When it comes to the marketing function at professional services firms, there are always one or more party poopers in the partner group. Usually, they either ignore or grumble about their senior-level colleagues’ marketing efforts and are happy to recline in their La-Z-Boys; mind their work – which is likely a book of business built, in part, by their predecessors; or coast into retirement.
So what are growth-minded partners who believe in modern marketing methods and want their firms to succeed to do? Based on my 20 years of experience, here are some available options and insights on each one:
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Ignore Them Completely: I know that this is a tempting possibility as marketing believers hate to have their enthusiasm dampened. Party poopers can fast-forward a hopping function to “last call” pretty quickly. But this option doesn’t work because they are your esteemed colleagues and – for better or worse – you are all in the family together. I recommend keeping the lines of communication open and making resources available to them as long as their one-off efforts don’t derail the best practices marketing campaigns that are a part of an overall firm or niche marketing efforts.
Prove Them Wrong: Attorneys, accountants and engineers respond to solid evidence, and in today’s world many aspects of marketing can and should be measured. Every marketing plan, and the campaigns and activities within it, should have goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that enable you and your marketing professional(s) to regularly evaluate progress and results. Inbound marketing is an approach that is highly effective in the professional services sector and conducive to measurement and analysis.
So don’t let your firm’s partner party poopers hold you or your firm down! Be the life of the party, shine and grow knowing that no mid-market professional services firm can stand out from the crowd and succeed into the next generation without marketing. Present your evidence. Case dismissed!