Karin DeMarco is the associate publisher of magazines and newsletters for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a professional association with more than 360,000 members. BtoB recently spoke with DeMarco about best practices for marketing to accountants.
BtoB: What should marketers keep in mind when targeting this audience?
DeMarco: No. 1 would be to integrate your marketing efforts. Get in front of your audience in every way you can—print advertising, digital advertising, sponsoring webinars, delivering webinars and attending conferences—because they're out there looking for information in all different ways. Also, CPAs want to be educated. A blatant sell turns them off. You want to make sure your message to them is very clear, very concise—that it presents a solution in an intelligent way. That's really important, to present them with solutions that help them with their business. They're very much wired for information.
BtoB: What do you say to marketers that are tempted to stop advertising because of the challenging economic conditions?
DeMarco: I'll relate this to what we see sometimes during tax season. We have advertisers that do an annual campaign and, if they take a break at all, they tend to do it during tax season. The notion out there is that CPAs are too busy during tax season to read magazines and newsletters. But that's so not true. Tax season is a time when CPAs are in front of their clients, able to make recommendations and influence purchasing decisions to improve how their clients operate their businesses. It's also the time when they're most aware of details of their own business. They're evaluating what's working, what's not working, what to change and what to buy in order to grow and improve their own business. It's an ideal time for marketers to have their messages in front of CPAs. So it's the same idea. Don't take a year off because, with the economy as it is, people aren't really spending as much. But when they're ready to spend, you want them to know who you are. —M.E.M.