Professional service firm leaders who choose to outsource their marketing can fall into the seductive trap of hiring agencies that don’t know the first thing about marketing professional services — or the sophistication of your firm’s clients. What’s worse, larger agencies may assign a junior account manager who doesn’t understand proactive marketing consulting.
On the other hand, many firms that are heavily dependent on billable hours may choose to invest in marketing at the entry level. They hire someone with two to five years of experience. Without an experienced marketing professional driving the approach, your strategy and planning lose ground to urgent administrative tasks like assembling proposals or taking random pictures for social media.
We’ve also worked with firms that delegate marketing oversight to their firm administrator, operations executive or a partner/principal. These professionals are amazing at their core jobs, and they may even be interested in marketing. But they can’t prioritize marketing due to time constraints and a lack of knowledge about creative marketing strategy.
Marketing Solutions for Professionals
Here is why strategic marketing is not administration. A full-service marketing department should be able to accomplish the following things:
- Senior-level consulting, design and writing, digital marketing, advertising and social skills
- Effective and proactive project management with timelines, accountability and communication
- Support for hiring new staff at the right time with proper job descriptions
- Consulting with owners/partners regularly to develop a marketing/sales culture
- Liaison with vendors to streamline and/or automate your marketing strategy
- Market research to understand how your buyers buy
- Industry-wide view of marketing trends to expand your options and creativity
- Alignment of marketing activities with sales goals
- Consistent branding on all materials and channels
- Consistent lead generation and nurturing activities and monitoring
- Coaching to build in-house marketing skills
- Proactive consulting on next steps to maximize marketing efforts
A firm with limited in-house marketing support or an executive who is managing marketing will need to seek other solutions to deliver these full-service results. To continue with the status quo will lead to frustration, loss of visibility or scattered business efforts.
Marketing is not about the leads and new business you have now. Just like project planning and accurate financial statements, marketing planning is vital for attracting future business. Can you afford to just hope that leads and referrals appear in your competitive market? Stay visible with consistent marketing strategy and professionals who specialize in it.