Repositioning / Rebranding / Content Marketing Strategy / Campaign Development / Website Development / Marketing Automation / Analytics
Grosvenor is an Australian based mid-tier consulting firm providing a range of advisory services to improve the performance of private and public sector organisations.
Over 20 years, the firm has expanded its presence initially from Canberra then into Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The team has grown to around 50 people from a diverse range of backgrounds, sectors and skillsets.
There are 4 practice areas:
- Property Advisory
- Public Sector Program Evaluation
- Public Sector Organisational Review
Grosvenor had already developed a strong marketing capability built from internal resources with support from other external marketing agencies. Content marketing was a major focus of the marketing strategy and had been identified as a significant driver of growth for the firm.
In October 2017 One RabbitTM was engaged over a 12 month period to expand the current content marketing capabilities. The first part of the engagement was to review and redevelop the marketing strategies across the whole firm. The second part was to develop the tactical components and implement the systems to rollout, manage and monitor the platforms and monitor performance.
Management consulting firms will typically offer a diverse spectrum of advice to their clients and operate from a fairly broad knowledge base. The good firms also couple this with pockets of very deep expertise often for specific sectors and problem sets.
The challenge, especially for mid to large firms is reconciling both breadth of generalist knowledge across a diverse audience, while communicating deep targeted expertise into a few highly targeted audiences. Articulating a strong marketing position that covers all these bases is a difficult problem to solve.
Grosvenor was very much in this situation. They advise organisations across many sectors and solve a variety of business problems. Yet their team includes a number of specialised advisors who possess deep knowledge in specific subject areas, positioning them as some of the most highly sought after experts in their respective fields.
This subject matter expertise was already fuelling a strong commitment to content marketing. A substantial content base had been written by the team, drawing on their key areas of expertise and was attracting a following both within Australia and internationally.
Recognising that content marketing was contributing to growth across the firm, Grosvenor was seeking to strengthen their content marketing capability to attract and become top of mind with their ideal client profiles, expanding outside their existing reach. The firm also wanted to ensure they were in the best possible position to take advantage of new opportunities emerging.
Grosvenor’s leadership team could identify some of the sticking points. As a bespoke consulting firm, for most of their work there is no cookie cutter standard engagement to simplify everything into a neat little package. The diversity of projects they work on, makes it almost impossible to point to one and say that’s what we do. It’s difficult to be too specific about any one area of expertise, without potentially devaluing or turning off another key target audience.
Without articulating this effectively, makes it difficult to grow the business from sources beyond existing referral networks.
One RabbitTM was engaged to help more accurately frame the problem and provide a way forward that would overcome these challenges. From here a new strategic marketing plan would be developed to harness the potential and the new opportunities that would follow.
The following areas where included in the scope of the engagement:
- Positioning of the firm, practice areas and key experts within the team to optimally attract and nurture the ideal target audience.
- Brand review to support positioning recommendations.
- Strategic review of current content marketing strategies to ramp up their effectiveness and ensure Grosvenor remains top of mind across the target audience.
- Design and implement new game plans to support the strategy developed and generate new channels of leads.
- Review existing marketing systems, including marketing automation and analytics, implement in line with best practice.
- Implement a new suite of supporting marketing assets including websites and marketing collateral.
Outside-In and bottom-up positioning
Grosvenor’s internal structure, areas of focus, priorities and significance should be independent of the external marketing positioning.
The external marketing positioning is built to reinforce the marketing strategy, simplify their positioning to the target audiences and areas of strongest opportunity. It’s not uncommon for this approach to create some friction as we walk through the process, as it can be at odds with how the firm views itself internally. When we decouple the internal and external perspectives of the firm however, we often find real answers to the positioning challenges that have been previously difficult to solve.
Elevate perspective over services
Rather than emphasise the services provided by the firm, we tend to focus on perspectives. Services will rarely provide any marketing leverage and tend to dumb down the genuine value you can bring to a client.
Instead we dig down in areas of expertise to understand perspectives – “What specific perspective do you bring to solving the problem?”.
Perspectives are attractive to your audience, because they provide insight how you go about solving the problem differently from someone else who offers the same service. Having a well defined perspective demonstrates experience and expertise at solving the problem, and more importantly anchors your content and messaging to a common theme.
We seek to answer this question within each area of the business and work with the experts in the firm to help them find and articulate a marketable perspective.
Elevate personal brands over organisation brand
In consulting firms (outside the big 4), buying expertise is usually tied to the strength of the personal brands of individual experts and is often the main driver behind clients choosing to engage the firm. That’s not to say the organisation’s brand doesn’t also carry significant weight.
