Do Accounting Firms Really Want an 'Image'?

It’s a hollow view.

by Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

Some years ago, in a remarkably successful marketing move, a graphic designer specializing in logos, letterheads and the like came up with the concept of the corporate image. A brilliant concept, but more mirage than image.

Now one of the most successful operations in the marketing business, this company has managed to persuade its clients that corporate image is the key to corporate success. Image, it seems, is the magic elixir. At many thousands of dollars a dose.

Bruce W. Marcus
Bruce W. Marcus

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In fact, the word “image” itself has taken on a life of its own — a tribute to the triumph of virtual reality. But maybe it’s time, now, to lose the word. The image of image is long since tarnished, and well beyond burnishing.

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Bruce W. Marcus



About the Author

Bruce W. Marcus remains a pioneer in the modern practices of professional services marketing even after his death in 2014 at age 89. He is the author of the seminal work, Professional Services Marketing 3.0, published by CPA Trendlines. he Association for Accounting Marketing named a lifetime achievement award in his honor.

In 1951 (with a degree in Economics and Philosophy), he joined the then-Big Eight accounting firm, Peat Marwick Mitchell to establish the firm’s library, where he developed an article writing and seminar program that successfully promoted the firm’s reputation.

He has served as a public relations and marketing executive or consultant to most of the international accounting firms, and many large and small law firms.

His book, Competing For Clients (1986) was one of the first to delineate the new practices of professional services marketing, followed by more than a dozen books on professional services marketing, real estate marketing, investor relations, and international accounting standards.

His first newsletter, The Marcus Report (1986), was followed by the award-winning www.marcusletter.com in 1995 — one of the longest running letters on marketing for lawyers and accountants.

He served on the editorial boards of several leading professional services publications, a contributor to many publications, and has been a keynote speaker at major conferences.

He taught one of the first courses in professional services marketing at the Fordham University Graduate School of Business, and lectures frequently at the Fordham University Law School.

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