Raising professional services marketing to a new level of sophisication
Professional services firms have to recognize that they are no longer in business just to provide technically excellent products and services; they need to go the extra mile to anticipate, understand and deliver commercial solutions to their clients, in a manner and style that not only resolves their clients’ challenges, but also delivers a great experience in the process, according to Nigel Clark and Charles Nixon in Professional Services Marketing Handbook: How to Build Relationships, Grow Your Firm and Become a Client Champion.
The professional services environment has changed rapidly, and the marketing tactics which may have worked ten or twenty years ago are no longer sufficient. A marketing department which is simply generating newsletters which nobody reads and glossy brochures containing unsupported boasts about the “leading” nature of the firm’s services is adding very little value to the business, even if the partners in the firm think that that is what the marketing department should be doing.
The book focuses on five key themes of the successful professional firm marketer’s role:
- Growth: identifying and choosing markets and clients
- Understanding: listening and responding to client needs
- Connecting: building a conversation with clients and stakeholders
- Relationships: developing and managing client relationships
- Managing: influencing the marketing organisation
Although it is usually difficult for editors to maintain consistent quality when different chapters are written by different contributors, I found something of interest in every chapter of this book. In my opinion this book raises the difficult role of a marketer in a professional services organisation to a new level of sophistication, and I highly recommend it.