On Monday Eric Majchrzak, Director of Marketing at accounting firm Freed Maxick, paid a visit to a Niagara University class, discussing the many challenges and benefits that surround his job.
Majchrzak started by giving students an overview of what he does for a living. His primary job in the marketing department, he says, is creating an image of a reliable and trustworthy company that people can trust.
“When people chose an accounting firm, they have to really trust the firm because they are putting their lives in the firm’s hands,” said Majchrzak.
Other than creating a trustful company, Majchrzak says that there is much more to successful marketing in professional services. These services provide people with consultants who do work for a customer like accountants, public relations practitioners, and lawyers. There are also many challenges that come along with the territory of professional services.
“Marketing for such services often involves being strategic,” said Majchrzak. “It is difficult because it isn’t like marketing for a specific tangible product. Professional services are complex and very hard to communicate to customers.”
In the discussion, Majchrzak talked about the new age of technology and how it has made for marketing as a whole to completely change the way things are done. Rather than marketing being a one-way dialogue, it has turned into a back and fourth dialogue. Majchrzak used the term “pull” and “push” marketing to describe this difference.
As a marketing coordinator for an accounting firm, Majchrzak stressed the importance having a background in the category of marketing one is involved in. Majchrzak says that he uses basic accounting skills on a day-to-day basis. By monitoring conversations online, Majchrzak is able to intersperse information into these online conversations, which creates potential clients for his company.
Online forums and social media sites such as LinkedIn also help connect the client to the accountant.
“The Web bridges the gap between the two parties,” said Majchrzak. “A majority of clients fire their accountant not because they do anything wrong, but because they don’t hear from their accountants. By using social media, we can stop that problem.”
LinkedIn can also create an important link from accountants to the media, according to Majchrzak. When reporters ask questions online, marketing coordinators like Majchrzak can answer these questions, which in tern, gets the firm publicity.
Majchrzak ended his discussion by talking about his firms rebranding strategy. Through the use of social media websites and other offline mediums, Majchrzak and his partners are trying to put a face on their accountants.
“By showing our accounts are people with other hobbies and interests like their clients, our company becomes more than the average, dry accounting firm.”