Good, Bad and Ugly References

  Why do firms only give out good references? Before making most purchases—large or small—I do my research. Amazon, Yelp, REI, Angie’s List and retail sites all give me opportunities to read reviews. When I read reviews, I first read the five-star reviews and...

The Quest for the Perfect Tagline

Firm leaders and marketers often look at B2C companies as the yardstick for taglines for their own firms. Nike, Apple and Coca-Cola are brands that often come to mind. We are familiar with them all and have probably been “inspired” by one of them to finish a marathon,...

Integrity Test

by Ted Harro I was in a meeting recently where a leadership team was grappling with their long-term direction. They’re doing what many leadership teams must do – trying to discern how to kick-start growth in their business. It complicates things that they work in the...

How Much is Organizational Dysfunction Impacting your Growth?

It really doesn’t matter which professional services industry you call home—consulting, law, accounting, IT, strategy—firms are driven by the desire for growth. Growth provides opportunity and wealth—good things. Unfortunately, most firms never achieve their...

Eliminating the Pain of CRM

Recently, I was in a meeting of senior accounting marketers. As we were discussing challenges, ALL were bemoaning the use of—or the lack of the use of—their firm’s CRM system. I heard complaints like: “It’s like pulling teeth to get our partners to use it. “ “It’s too...

When Your Market Shifts

How do you know when your market is shifting? It is a fundamental question that should be asked in most firms much more often than it is. Signs that your market is shifting include slowing sales, a remix of your service revenue, declining profitability, changing buyer...

A Marketing Manifesto

For four weeks, I have the pleasure of being in Rochelle Moulton’s inaugural Instant Authority program with a group of talented professionals from firms big and small.  The goal of the group is to parlay our talents, experiences and point of view into a one-of-a-kind...

Following Clients Home

I spoke to a former researcher for Leo Burnett recently. She was describing her passion for getting to know her clients’ customers and their ideas through focus groups and one-on-one conversations. She enjoyed the “intimacy” of following customers into their homes to...

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,...

The Black Eye

Last weekend, I cross-trained on the hockey rink with my bicycling buddies. After nearly two hours of play, I got tangled up with an opponent and went down. While I was relieved to not need dental work or stitches, I was bloody and bruised. My wife was horrified to...