We tend to spend more time working with individual experts in the firm, developing their perspectives and strategies to build and communicate their brands around their perspectives.
- Grosvenor are as broad as they are deep in their specialist areas of expertise making it difficult to articulate a strong, clear, coherent value proposition.
- Like most management consulting firms, articulating what they do tends to be difficult to define, often somewhat generic.
- Specialising in both public sector and private sector clients introduced very specific challenges. Often these sectors are motivated by very different problem sets, even around the same practice areas and they “buy” very differently. This means content and messaging has to be continually compromised.
- Strongly positioning towards some areas within the business was likely to turn off other important target audiences.
- Some areas of their expertise didn’t have an obvious fit/angle for content marketing.
The strategy and positioning work were conducted over a 6 month period. We advised and helped Grosvenor break away from a single whole of firm position and instead develop three separate brands to provide targeted messaging to three audiences.
Grosvenor Public Sector Advisory:
Support and advice to the public sector managers to develop and deliver services and programs to support policy.
Grosvenor Procurement Advisory:
Advisors to public and private sector organisations on procurement.
Grosvenor Property Advisory:
Advisors to organisations to help them manage the performance of their property portfolios.
For each brand we developed one core perspective on the expertise being delivered and this formed the foundation of the positioning, key messaging, content themes designed to directly attract the identified target personas.
Each brand had their own website built to strongly communicate this perspective and problems solved for the target audience.
A set of assets where created for each brand, including a key flagship piece of content, a series of supporting insight articles, call to actions, landing pages and an automated email nurturing program delivered through HubSpot. A series of campaigns and ads where rolled out to attract the target audience through various digital channels.
Finally, a new Power BI analytics platform was built to monitor the success of the content marketing activity, giving visibility into the effectiveness of individual campaigns, channels associated costs, growth of reach etc.
- Because the three areas of specialisation had now been given their own channels, this made it easy to bring the profiles of the key experts in each area to the surface. Their expertise was used to support the overall positioning of each site.
- There was now clarity in how to communicate with each target audience. Stronger messaging and content were developed then published to a defined target audience. There was now far less need to generalise the marketing message or to compromise content to make it fit with a broad audience that shared little in common from a marketing perspective.
- All the complexity of the internal structure of Grosvenor was removed from the external face. The target audience is steered to their relevant brand, without even being aware of the other brands.
- The impact of the new strategies was visible almost immediately after launch. As at 6 months post launch, here is a snapshot of some key performance indicators.
- The acquisition rate of new followers connecting through the LinkedIn company and practice pages had grown by around 600% on average, increasing the organic reach of Grosvenor’s content significantly.
- The monthly growth rate of new leads added to the marketing database had grown by 300% compared to the previous 6 month period.
- The quality of these leads was at a higher quality level. It was estimated that around 70% of leads generated were directly aligned to the ideal target audience. These are leads who were previously unknown to the firm.
Grosvenor’s full time Marketing Manager was about to take 12 months maternity leave, so it was planned that One RabbitTM would take over all business as usual marketing responsibilities for the 12 month period. There was a short transition period where projects where handed over.
Our team took over the running of HubSpot, and distributing the marketing activities through our fulfilment team who provided design services, website maintenance, management of social media presences etc. While plugging and important hole, this also allowed us to gain a clear picture of how the marketing function was currently rolling. Rather than working at arm’s length, we could start to provide immediate advice into existing or planned campaigns about to start.
Audit of current marketing assets and systems
A comprehensive audit of the existing marketing systems and plans was undertaken, and a clear roadmap of existing activity was captured. The plan was to keep the existing marketing momentum moving forward in the short term until it became clear if any changes to direction needed to be made.
Grosvenor was already heavily invested in content marketing, having created a variety of flagship content pieces that had gained a lot of traction in the marketplace. This content had been developed over several years, so it was important to do a stock check on what was already in place, how it was being used and what results were being achieved.
Situation Analysis Workshops
A series of situation analysis workshops where conducted across the firm to kick off the strategic review. These were planned at both a whole of firm level and within individual practice areas. These workshops provided the direction for scoping out the next stage of work required
The Strategic Positioning Project
The outcome of this project established a structure for how the firm organises itself externally, to define clearly the ideal target audiences and maximise Grosvenor’s authority as the answer to their problem sets.
This is rarely a simple task and compounds exponentially for firms like Grosvenor that are multi-faceted, with very broad target audiences. The broader the position the more compromised and generic it is forced to become. Adding to the problem, positioning too strongly to any one audience, inevitably turns off other audiences.
