Like every industry, professional services have been in the midst of a radical transformation. Increasingly sophisticated competitors with non-traditional business models have gained acceptance and forced many firms to re-think how they attract and serve clients. As major firms grow (largely thought acquisition) and client needs change, firm brand, reputation and ‘social-proof’ are no longer enough to break through the noise and secure new business. Throughout our careers, we’ve seen this evolution first hand and continue to see it in today’s rapidly changing professional services environment. Three trends have taken center stage in the 1st Half of 2017:
With some planning and forethought, these can be easily replicated. Doing so will help you move past purely lead gen activities and into more robust relationship building with your customers. These approaches will also help create a “stickiness” that solidifies these relationships over time, while creating raving fans along the way and a more direct and prominent client-facing role for the marketing function.
The strategies come in two different but related forms – creating and delivering experiential customer workshops and the use of influencer activation strategies – both designed to capture the imagination of new and existing buyers while providing you with valuable insights that will fuel sales and inform a range of important business decisions.
In this Part II follow-on, the focus is on correctives in the form of concrete approaches to making these marketing activities truly customer-centric and drawing upon examples from our work across multiple industries and company types.
We see that organizations who use these approaches are creating and delivering content in new ways, ensuring more relevant outcomes, generating more meaningful interaction, and expanding sales with their targeted customers.
We recently asked a group of enterprise B2B CMOs a simple question:
How do you rate the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts in securing business for your company?
What we heard surprised us – and the group. More than a third rated their investments as neither effective nor ineffective on this critical count.