Daring to be different

By Ian Lavis on behalf of Praxity Global Alliance

Read time | 5 minutes

By Ian Lavis on behalf of Praxity Global Alliance

Read time | 5 minutes

Award-winning Praxity participant firms are demonstrating the power of marketing to drive change.

It’s not easy to stand out in a crowded marketplace, let alone achieve positive change, but four Praxity participant firms have been recognised for doing just that.

Mazars USA, BKD, Plante Moran and DHG won a clutch of national awards for outstanding marketing campaigns at the 2019 Marketing Achievement Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The annual awards, organised by the American Association for Marketing (AAM), recognise marketing excellence in anything from branding to philanthropy.

Praxity participant firms won awards for:


Community Service Commitment

BKD CPAs & Advisors

Integrated Branding

Mazars USA

Digital Advertising Campaign

Mazars USA


BKD CPAs & Advisors

Marketing & PR Campaign

Plante Moran

Video & Multimedia

Helping fight hunger

DHG scooped the “We AAM to Serve” Community Service Commitment Award for “going above and beyond” with its corporate philanthropic efforts.

The award was in recognition of DHG’s “Count the Cans” campaign, a firm-wide drive to donate dollars, canned goods and volunteer hours to food banks and hunger relief organisations across its footprint.

“We are honored to receive the AAM “We AAM to Serve” Community Service Commitment Award for DHG’s philanthropic and corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Matt Snow, the firm’s CEO. “Our people truly care about serving and giving to those in our local communities, and for DHG it’s more than just words and ideas – it’s about beliefs held deeply in our firm culture that are turned into actions that make a positive difference in the communities across our footprint.”

In 2018, DHG people donated 112,723 pounds of food and volunteered 980 hours within a 10-day campaign period. In total, the initiative has donated nearly 3.8 million pounds of food in seven years.

Unstoppable people

The importance of putting people first was also demonstrated by Plante Moran in winning the Video and Multimedia category with a four-minute film called “unstoppable”.

The film tells Plante Moran’s story through the eyes of its people and diverse clients. It connects the firm’s rich history and culture with a positive future outlook.

“The goal of the film was to provide a dynamic new way to introduce the firm and to communicate its personality,” said Jeff Antaya, Plante Moran partner and chief marketing officer. “We’re thrilled the film is resonating with staff, clients, prospects, recruits, and the world at large.”

Unstoppable features Chris McCoy, a member of Plante Moran’s leadership team, and Mandy Chardoul, a partner in its wealth management practice, reflecting on the firm’s values and people. What ties the production together is the musical score that was written especially for the film and performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a Plante Moran client.

Humanizing the work of advisors

Innovative marketing of a different kind was behind two awards for BKD CPAs and Advisors, who won the Integrated Branding and Marketing & PR Campaign (Client Service/Survey) categories.

“I’m both honored and humbled for our team to be recognized once again,” said Greg Cole, BKD’s chief marketing officer. “These awards are truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of those in our department who continually push themselves beyond traditional ideas to innovate new and creative methods for engaging with our clients and prospects.”

The Integrated Branding award was in recognition of the firm’s introduction of a female brand persona, Kate, in 2018. Joining BKD’s initial brand persona Ben the Trusted Advisor, Kate helps embody the firm’s focus on diversity and appeals to a younger, tech-savvy audience. Together, Ben and Kate help distinguish and humanize the work performed by BKD’s trusted advisors.

The firm also won a MAA for its Transactional Client Experience Survey. In 2017, BKD launched an ongoing customer experience (CX) program to give clients a stronger voice and gain new insights. The engagement-based BKD Transactional Client Experience Survey, launched as part of the CX program in June 2018, was designed to poll clients across a broad range of industries and services on a quarterly basis. The results allowed BKD to continue improving, enhancing and maintaining client satisfaction.

Nurturing and networking

Enhancing technology to engage clients also helped Mazars USA to two awards – in the categories of Digital Advertising and Events (budget between $10,000 - $24,999).

“The firm recently completed an overhaul of our advertising and events strategies, and we are extremely proud of our work on both of these projects,” said Jennifer Farrington, chief marketing officer at Mazars USA. “We shifted our advertising to a complete digital strategy, placing high-volume social media campaigns across our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and nurturing lead generation by driving users to our website.”

Jennifer continued, “Our now award-winning Consumer Products event in New York City is an industry headliner that brings together over 120 apparel, accessory and other consumer goods senior executives. 2018’s occurrence earned rave reviews for not only its format, but the overall quality of the venue, networking and speakers.”

The AAM award-winners were announced at the AAM’s ENGAGE 2019 Summit at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. The four-day summit brought together the profession’s leading minds to benefit from:

  • Innovative guidance to help marketing professionals do their job more effectively
  • Fresh ideas to take marketing projects to the next level
  • Tips on how to embrace change
  • Conversations with fellow AAM members and accounting peers

Accounting marketing and business development professionals, as well as partners and firm administrators attend the Summit annually to connect with colleagues and learn new strategies to enhance their firm's marketing and promotion efforts.