Our response to this challenge was to recommend moving Grosvenor away from having one face to the market and instead position optimally but separately around each target audience.
We worked through an extensive process with leadership team over a number of months. Across the business we sought to gain clarity around the target audiences, the personas we needed to attract, their problem sets and articulated how Grosvenor solves those problems. We looked for patterns that would help us formulate an approach to slice and dice the face of the firm in a way that delivered the strongest marketing capability while being manageable in the long term.
Not all audiences identified were highly marketable, at least from an inbound perspective. Winning work from these channels would be more likely won via referrals, tender bids etc. The approach to position to this audience was going to be very different to how we positioned Grosvenor to an audience that was perhaps not even ready to buy yet but had problems that could be used to attract them to interact with Grosvenor’s content.
3 separate standalone positions were crafted, supported by their own sub-brands. Each was targeted to the needs and problems sets of a narrow target audience. Using targeted content marketing, ensured we could control the flow of each audience into the correct brand representing the strongest positioning without having to interact with or even be aware of any other brand within the firm.
Our recommendation to Grosvenor was to split their positioning into 3 completely distinct brands:
- Grosvenor Public Sector Advisory
- Grosvenor Property Advisory
- Grosvenor Procurement Advisory
In addition, we introduced a parent brand “Grosvenor Performance Group” which existed in the background. This brand was introduced to present a whole of firm face where needed (e.g. careers, company capability statements etc.).
One RabbitTM developed the new visual identity for the firm and provided implementation support to migrate all internal and external collateral and signage. In addition we developed content, collateral and a campaign to communicate the rebrand and repositioning to the market.
The Website Redesign
A suite of four websites were built on the WordPress platform. Three sites were designed to communicate the three core positions that fell out from the positioning strategy. The sites were built to keep content front and centre and provide an effective platform for easily publishing and managing content. Our development team custom built additional functionality into WordPress to ensure content could be promoted on the site with different levels of importance to provide a very high-quality user experience to the user, but also to ensure key positioning content remained the focus.
Further custom development was undertaken to include strong integration between the WordPress sites and the marketing functions within HubSpot, making it easy to integrate HubSpot components like forms and call to action buttons directly into each site.
Content Marketing – Game Plan Development
Falling out of each of the three positioning strategies we helped Grosvenor articulate their particular perspectives into how they solve the problem sets of each target audience.
For each one, a series of content marketing strategies were developed to communicate the position and the associated perspectives. These strategies were designed to attract the target audience via digital channels and nurture them over time using the developed content to a point where they are ready to take action by engaging Grosvenor’s team of experts.
Each game plan included the following components:
- Detailed personas and identification of pain points.
- Content themes designed to support the problems of the personas and resources to help educate the audience and keep Grosvenor top of mind
- A content plan of specific articles to be written and an email based nurture program
- LinkedIn and Facebook ads to attract the audience
- Landing pages to capture leads into the nurturing system
- A sequence of Call to Actions to compel leads to move deeper into the marketing funnel
Marketing Systems Implementation
Grosvenor was already making extensive use of the Hubspot platform to run all their automated email lead capture, nurturing, contact management, landing pages and website.
Like most firms who have already developed a strong content marketing capability, the systems are in place and generating lots of data. Even with tools like HubSpot that provide the main components of the content marketing platform right out of the box, it’s still difficult to stay in control and have a clear picture of what’s going on. Even with HubSpot, reporting is only as good as the quality and consistency of the underlying data. HubSpot also doesn’t have the full picture especially when it comes to integration with paid advertising platforms.
One RabbitTM implemented two projects to help streamline both the management and reporting of data across the platforms.
KPI Reporting and tools
HubSpot is great at keeping track of and reporting information it controls, but visibility needs to extend to other platforms and correlated to form a complete picture of the marketing function.
We designed a new set of reports built in Power BI to aggregate and link data from HubSpot and LinkedIn. This data was then cross-referenced back into the practice areas.
Using the reporting tools developed, everything from ad spend on social platforms could be correlated to Hubspot landing pages and assets providing clarity around performance metrics like cost per lead, growth in practice area, performance of individual campaigns etc.
Standardising processes to manage key components of the platform
To simplify ongoing management and facilitate the reporting of data, additional processes were developed to control how data is managed and assets created in HubSpot.
These processes ensured consistent approaches are applied to piece together and link all the components involved in the marketing activities, keeping everything well organised and maintainable over the long run.