A Professional Services Marketing Self-Assessment

by | Growth Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Most popular

Professional Services Marketing Assessment

I’m releasing a new Professional Services Marketing Assessment. Here’s what makes it different and why it’s important.

Leaders who seek me out as a consultant are frustrated with their marketing results. They don’t have enough leads; their brands lack awareness; a competitor keeps flanking them; every practice has its own story and priorities, and the marketing team is either “too strategic” to get its hands dirty or “too tactical” to add strategic impact. Above all, the firm is not growing as fast as it wants to. Firm leaders almost always think their “marketing problem” is a “Marketing function” problem.




Staff ineptness, website deficiencies, social media strategies, misallocated marketing budgets, the absence of brochures, lack of sales and marketing integration, CRM, or cross-selling demands are common complaints. However, I’ve found that the “marketing problem” in most organizations is the result of organizational indecision or dysfunction. I call this imperfection the “BS of PS,” and it severely impacts marketing departments to the detriment of the firm. I know this because I’ve developed sales and marketing strategies, built marketing organizations, and worked with leadership teams in every industry, discipline, market condition, and business scenario.

More often than not, each of the marketing shortfalls has a critical “upstream” strategic enabler that undermines the firm’s growth potential before it even gets to business development, marketing, and technology. The limitation occurs in one or more of the following areas:

  • Culture: The firm does not reward client centricity, sales prowess, or intellectual capital development behaviors properly, if at all.
  • Market Focus: The firm lacks focus (markets, clients, solutions) and allows its individual practices to race in opposite directions in pursuit of individual growth.
  • Brand: The firm focuses on building awareness of its brand instead of its relevance.
  • Core Capabilities: the firm narrowly defines its capabilities in terms of its functional discipline, instead of its client value and broader business acumen.
  • Intellectual Capital: the firm does not differentiate its thinking; it follows the herd and avoids the risk of stating an alternative POV or does not set high expectations for intellectual capital development.
  • Client Lifecycle: The firm has not identified an ideal client who values the differentiated value that the firm offers. It lacks an understanding of the complex B2B buying cycle. It chases bad revenue and does not achieve economies of scale.
  • Solutions: The firm’s solutions are firm-centric, not client-centric, are overly complex, and difficult for the client to understand and buy confidently.


More than I care to admit over my career as a Marketing leader, I’ve developed a long list of “right solution, wrong problem.”  I’ve focused on brand problems that were really sales problems. I’ve replaced underperforming technologies that were actually hindered by cultural issues. I’ve implemented sales training when I should have focused on better client selection. That’s why I’m sharing the assessment tool with my subscribers. I hope that you can identify and eliminate the barriers blocking your firm’s growth.


growth and marketing assessment professional services

DOWNLOAD the Assessment

I call it the Growth Readiness Self-Assessment. It measures critical areas of Marketing health—that’s Marketing with a capital “M.” 


It is a powerful, intuitive tool built from my decades-long learnings and Prudent Pedal’s more comprehensive growth and marketing assessment methodology used to help leadership teams accelerate growth. This straightforward assessment allows you to self-score your firm’s effectiveness in 11 critical growth-enabling areas, then, weights and prioritizes each area for attention.

With next year’s planning and budgeting kicking into high gear, I encourage you to download it and assess your firm as soon as possible.  You’ll want to ensure that you’re attacking the areas that have the greatest impact on growth.

Please, don’t make your list of “right solution, wrong problem” as long as mine.


Be prudent.



About the Author

Jeff McKay
Founder & CEO
Prudent Pedal

As a strategist and fractional CMO, Jeff helps firms set smart growth strategies in motion. He was the SVP of Marketing at Genworth Financial, the Global Marketing Leader at Hewitt Associates, and held senior roles at Towers Perrin and Andersen. Learn more.

Is your firm achieving its full growth potential?

Growing professional services firm


Related posts

What Do Clients Buy From Professional Services Firms

What Do Clients Buy From Professional Services Firms

If you were to ask me what is the one common marketing error most professional services firms make, I would not hesitate to say, “They fall in love with their ‘solutions’.” By that I mean they make their internal P&L structure their market face and become...

3 Steps to Align Sales and Marketing in Professional Services

3 Steps to Align Sales and Marketing in Professional Services

Aligning Sales and Marketing in professional services–in any industry for that matter–is a perpetual challenge.  If you spend time in either function, you know what I’m talking about.  Marketing blames Sales for not following up on the leads they share. Sales says the...