How Professional Services Firms Can Truly Differentiate Themselves in 2021
Professional services firms encompass a far broader range of functions including marketing and recruiting, who often have the liberty of embracing differentiation and diversity from their competitors. Yet, when the words ‘professional services’ are thrown around, they usually bring to mind an amorphous mix of accounting, legal, management consulting and financial planning firms.
The reason that this mental melding takes place is due to the desire of professionals services firms to shy away from the crowd and attempt to blend in with their competitors.
This takes place because:
- Old Fashioned Marketing Techniques & Rationale: Relationship marketing, traditional marketing channels and telemarketing are prioritised over more effective, modern techniques,
- Conservative Management: Professional services firms tend to be run by men over 50 years of age and are privately educated. Their demographic and psychographic characteristics are more aligned with traditional logic and approaches to business.
- A Desire to Appear Larger Than the Company’s Actual Size: achieved through copying the marketing activities of larger financial services firms in order to create an association with them in the mind of the consumer.
- A Lack of Understanding on how to use LinkedIn: For lead generation.
- A Mistaken Belief: That ‘blue’ is the colour that can communicate trust.
Professional services companies that make the decision to veer away from these traditional methods may be able to access a number of opportunities to disrupt the entire industry. Through an evaluation of management and marketing consulting firms across the past 5 years, we were able to discover an overreliance on human intelligence to develop business plans and marketing strategies. To respond, we developed Robotic Marketer, a technology built with the capability to write a marketing strategy faster, smarter and with predictive analysis around outcomes. The best part is, this all takes place within 20 minutes, compared to the industry’s “competitive” standard of 100 hours or more.
Consider the value of 100 hours for one moment. Imagine how much more your organisation with a 100-hour head start on your competitors, connecting with prospects and clients faster, across the platforms they prefer at the time you prefer it.
With this revelation at hand, comes the real reason professional services firms are set in their methods of marketing. It’s because professional service firm leaders don’t see value in marketing because they have not experienced noticeable, lighting fast results. Many leaders are hesitant to do anything that doesn’t fall under the scope of their normal activities because they are afraid of what change may look like.
Fortunately, marketing today is easier, more cost effective and has greater longevity in converting prospects through the sales funnel and transforming them into satisfied customers.
Here are 5 real ways your professional services firm can reap better results through differentiation in 2022:
- Marketing Strategy: Enlist the services of professionals with a proven track record of success, with a comprehensive understanding of who your customers are, how their needs are changing, with a strategy designed to drive better communication at a greater frequency with your customers. We use Robotic Marketer to develop marketing strategies aligned to your business goals that save time and are designed to deliver outcomes for your enterprise.
- Creativity: Get your team together, go through the process of what your brand represents, who you are and what you mean to your customers. This exercise is best conducted through a marketing workshop, which will help you think of new ways to build relationships with your customers and connect with them.
- Internal Communications: An often oversight across many organisations including financial services firms is the way the company speaks to the people that are a part of it. By implementing an internal communication program, companies find that they have happier employees, who are often the biggest ambassadors for your brand and directly influence the success of sales and recruitment.
- Content Marketing: If you haven’t established a regular content marketing strategy that covers blogs, email marketing, and social media – you are in big trouble. Many of your competitors have taken the time this year to evaluate their options and rethink their business strategies. In fact, many in your industry have cottoned onto this, with 84% of professional services firms believe that content marketing provides the most effective way to reach new customers.
- Lead Generation: By ensuring that your company has a repetitive lead generation program in place and it is running on a recurring basis is the number one tool you have to generate leads in 2022. Your company can start on the right foot by ensuring you have effective CRM software and is using presentation technologies like AirDeck to capture all of your communication in one place while analysing the effectiveness of campaigns.
Now is the time to differentiate your enterprise and take the position as a market leader. Professional services firms should embrace 2022 as a year of opportunity to work within the industry perimeters of ethics while delivering thought leadership, diversity, and real value to their consumers.
If your business is interesting in developing a leading marketing strategy, get in contact with one of our professional marketing consultants today.