The New York metropolitan area is a particularly aggressive environment for consolidation and disruption within the accounting profession, so the New York-based IPA 100 Grassi (net revenue of $99.6 million in FY21) took an appropriately Big Apple-style approach to its new advertising campaign.
With research showing a “market hole” in and around New York, the ads are targeting clients of CPA firms that have been absorbed into a larger company through an acquisition. “Has your accounting firm lost track of a merger? the ads ask, touting Grassi’s industry expertise, independent advice and certainty.
Sarah CirelliGrassi’s chief marketing officer, initially felt a bit uncomfortable with the ads, but said: “The message around this campaign is not about being a bully – it’s not McDonalds. against Burger King – we have a huge amount of respect for our competition. That’s strategic marketing.”
Certainty is what corporate clients are looking for and some do not get it as a result of a merger. Almost daily, Grassi team members hear complaints from referral sources and prospects — especially in the construction industry — about service changes and inconsistent quality of work, Cirelli says. Some are frustrated signing up with a counselor only to be assigned to someone else. “Now is not the time to be cute, now is not the time to be smart. This is a very serious problem, and if we can solve it clearly and simply without hurting anyone’s feelings, it is the goal.
The campaign takes place primarily online in trade publications such as Crain’s, NJBIZ, Long Island Business News and ROI-NJ.com, and accounts for approximately half of the company’s general messaging ads outside of niche-specific efforts . Ads are gaining momentum and Grassi plans to expand into new channels over the coming months.
“We’re noticing that there aren’t a lot of other companies that are overtly and overtly marketing this, and that’s definitely an opportunity for us,” Cirelli says. The ads support a recurring theme revealed in the company’s latest customer satisfaction survey – appreciation for Grassi’s consistency, personalized service and individual attention. The campaign aims to speak directly to businesses that deserve great service from a company that is committed to remaining independent. “We’re not going anywhere,” Cirelli said. “We are maintaining this course.”