Marketing Strategy, Organization & Delivery for Professional Services Firms

The Messiness of Professional Services Marketing

While professional firms provide a great model for the modern organization, they are far from perfect. We call this imperfection “messiness.”

Until firms attack the real problem, they underachieve growth potential.

Messiness-Professional-Services-Marketing

Ready to attack the messiness?

We help firms that want a more strategic approach, but don’t have the resources to achieve it.

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Maximize Marketing ROI – A Cycling Metaphor

There are 3 key points in the pedal stroke to maximize power and endurance.

  1. Mashing down over the top (like kids and most cyclists do)

  2. Pulling through at the bottom (a more experienced approach)

  3. Lifting the weight of the leg as it moves back up and sets up the next cycle (an advance technique)

Improving any stage of the pedal stroke improves overall performance.

Marketing plays by similar rules.

There are 3 “power” stages of the marketing cycle.

Most firms focus only on one, perhaps two.

As a result, they underperform and growth suffers.

High performing firms don’t focus on accommodating loud partners, making things pretty, measuring event attendance, and trying to grow everything.

They choose a more prudent way.

 

Power in the Right Direction

Prudent-Pedal-Marketing-Strategy

Strategy

Identify and attack market opportunities that drive growth.

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Prudent-Pedal-Marketing-Effectiveness

Organization

Build the optimal marketing organization to enable profitable growth.

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Prudent-Pedal-Marketing-Delivery

Delivery

Optimize your marketing investment to improve overall performance.

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How we think about marketing

When it’s time to reinvent the firm

At some point, the capability, service or consulting model that built your brand becomes commoditized, trite or simply out of fashion in the business world. You have stopped growing and redesigning your logo isn’t going to fix it. It happened to actuaries at the HR... read more

Two Schools of Thought on Professional Services Marketing

Every year about this time cyclists ramp up an enduring argument. If you are a cyclist, you know where I am going. It is the great base-building debate. There are two schools of thought. The first is traditional, laid back and longstanding. The second is new,... read more

The Roles You Need on Your Marketing Team

Professional services marketers fight hard to achieve their titles. Newbies start out as coordinators, move to managers, if they prove themselves, become directors, if they stick around long enough, and often become CMOs when they jump ship and negotiate the title... read more

Professional Services Cultures vs. the Local Dry Cleaner

When I shop at Target, eat at McDonalds, buy a new bike at a local bike shop or even get my shoes shined, I expect the people I interact with to have integrity, provide great service, give me a quality product and be accountable for delivering what the company has... read more

Marketing is About Strategic Impact NOT Making it Pretty

“Send it to marketing and have them make it pretty” is a phrase you hear regularly in professional services firms. The “it” in the phrase could be a presentation, a proposal or any other brilliant marketing idea coming out of a practice. Most marketing organizations... read more

“Grow Everything” is not a Marketing Strategy

“I need your number by the end of the week!” is a phrase you have probably uttered or heard during your annual planning cycle. The “number” is the revenue bogey a partner or practice is “asked” to contribute to the overall growth of the firm and expected to hit... read more

You Don’t Have a Marketing Problem

In 2002 Rajat Gupta, then managing director of McKinsey, pushed the firm’s head of marketing and public affairs, Javier Perez, out of the firm. The reason: multiple partners had shared their dissatisfaction with the firm to writer John Byrne in a wide-ranging feature... read more

Shocking the Soul Out of Your Firm’s Culture

In 1967, Martin Seligman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, began conducting Pavlovian experiments on dogs to understand learning behaviors.  Seligman and his research partner, psychologist Steven Maier, observed helpless behavior in dogs that... read more