Since entering the accounting marketing profession, I’ve had my fair share of great moments. But some of my favorites have been simply sitting down and having conversations with our accountants. As someone with what I can only describe as a mental aversion to numbers, I am truly fascinated by their tax code knowledge, regulatory prowess and mad Excel skills. (Seriously, my brain just doesn’t work like that. I need a calculator to remember how old I am half the time!) But while I’m over here going goo-goo over our accountants for their magical abilities, it’s pretty cool to know that many of our number-crunching colleges regard us as wizards and superheroes as well.
Seriously. They’ve told me so on many occasions!
The statistically-savvy professionals with whom we work tend to look at our ability to write killer copy, design eye-catching advertisements, embrace technology and develop marketing plans designed to bring about regional, national and world domination as nothing short than witchcraft. So, go ahead and brush your shoulders off. Accounting marketers are, indeed, pretty amazing! But, if I’m honest, while we may be talented have some pretty awesome skills in our back pockets, the most important and valuable asset we have is our ability to learn and harness technological advancements to help drive firm growth.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Becky Livingston, owner of Penheel Marketing and a long-time AAM member, to discuss the role AI and Machine Learning has had (and will have) on our profession for a recent AAMplify! podcast. In addition to more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Becky regularly taps into her computer programming and web development background to drive meaningful results for her clients while helping advance the accounting marketing profession as a whole.
AI is the over-arching method of using computer programming to capture data. Machine learning, on the other hand, is a subset of AI in that it allows systems to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed to do so. However, we generally use the term “AI” as an overarching term.
“A marketer is as effective as the quality and quantity of the data he or she has access to,” said Becky. “So, if keeping up with the industry depends on the ability to transform stored data into actionable intelligence, then AI is going to be a necessity.”
Think about it, if our non-marketing colleague thought we were magicians before, how do you think they will react when they see what we can do when we sprinkle a little AI into the mix? According to Becky, some of the use cases that are already being identified for AI in marketing include:
- Analyzing existing online content for gaps and opportunities.
- Adapting audience targeting based on behavior and lookalike audiences.
- Optimizing and automating the process of buying and selling digital ads thus making ad buys more efficient.
- Defining topics and titles for content marketing.
- Construction buyer personas based on needs, goals, intent and behavior.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Listen to this episode of AAMplify! on iTunes or Stitcher, or watch the episode on YouTube, to hear our entire conversation. And, while you’re listening, give the episode a “like” or a “thumbs up” or share it on your personal or professional networks. And, of course, don’t forget to subscribe!
Also, if you are going to AICPA Engage 2019 for the AAM Summit this year, make plans to sit in on Becky’s session AAM1911. Rise of the AI Marketing Machine – Driving Growth In Accounting Firms 3:40-4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, to learn what you can do to prepare for AI in your firm, what tools are available now to help you become more efficient and effective, what questions you should ask MarTech vendors, and more.
See you there!
By: Abbey Kanellakis
About Abbey Kanellakis
Abbey Kanellakis is a content development specialist at Rea & Associates, a regional CPA and business consulting firm headquartered in New Philadelphia, Ohio. With more than a decade of content development, marketing and public relations experience, she is responsible for supporting the firm’s content initiatives across a variety of mediums. In 2016, Rea’s podcast, Unsuitable on Rea Radio, earned Marketing Achievement Awards from AAM for Video and Multimedia (Program Budget Above $10,000) and Member’s Choice. It was also a finalist for the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Content Marketing Award for Best Podcast/Audio Series. She can be reached at [email protected]