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Your 2022 Marketing Playbook – Less but Better

With the arrival of fall we are seeing the lingering and even the return of pandemic restrictions across many geographies. Given this, we take stock of the lessons from the last year to inform what have now become sound client engagement practices no matter what the coming months may bring. Here is our short list of three immediate to-do’s for marketing and sales leaders in professional services, B2B, and beyond.

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What To Stop and Start in 2019

At H2A, we are not big on New Year resolutions. We are more of the “try new things all the time to improve performance” types. That said, we know many business leaders are making their lists for things to do in 2019. In that spirit, and regardless if you wear a B2B or B2C hat, here is a list we hope you find worth exploring if not a bit inspiring (spoiler alert: it has a bias toward doing less but doing it better).

Fall Chairlift Web

Client First vs. Client-Centric: How and Why Most Service Firms Get It Wrong

There’s seldom a day when we don’t hear the mantra that “our clients come first”. Indeed, time and again we see the tremendous sacrifices and efforts made by those we serve providing great solutions, products, and services to their customers. This often means long days, late nights, long flights, and a drop-everything attitude to ensure the best possible outcomes for the clients and customers that are the life-blood of their businesses. That said, we see that many organizations miss the forest for the trees by prioritizing the wrong things — ideas, service models, add-on services — all while reciting the “clients come first’ mantra”. A fix is needed, and we provide some suggestions here.

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Do Professional Service Firms Need a CMO?

In this edition capturing observed trends across professional service firms (PSFs), we provide an answer to a question we are getting with increased frequency: Do we need a CMO?

The discussions we find ourselves in typically start with some basic questions:

How do we develop a firm-wide marketing strategy?

Do we actually need a firm-wide marketing strategy?

Can a CMO be successful in a role where direct reports are aligned to take direction from practice and geographic leaders?

Where should decision making rights for marketing actually be held?

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Three Professional Services Growth Trends

That trap is the assumption that clients and potential clients are seeking this dispensed wisdom at particular times and in particular ways. While that is sometimes true, we find that most high-likelihood buyers of premium professional goods and services come to the table with already well-articulated existing needs. The curse of the expert is the auto-pilot presentation and practiced responses from advisory and other professionals that while really good, often miss the mark. They miss not because they are wrong but because they are not properly informed by specific client needs. The antidote is simple and often over-looked. Whether it is a large-venue conference speech or a one-on-one pitch meeting, know before you go by asking these three questions: 1) who exactly is my audience, 2) what are the front-burner issues they are grappling with right now, 3) how can I precisely apply my expertise to those immediate challenges. It sounds simple but is the single largest missed opportunity we encounter.