Reduce Overreliance: developing a diversified marketing strategy
Over the years, we’ve seen dramatic changes in marketing professional service firms. Our team began to wonder whether our observations were anecdotal or were we truly witnessing an industry transformation? In the final quarter of 2013, we surveyed more than 400 professionals in accounting, architecture, engineering, commercial construction, and consulting. The findings were eye-opening and disappointing at the same time. We really expected to find progressive attitudes and innovative thinking. Instead, the results not only showed an overriding view of marketing as an expense (versus the investment that it is), but also a heavy dependence upon referrals as THE source of new business opportunities.
It comes as no surprise that client referrals significantly outranked all other tactics when ranking lead generation tools. However, cultivating a culture with an “over reliance on referrals” can be detrimental to a firm. We all know that building a strong network is indeed a powerful part of any professional service firm’s marketing strategy – emphasis on the word PART – but referrals alone simply will NOT elevate a firm to the next level. Referrals are good, but a balanced approach is better.
There are three primary reasons why any professional service firm should adopt a more diversified, integrated marketing strategy.
It is simply impossible to control what a referral source will say about your firm or IF they will say anything at all. Think about your client base. How many of your clients rave about your firm? How many of those “happy” clients actually take the next step and refer your business? How many of those referrals turn into profitable new clients? And, do the “happy” clients focus on the services you find most valuable (or most profitable)?
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Everywhere we turn, there’s another story about the aging Baby Boomer population. Baby Boomers are still in leadership roles, but they are also retiring. Since 2011, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day and will continue to do so at that same rate for the next 16 years according to a study by Pew Research. Yes, they are retiring later, but current referral networks are also aging. Look at the people who send you business? Are they in their 60’s? If so, think about that network a year from now. Five years from now? Being too dependent upon referrals, particularly from a few sources, is a risky strategy – particularly if they are nearing retirement or simply leaving their leadership roles.
Whether we are talking investments or revenue sources, diversifying has always been a solid business strategy. Think about it. Would you depend upon a single client for the majority of your firm’s revenue? Absolutely not! So why place the future of your firm in a single marketing channel? A diversified, integrated marketing strategy provides multiple avenues of new business opportunities. Focusing one’s efforts in a single channel fails to take into consideration the unpredictability of the free market system in which we live. Marketing across multiple platforms extends the reach of your firm. It also protects against market fluctuations be it interest rates, industry challenges, regulations, etc. By integrating several marketing channels, it enables firms to cast a significantly wider and deeper net.
Whether you are promoting a product or service, there are three keys to any successful marketing effort: focus, consistency, and measurability. Technology has given us access to more powerful and measurable marketing tools than ever before. It’s up to you to use them. Take charge of your firm’s future with a diversified, integrated marketing strategy.
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Beat the Heat: effective time management techniques that work
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
2:00 – 3:00pm CST
(12noon PST, 1pm MST, 3pm EST)
There’s one thing that everyone wants – more time. Time is a precious, rapidly depleting resource – once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Whether you’re frequently getting interrupted, pulled in different directions, or getting lost in your own thoughts, time flies and the “To Do” list is longer than ever. The good news? With the right focus, a little planning, and proper techniques, you can complete that summer checklist and make every second count. But, when you aren’t an obsessive list maker or find it difficult to follow a rigid schedule, what can you do?
In “Beat the Heat: effective time management techniques that work,” join Christine M. Hollinden, CPSM, principal of Hollinden | positioning. process. people. as she walks you through the steps to help you get the most out of your most precious resource each and every day. You’ll leave this webinar ready to tackle that to-do list with time to spare to enjoy your favorite summertime activity!
Don’t put this webinar on your “to-do” list,
CPSMs receive CPE credit for this one-hour webinar.
Posted on Tue, July 1, 2014
by Christine Hollinden