Horses for courses: Marketing is a Specialty

A firm has to grow to achieve success. It’s what matters in any business. But what many professional service firms fail to realise is that recognising the problem is not the solution. It’s also likely that marketing isn’t their specialty, and that’s where they fail to find a solution. Here are four basic mistakes most firms make when it comes to growth via marketing.

  1. Not trusting the strategy

A strategy is crucial for marketing success. But it takes a specialist to make it work, and even then it might not work due to “death by committee.” It is a term coined to describe accounting firms that put together a large committee to monitor and provide complete oversight of all marketing activities.

It can be a problem for two reasons. First, in most cases, these committees are formed from partners and the executive team. And for marketers looking to present ideas outside of rigid systems, it can be a real stumbling block.

The sentiment “if it works, don’t change it” is the second reason strategies don’t work. Some firms fail to see past the risks of significant investments in quality marketing strategies and instead choose safer options which bring equally average results.

  1. Losing interest over implementation

In situations where a firm picks an operational approach; even that doesn’t secure implementation. As the time for launch draws near, enthusiasm declines and the scope of the project starts to overwhelm. Employees who already have a full workload can’t get behind another long-term obligation and interest fades away.

What’s more, marketing can (in rare situations) produce quick results, and that’s usually not the ROI time framework anyone wants to see. Employees become discouraged, while management starts seeing it as a flop, and everyone shifts their focus from growth to existing clients and stagnation. Often, they see an increase in administrative tasks and don’t realise that setting these repeatable systems in place gradually build success over time.

  1. Underestimating the sales funnel

If marketing and sales do not co-exist, there will be no success from your marketing efforts. It’s the entire point of the process. But what many fail to realise is that both need to work cohesively to create a functional sales funnel, where marketers fill the funnel with leads and sales converts them into clients.

The problem becomes apparent when companies don’t see it like this and focus on only one segment of the funnel out of three: attract, convince, convert. A person has to pass through the buyers’ journey if a marketing tactic is supposed to work.

A firm that attracts well but fails to convince people to buy ends up with potential clients who are stuck inside the funnel. With no one to convert them. They either lose interest or leave entirely.

  1. Lack of critical skills

Many firms believe that capable administrators or junior technicians are capable of handling company-wide marketing efforts – they are not. While this often seems like a cost-effective way to efficiently run, manage and implement marketing strategies, it can often miss the mark. But why?

Professional marketers are trained technicians, but they also know how to generate and cultivate leads, and work with your business development or pursuits team to turn them into customers. Their strength lies in a different perspective, and they view client acquisition from another angle.

This mindset allows them to see, know and consider alternative solutions and make quick decisions to align them with your marketing strategy. Their mindset is different to that of your legal, accounting or engineering advisors.

The marketer’s approach to marketing is ideal when you can nurture your current administrator with help from an external mentor, like The Thought Leadership Initiative. We can improve your understanding of why your clients want to do business with you, so you can develop marketing resources that attract, inspire and convert your target audience.

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