If you had your entire firm — from administrative staff to partners — regularly involved in the marketing and promotion of your services, what could that mean? For CBIZ, it meant receiving five new requests for proposals, gaining over 700 new connections on LinkedIn and landing a new client. And these results happened over just five weeks!


Their solution was a strategically employed marketing contest. But this is no ordinary one-and-done contest in which people compete for an iPad and then forget about it. The turn-key design and strategy behind Ingenuity’s marketing contest gave CBIZ — and several other professional services firms who have used our strategy — the momentum for a whole-firm marketing culture that sticks.

The client was struggling with a lack of marketing and business development activity throughout the office. Relying just on the marketing department or partners would not result in the level of growth required. As with many firms, the people at CBIZ were trained to be subject matter experts, not sales people. At best, marketing and sales were intimidating. At worst, they felt like a waste of billable time. Sound familiar?


And yet, the results of the marketing contest over just five weeks were beyond what CBIZ ever anticipated:

Meetings with existing clients for cross servicing: 27
Meetings with prospective clients: 28
Meetings with referrals: 14
Networking attendance: 95
Social media posts and interactions: 170
Blog posts: 4
Articles emailed and goodwill calls to clients: 38
Updated Bios: 15
Updated LinkedIn profiles: 14
New Clients: 1

The new client was the result of a front desk administrator employing some pointed sales questions when the prospective client called. This conversation added to the prospect’s interest and resulted in a new engagement. This example is the kind of whole-firm thinking that CBIZ could incorporate into its business strategy, including new quarterly training of administrative staff on sales and customer service. “They were very involved in the contest, and we wanted to do this for them to keep them connected to the growth strategy,” said Erica Dvorak, former senior marketing specialist at CBIZ.

In the Pipeline

Ingenuity consulted with CBIZ to help them keep the momentum going after the contest. The same teams who competed in the contest could meet quarterly to discuss additional business development efforts, tied to the firm’s quarterly BD meetings. The marketing department can also provide social media posts for team members to easily post on their own profiles, increasing the firm’s visibility and marketing reach.

“The whole firm marketing contest is a fantastic idea — and a lot of work on our own. It would probably take a year to produce. But having Ingenuity provide the creative approach, materials and consulting allowed me to focus on getting people excited to participate as well as execute over just a few weeks. They offer a high level of strategizing on large projects that helped us succeed with real results — and also ideas to keep the growth activities going.”

– Erica Dvorak, CPPM | Former Senior Marketing Specialist, CBIZ MHM, LLC

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