By Nikki Poe
StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay
Over the past decade, the marketplace has undergone fundamental change. However many firms still haven’t adapted to the new ways buyers find and select their professional services providers. Even firms that have embraced marketing technology and content marketing can struggle to deliver a cohesive, well-coordinated marketing program.
As you consider your marketing priorities for 2018, it’s important to take a close look at what’s really happening in the marketplace, and then invest in the activities that are going to position your firm for future growth.
In this post, I’ll help you identify some of the trends that are shaping the professional services marketplace today — and tomorrow. I’ll also provide you with five marketing planning tips to help you stand apart from your competition.
What to expect in 2018
While I can’t claim to predict what will happen to the economy in 2018, I can offer — based on Hinge’s ongoing research into professional services marketing — a couple of observations about where marketing appears to be headed in the year ahead.
- Buyers will rely more than ever on online tools. Buyers are increasingly looking online for professional services providers. The tools are simple to use (think Google and LinkedIn), powerful and can generate more options more quickly than traditional techniques, such as asking colleagues for referrals. Of course, today’s younger generation of buyers and influencers have grown up with these online tools, so they reach for them reflexively whenever they need to answer a question or find a resource. As a result, the advantage will go to firms that can be found — and are being talked about — online.
- Recruiting won’t get any easier. With employment levels at their lowest level in 16 years, the job market is a challenge for employers. In fact, 3 out of the top 5 business challenges identified by participants in our most recent study were related to recruiting and talent retention. We don’t see this trend abating any time soon. Firms that want to hire the best people need to devote serious marketing resources to attract and keep them.
So with those two themes in mind, let’s get to the main event. Here are my 5 top marketing planning tips for professional services firms:
Tip 1. Find out what you don’t know
If we’ve learned one thing at Hinge — through our work with hundreds of professional services clients and while marketing our own business — it’s this: you don’t know as much as you think you do about your buyers. You will never know what’s really going on in the marketplace until you do the research.
Firms that conduct regular research on their target audience are much more likely to have higher than average rates of growth and profitability. In our 2017 High Growth Study of 505 firms, not one of the no-growth firms in the study did research, while over a third of the high-growth firms conducted research at least 4 times a year.
This correlation between research and growth makes sense. When firms are guided by Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community