving in these tough times.

    Quick question – “reformed” accountant? How does that work? Do you have to go cold turkey or something? Stay away from calculators? Do you occasionally feel the urge for a good balance sheet? One day at a time? 🙂

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Donal,

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and to comment.

      You have raised a good point (maybe a topic for another blog!) – does Marketing & PR as a profession have a really poor reputation.

      As an “accountant” that training never leaves me and as much as possible we always keep our plans as practical and as objective based as possible. Not everything is measurable but we do things like value the press coverage and will always test the performance against the objectives that are set.

      People are looking for value and return on investment more than ever, which isn’t a bad thing at all – we are in the business of “positive activity”, which is always designed to make something happen, increase awareness, bring new business, build a profile, win a tender or new business etc. A vital side effect of our work is that when a business takes on a positive activity and includes the team in this it is really important and healthy for the business. In these times it is easy to fall into a negative box – at least with some positive activity it can shape or point everyone’s thinking in a particular direction.

      As for “reformed” – the day I was asked to become the General Manager of Deasy’s a long time ago and give up the Financial Controller role you end up wearing a different hat – with me I could never go back. I will always credit my accounting experience as the best business degree anyone could ever wish for as well as practical experience of course!



  3. aileen hannan Says:

    Greg, I know for a fact that’s the kind of service clients would love to get from their accountants. I have hundreds emails with the biggest complaint being lack of pro-activity from their accountants. There’s an opportunity there for a new breed of accountants.

    I wrote about it here:

    • Greg Canty Says:

      Hi Aileen,

      We all have to be “more than” in whatever we do – as an accountant I can see both sides. Well done if that’s something you are offering your clients. I will have a peep at your blog – thanks for posting.



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