My vision for the 21st century professional services marketer
By Jim Thompson
Traditionally for most professional service firms new business comes predominantly from networking and referrals.
From this perspective the primary responsibility for lead generation lies with the Partners of the firm and not the marketing department.
This is at odds with the traditional marketing / sales model where marketing is responsible for generating leads for the sales team to go and close the deal.
Unless you live in a vacuum you will have noticed that things are changing and that the changes are gathering momentum.
Yes the old boys’ network aint what it used to be, every service that can be commoditised is being commoditised and most importantly the buyer has changed and holds more power than they ever did.
I’ve mentioned her before but the digital age has given birth to the monster I refer to as DEB – the Digitally Empowered Buyer and guess what – she isn’t going away she’s growing bigger and stronger.
Let’s quickly revisit a few of DEB’s traits
- She does her own research and forms her own opinion of you
- She doesn’t want to be sold to
- She self diagnoses her problems
- She looks well beyond the brand messages (which are pretty much all the same anyway)
- She isn’t going to buy on emotion
- She will call you when she is ready to talk, not the other way round
- She doesn’t want you continually telling her you are there – she will find you by her own means
- She doesn’t want to be annoyed, she is just as time poor as you are
- When she is ready to buy she will & from your perspective she may have come out of nowhere
The biggest problem DEB creates for marketers is that, what you used to do or learnt at university no longer works with her.
If you accept that’s the case then you have to ask yourself where does that leave the traditional marketer?
I would say – on the road to irrelevance with nowhere to hide.
In order to stay relevant professional services marketers of today and the future have to take responsibility for understanding and dealing with DEB and become LEAD focused as opposed to BRAND focused.
My vision for the 21st century professional services marketer (an opportunity to be grabbed while everyone is asleep at the wheel) is to;
- Stop seeing new business generation as an abstract concept and become a powerhouse of new business creation.
- Become the in house intelligence agency specialised in how to penetrate the market.
- Have the respect and belief in your capability from your firms Partners and to be viewed as their trusted adviser.
If you want some idea of how your peers are asleep at the wheel, I read a disturbing stat last week that highlighted only 17% of professional services marketers spend more than 15 hours a week on lead generation.
Act now, get ahead of the game and dramatically increase your value as a marketer.
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