Hinge Research Institute and AAM Announce 2015 Marketing Budget Benchmark Study

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Collaborative new research will examine marketing spending for accounting firms.

Having a true apples-to-apples comparison of marketing budgets allows firms to benchmark their marketing spending against the industry.

The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and Hinge Research Institute, a division of Hinge, have joined efforts for a research study analyzing marketing spending for accounting firms.

“Drawing on the success of 2014’s inaugural study, we have once again partnered with Hinge to take a deeper look at the marketing decisions being made in the accounting industry,” said AAM President Kerry Sullivan-Lechner. “Last year’s research produced some striking results. We gained important insight on the often unconventional marketing spending habits of CPA firms.”

The study will parse firms’ marketing budgets across a variety of criteria, accounting for differences in geographic market, firm size, and growth rate. This important method will let readers make item-by-item budget comparisons with their own firms, Hinge researchers said. Other key areas studied will be the budgeting process and size of marketing staff.

"This item-by-item comparison does not exist elsewhere in our industry. Having a true apples-to-apples comparison of marketing budgets allows firms to benchmark their marketing spending against the industry in terms of what they are spending money on and how much they are spending,” said Sullivan-Lechner. “Many of our members have put the 2014 findings to work at their own firms to better align 2015 spending with tactics that produce greater results.”

Industry consultant and AAM member Gale Crosley of Crosley + Company believes the 2014 study captured the “lightning-speed changes” being seen in accounting marketing.

“The last survey results revealed important movements in our industry. Most importantly, it showed that high-growth firms are using non-traditional avenues to create distinction in a cluttered field. This research is exactly the leverage you need to convince an old-school partner to cut out those dated and marginal activities that aren’t contributing to growth,” Crosley continued.

Hinge Research Institute is currently welcoming participants from CPA firms of any size and scope. All participants will receive a free copy of the final report. Those interested may go to http://www.hingemarketing.com/aamc or contact research(at)hingemarketing(dot)com to receive the three-part electronic survey. Participation is confidential and all responses will be presented anonymously in the final research, said Hinge.

“We’ve heard tremendous feedback from some of our clients who participated in last year’s study,” said Lee Frederiksen, Research Director and Managing Partner at Hinge. “In a competitive industry, they’re using this research to make smarter, more confident decisions about where their marketing budget is going. They tell us it’s helped them understand how their peers operate, navigate internal challenges, and diffuse some of the risk that comes with the budgeting process. We encourage everyone in the industry to consider being a part of this important work.”    

The final report will be released in June 2015. Those who don’t participate can purchase the full report from AAM at a member rate of $300 and a non-member rate of $600. Findings from the survey will be presented by Dr. Frederiksen in June at the AICPA Practitioner-Tech conference in coordination with AAM and the Association for Accounting Administration.


The Hinge Research Institute, a division of Hinge, dedicated to monitoring, analyzing and reporting on high-growth professional services firms and their clients. The Hinge Research Institute publishes revealing and informative studies on high-growth firms and the people that do business with them. Hinge's full library of research reports, books and other publications is available at http://www.hingemarketing.com/library

The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) is formed specifically to enhance the accounting marketing and practice growth profession through education, networking and thought leadership. Founded in 1989, the association has more than 750 members, comprised of marketing professionals, business developers, CPAs, consultants, service providers, educators and students. AAM strives to help its members become more effective and valued practitioners and executive leaders. To learn more about AAM, please call 443-640-1061 or visit http://www.accountingmarketing.org.

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Stacy Picking
Hinge Marketing
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