Marketing Strategy

Identify, prioritize, and attack market opportunities that drive smart growth.

Without a strategic approach, you let competitors define who you are to their advantage, chase sales opportunities not aligned with the value you provide, create longer sales cycles, waste valuable time, and ultimately grow more slowly.

The deck is stacked against your firm.

Matrices, ownership structures and service dynamism make it difficult for firm leaders to make strategic choices. These decisions involve opportunity costs, cultural evolution (or revolution) and emotional upheaval if partners feel that their wealth is being “redistributed.”

When tough strategic decisions don’t get made, the firm default is to try to meet everyone’s needs. The result is a discombobulated marketing “strategy” attempting to satisfy partners and practice leaders—all with “a top priority.”

I call this the “grow everything” strategy. It sounds good, looks good and seems strategic. It gives everyone in the firm their do. Unfortunately, every time it launches, it hits the ground with a resounding thud.

“He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

My Point of View

Grow everything is not a strategy.

The firm’s—and, therefore, Marketing’s—number one strategic priority must be creating a healthy, profitable, and long-term growth cycle. Unfortunately, marketing priorities and investments are seldom allocated to realize this objective.

Allocating resources based on line of business size is an outdated, short-term, and sub-optimal approach because it results in misaligned goals, mindsets, and tactics.

If the firm does not make strategic choices, the firm’s performance is going to suffer.

Prudent Pedal’s Value

A prudent strategy and an action-oriented marketing structure create a virtuous growth cycle.

My approach to strategy helps assure that your marketing investment creates the highest return by building brand relevance, pursuing the highest growth opportunities, and aligning solutions with the client’s needs from beginning to end.

Firms with a documented strategy are 4.7 times more likely to be successful than those who don’t.

Jeff’s work creating our client segmentation model was excellent. That work alone paid for the whole engagement.

Ed Staehlin, Jr.

Head of Global IT Operations, Strategy & Change Governance, Marsh

I help you identify, prioritize, and attack market opportunities that drive smart growth.

Strategic marketing capability, and therefore strategic impact, exists only in a few elite firms. 

The world of marketing today has changed drastically from where it was ten years ago, but most professional services firms and its marketers are not keeping up.  Firms were once leaders in relationship-driven marketing. Today, technology, culture, globalization, market disintermediation and buyer sophistication have left most of them behind.

Most professional services marketers spend their time managing events and making things pretty.  Firms were once leaders in relationship-driven marketing. Today, technology, culture, globalization, market disintermediation and buyer sophistication have left most of them behind.

As the Economist Business Intelligence Unit stated:

“…the best marketers are five-minute-mile marathoners who combine speed and stamina. They take the customer on a journey. They need to show up at the starting line, when the people who run the business are saying, “What should we make? Who should we make it for? How do we make it in such a way that the story of our product is true?”

Ready to run faster?

Are you allocating marketing investments to be fair or to drive growth?

You can’t do both.

Get your guide to a more intelligent and effective way to allocate your precious marketing dollars.

10 Reasons Why Partners Don’t Understand Marketing

One of my more popular and controversial blog posts is “Why Your Marketer Doesn’t Understand Your Firm’s Business.” The title alienates marketers before they get to the first sentence. It satisfies partners because it recognizes what they might think but would never...

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Are Your Efforts Delivering the Results You Want?

This week two disparate events converged in my mind to provide some useful advice to professional services firms wanting to grow. The first event was the release of a professional services “high growth” benchmarking study. I’m not a fan of this report because I think...

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Choose Your Value Proposition Words Carefully

Professional services attract some of the best and brightest people in business. We matriculate to top schools and graduate at the top of our classes. We are star athletes, cheerleaders, debaters, musicians, student council members, and more. We are competitive,...

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Kill the "grow everything" strategy.

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