Insights and Resources

Everyone is sitting on their hands!

By Jim Thompson

Let’s discuss the state of play in terms of professional services marketing.

From my experience and yes it’s anecdotal but very few Management Consulting firms are serious about marekting and of those that are, most aren’t doing it all that well.  But don’t just take my word for it lets have a look at some research data.

Here are some key excerpts from a research study conducted by Julian Midwinter and Associates and ALMPA in 2014 which surveyed 149 law firms across Australia. Don’t worry if you’re an accountant or management consultant, the situation in your industry is the same if not worse.

When asked;

What are your future intentions and plans in terms of your marketing?

They gave responses like – and I quote:

  •  Finding space in client’s minds, we are all very busy…
  •  Finding an edge, to set our marketing… apart from the others…
  •  Working particularly on digital marketing…
  •  A 3-year plan to boost online activity, reputation and subsequently, clients and revenue…
  •  We need to do more and do it better… we had plenty of work coming in the door…
  •  …leadership from the BDM team rather than the partners instructing and doing the same thing over and over again…

So everyone recognises they need to be doing something and doing it better in the digital space, case in point you’re reading this…

You know there’s a BUT coming but before it comes let’s look at another question from the survey;

In terms of your marketing which activities occupy most of your time?

The results are thus

No surprises in the top 5 right? – Wrong! (and remember I work in this space)

45.7% of your time spent on your website? Really, what the hell are you doing on it??

I/we spend nowhere near that time on ours. My guess is most of the time is spent writing and posting news articles.

Tell me outside of your existing clients who is reading them? – not me that’s for sure.

When was the last time you went to another management consulting firm’s website to see if there was a new news article there?

I hope for your sake you have a more interesting life than that. That’s right, prospective clients don’t read them so why do we devote so much time and energy to them?

Sadly, from my experience with management consulting firms, the number one outcome from their new website is the firm, and in particular, its owners feel better about themselves.

I don’t know about you but I’d rather spend my money on a new car if I wanted to feel better.

Look back to the below the line however and see that digital LEAD GENERATION is only consuming .07% of people’s marketing effort. Note I highlighted LEAD GENERATION  yes LEAD GENERATION  – I’m not highlighting newsletters I’m highlighting LEADS!!

Hello – is there anybody out there??

And sorry but it gets worse – let’s have a look at what everyone said when asked;

How important are the following to your future growth strategy?

Nearly 60 % saw digital LEAD GENERATION as being NOT yes NOT important while at the same time considering brand awareness to be VERY important. (note: There is only one activity in the list that even mentions leads).

I’ll take leads over awareness every day of the week and this is despite the fact they all said they needed to be doing more and doing it differently – so in effect, they are all planning to do the same old shit they’ve always done but somehow just trying to do it better than everyone else – how you ask?

I contend by taking the easy way out which is essentially spending more money.

Unsurprisingly increasing referrals is deemed the most important, I don’t know about you but I don’t think putting the generation of new business in the hands of others is a great long-term strategy.

In my experience when push comes to shove people will always put their own businesses best interests first and that’s fair enough.

Also there is only a finite pool of referrers out there so for you to win someone else has to lose and according to the stats everyone is intending on playing the same game.

I’d rather set up my own game where there are hardly any competitor’s so I have a much greater chance of winning.

Some of you may have owned a race horse (never again for me) but imagine if you did and given the choice between entering it in one of two races with the same prize money, the only difference being that one had only 3 runners and the other had 20?

What would you choose?

No brainer right but we are all doing the opposite with our business.

Key takeaways:

  •  Everyone says they want to act but no one is.
  •  You have 2 choices;
  1. Stop reading this One RabbitTM stuff and keep on doing what you’ve always done because that is what everyone else is doing,


  1. Look at this as the great opportunity it is because no one else is doing it and exploit significant arbitrage and the ability to get a 2 to 3 year jump on your competitors while they sit on their hands. You can create your own race and occupy a position they are not even considering.

I know what I’d be doing, in fact it’s exactly what we’ve done and do for our clients every day.

Before you start

Before beginning any engagement and to create a more valuable initial conversation we ask you to download and read our guide.


Inside you will find out more about the One Rabbit philosophy, learn some uncomfortable truths and how to market your firm.

Why it’s so hard for consulting firms to market themselves.
Practical steps you can take to overcome the uncomfortable truth and leapfrog your competitors.
The most common mistakes that consulting firms make in marketing themselves.