Before reading this post, be sure to go back and read Part I as it sets the framework for why every modern day client service professional, including accountants, attorneys, engineers, architects and consultants, needs to accept marketing as a core function that transcends their entire firm. Part II assumes that you “get it,” want your professional services organization to remain competitive, and are eagerly awaiting some practical advice on how to harness the power of marketing on an enterprise-wide level.
Creating the Culture Shift
The perception of the marketing function – what it is, what it does, and who does it – starts at the top within a professional services organization. Managing Partners and/or the Executive Team need to collaborate with their inhouse or outsourced marketing professionals to:
- Create a Marketing Mission Statement: What do you want marketing to achieve within your law firm, accounting firm, engineering firm or architectural firm? While every firm is unique, you should, at a minimum, consider modern day marketing to be a source of warm lead generation and a function that further engages and identifies opportunities within the existing client base.
- Define Marketing Roles: When marketing is siloed, the only roles to define are the members of the marketing team and what each marketer is responsible for doing and achieving for the firm. Since you are reading Part II of this blog post series, I know you feel there is a larger opportunity for marketing to impact your professional services firm. In your case, you need to define your role in marketing as well as your colleagues. Even new hires – that’s right, college graduates – should understand their marketing responsibilites on day one. They should never be surprised that is part of their job!
- Develop Success Measures: It should be crystal clear to each and every professional playing a role in marketing how their success will be measured. After all, it is part of his/her job and if they are to take it seriously, they need to understand when they’ve done well and fallen short. And finally, you need to consider how will success be rewarded within your professional services firm.
Provide Training and Support
Professional services firms with an eye towards quality typically have well-structured training programs around technical topics. Young professionals move up through the ranks receiving this training so that they learn how to perform their jobs with confidence and precision. What about marketing? If marketing is to be a part of your role as well as your colleagues’, doesn’t it make sense to set everyone involved up for marketing success with the help of structured training programs? (Please note that I’m not talking about optional brown bag lunch and learns. This is mandatory professional development!). Here are some ideas for possible training programs:
- Taking the “me” out of Social Media. How to build engaged target audience online.
- Born to blog. Best practices in creating content that your target audience will read.
- Beyond the bullet points. Putting some zip into your presentations using advanced presentation tools and speaking with a persuasive tone to ignite action.