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Artificial Intelligence

How Accounting Firms Can Personalize Their Marketing Using Artificial Intelligence

At the AAM Emerge Conference, Becca McGovern of Johnson Lambert offered five AI tips and tricks for more efficient marketing.

The modern-day marketing professional has an extensive rotation of roles to fill—and only so many hours during the workday to do so. But with the help of artificial intelligence, marketers have access to tools that allow them to work more effectively and efficiently.

Becca McGovern

During the 2023 Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) Emerge Virtual Conference on Oct. 4, Becca McGovern, marketing manager at top 200 firm Johnson Lambert, provided five ways AI can help accounting firms personalize their marketing efforts.

1. Develop or refine your buyer personas

Whenever your firm is putting any type of marketing into the ethos, you need to have an end user in mind, McGovern said. If you’re starting from ground zero for your buyer personas, ChatGPT is a great resource to actually develop these, she added.

What is a buyer persona? According to AAM, a buyer persona is defined as “a detailed, hypothetical profile that includes specific characteristics of someone who belongs to your target market group.” The goal of a buyer persona is for the user to be able to imagine that they truly know this buyer.

“Let’s say your firm works with nonprofits. So you can ask ChatGPT, ‘Who are the buyers at a nonprofit?’ You can start literally at square one. And then you can delve as deep into it as you want to,” McGovern said. “Maybe part of that is the audit committee. What are an audit committee’s biggest concerns when it comes to looking for a new engagement, or what outside of the audit would your firm be able to address that would resonate with them?”

If you want to bring it up a level, you can go on LinkedIn and export profiles of people who are in a particular realm, upload the profiles to the AI chatbot Claude, and have it further refine those buyer personas, she said.

“What do they care about? How do they engage on LinkedIn? Look at the trends that you can pull from that,” McGovern added.

2. Use your buyer persona to compose personalized content pitches

After you have refined the marketing copy your team is producing based on what the needs and concerns of these buyers are, you can use AI to help personalize content pitches to convert clients and sell your products or services.

“For example, your firm has a blog. The way you market it to a CFO versus a CIO might be different because they have different roles and things they prioritize,” McGovern said. “You could give the content of the blog to ChatGPT and the buyer persona, ‘How should I market this to a CFO? What would be a catchy subject line for an email?’”

3. Simulate a focus group for feedback from your “target audience”

While having someone in person to converse with is ideal, that often doesn’t happen, given everyone’s busy calendars. So, there are different role-playing AI tools you can use, like Claude, that can provide feedback on your marketing materials for your target audience similar to the feedback you’d receive from a focus group, she said.

“Say you have two different advertisements, and you want to get opinions on which one would resonate better with the audit committee of a midsized insurance organization. You can upload both of those into Claude, for example, and ask it for feedback from the perspective of this particular person—which ad would resonate better or what they would want to change,” McGovern said.

4. Craft market communications in your buyer’s own voice

Does your firm have positive online reviews or testimonials from a client survey? You can take those and put them into ChatGPT, have it pull language from that positive feedback, and drop a post on Instagram using words or phrases from those five-star reviews, McGovern said.

“You can use positive client testimonials to say, ‘Create an advertisement for this cybersecurity assessment service we offer based on the compliments we’ve gotten from these clients.’ So, you can use their own voices to market your products and services,” she said.

5. Create an AI prompt library for an efficient and personalized output process

“You’ve put all of this work into using AI, but we don’t want to start at square one every time. So, instead of just doing one prompt and then moving on to the next thing, state those—whether it’s in a Google Sheet, Excel, or whatever you use for tracking,” McGovern said. “Keep each of those prompts and categorize them—maybe one is for HR, one is for sales/marketing, maybe one is for social media/blog content—and share them with your team so they know what works best. You can state what AI tool you used and how the output was, but that way your team doesn’t start from zero every single time.”