All too often, marketing budgets become a battleground for the various perspectives and emotions of an organization’s decision-makers. The result? Chaotic budgets based on a patchwork of beliefs rather than the goals and needs of the business. Fortunately, there’s a better way: basing the budget on research. Now there’s an opportunity for firms to do just that: participate in this year’s Marketing Benchmark Study and you’ll receive a copy of the full report.

Our past studies have found that firms that conduct research grow more quickly. 


When it comes to putting together a research-driven budget, one of the most revealing methods is to use detailed marketing benchmarks, allowing you to understand not just what other firms are doing, but how the most effective firms allocate their budgets.

Insight for better budgets

Last year, the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and the Hinge Research Institute partnered to create a first-of-its-kind benchmarking report, helping accounting firms assemble more informed budgets.

The report details expenditures according to characteristics like firm size, organic growth rate, and geographic market. It provides an item-by-item breakdown of spending, and covers topics like the percentage of marketing budgets spent on employee compensation. “The Hinge study provided the information I needed to formulate a better marketing budget,” said Crystal Mapp, Marketing Director at KPM CPAs and Advisors.

How high-growth firms market

The report also breaks down budget items that high-growth firms spend more on – as well as the expenditures they emphasize less than others. For example, high-growth firms tend to spend more on content creation and website expenses, while spending less on sponsorships and individual business development funds for partners.

“It was invaluable for me to have the data to back up my spending requests,” said Crystal Mapp. “Facts and figures have proved more persuasive than purchasing on a whim.”

At KPM CPAs and Advisors, Managing Shareholders like Jim Lewis agreed. “It was interesting to see how our firm stacked up to peer firms concerning marketing spending. To see the actual data in print really helps you understand where your firm stands,” said Lewis. “After our marketing director presented the budget data, we were much more comfortable approving marketing expenses. It really provided a roadmap of where we needed to go.”

How your firm can take part

This year, Hinge and AAM are partnering once again to develop a 2015 study of accounting marketing budgets. The study is currently open to participation by accounting firms. For taking part, firms will receive a free copy of the final report.

The study is a powerful opportunity for firms to learn more details that can impact their budgeting plans in the future – and get a leg up on improving efficiencies and planning for next year. Here’s everything you need to know to participate:

  • The study is completely confidential. All results are analyzed and presented anonymously.
  • There is no cost to take part in the study. All accounting firms are welcome to participate.
  • The questionnaire is easy to complete at your convenience. Download it and fill it out as you are able.
  • All participants who complete the survey will receive the full research report at no cost.

The survey questionnaire is available for download here. Please return the completed questionnaire to by Tuesday, March 31, 2015.