Accounting Marketing Spending and ROI

2015 has been a year of changes, development, and marketing evolutions, and accounting was 1 industry in which this was very apparent. A recent study, called the Marketing Budget Benchmark, was performed by the Hinge Research Institute and the Association for Accounting Marketing. They found an increase in accounting marketing spending this year, reaching nearly 4% of accounting firms’ revenue. A driving factor in this increase was the adoption of many types of technology with the potential to increase ROI and customer satisfaction. Additionally, employee costs factor into this increase. Let’s take a look at these changes and what accounting firms can learn from them.


Spending on Accounting Marketing Rises

First, let’s look at what happened in 2015 to cause an increase in marketing spending. One huge change was Google’s algorithm update, which called for all websites to be mobile responsive. As accounting firms scrambled to meet the mobile-friendly requirements, spending on websites jumped from 2.9% in 2014 to 7.6% in 2015. Accounting firms are also said to have been taking advantage of online tools which can improve productivity and provide insights. While expensive, firms are able to calculate their ROI and make more informed decisions about where to invest. Of these technologies are customer relationship management (CRM) and document management software (DMS) services.


A Look into Accounting Marketers

How much of that 4.7% increase is being allocated to marketing employees? The study says that just over 1/4 is spent on salaries and compensation. Further, out of nearly 70 firms of various sizes, there is an average of one full-time marketing employee for every 54 employees. That ratio increases significantly at high-growth firms where there is an average of one marketer for every 34 employees. No surprise there, as high growth firms are more focused on marketing and have more people in place to execute their strategy.

Interestingly, a recently released survey discovered that marketing professionals aren’t satisfied. For example, only 30% of accounting marketing professionals agree that they are fairly paid compared to peers at other firms. On the opposite side, 65% of those surveyed reported that they had high levels of pride in a firm’s success based on their marketing initiatives.

As you can see, there is a range of opinions in accounting marketing currently. Some have said that this role in business development is new to firms, and they are testing and retesting the waters to see what works for them. Regardless, accounting marketing has grown by an incredible amount in the past few years, with the effectiveness of the marketing varying by firm and dependent on how willing a firm is to accept new opportunities and ideas.


What’s Working?

Findings have revealed that high-growth firms are focusing more strongly on website expenses, new technology, and online content to grow their business. On the other hand, firms that are lower in growth are spending more on older tactics, like group memberships and advertisements. However, more firms are now analyzing their spending, observing their competition, and reallocating marketing dollars where the returns are coming. Those who don’t will unfortunately be left in the dust.


How DMS Can Help

DMS services are among the technologies which are being rapidly adopted by companies across many industries. As consumers move online, marketing, communications, and management also migrate online. Customers expect firms to be technologically up-to-date and to offer high levels of security, fast results, streamlined communications, and accurate information. When a DMS system is in place, your accounting firm can meet these expectations. DMS allows large and small firms to store files  electronically where they are easily accessible, they are secure, and they can be shared and tracked in real time.


eFileCabinet Solutions

eFileCabinet offers solutions to document management needs with many features that can improve efficiency. The data storage built into our program stores electronic files easily and safely—you’ll never run out of space for all your documents.

Because we know that improving technology helps your firm run more efficiently and maintain a competitive edge, we have created a mobile application to allow you to easily access files straight from a tablet or phone. If you’re traveling, you can pull up last month’s sales or access details of your employee’s contract, and SecureDrawer allows you to share documents securely with clients and coworkers with just a few clicks of a mouse through our encrypted portal.

Accounting firms are under pressure to increase their ROI and meet and exceed customer’s expectations in order to stay competitive in the industry. Luckily, with technology such as eFileCabinet’s DMS, CRM, and other tools, firms can keep their customers happy and increase efficiency.