Professional services marketing

Professional services marketing

Professional services marketing differs from many other sectors. With services being so specific to circumstances, many of which can be unforeseen, professional services companies can find it challenging to grow using the marketing techniques and technologies employed by other companies.

In many instances, professional services marketing can simply become reliance on referrals, distress purchases when a client really needs help urgently, and the natural organic growth expected from low investment in marketing and promotion.

In our experience, this is one of the few sectors where marketing hasn’t changed that much in the majority. Things like promotional merchandise, sponsorship and advertising are the mainstays. As with all the other sectors, the challenges are those that have always existed, measurement and calculating ROI.

There is one area that has moved on dramatically in financial services though and that’s marketing automation. Such process driven activities as accounting and legal services are key contenders for marketing automation which relies on process as the key to getting communications delivered smoothly and effectively.

Professional services marketing for accountants

For every customer of every accountancy practice there are key dates and touch points throughout the year. Typically the points where Accountants need to speak with their customers, or at the very least send them reminders, are, VAT return, annual return, pay roll, corporation tax due date, and the list goes on. There are two schools of thought on how to deal with this.

  1. Carry on as usual, it’s always worked as is, why invest any more in something that isn’t broken? Now there’s something to be said for this as it won’t cost you anything and doesn’t require any additional work for you. Maybe it’s “better the devil you know”.
  2. For more forward thinking owners of accountancy practices it would be important to find ways to differentiate and add value to the service you provide. You would identify contact points which are frequently similar and ascertain the possibilities of automating messages to increase staff productivity and improve the customer experience. This would enable you to take on more clients and be more attentive to those you already have. There’s another benefit too in that you’d be able to take on more new clients without having the same burden on manpower as more traditional setups.
Professional services marketing for law firms

Marketing law firms is an area which due to the very nature of needing legal services, particularly in the consumer market, is something of a distressed purchase. It can be challenging to sell legal services to people who don’t feel any immediate need.

What this means for marketing law firms is that it’s a necessity to be top of the visibility list when someone does require your services. That’s not only a visibility by way of brand placement but also in the minds of those influencers that may recommend your services. There are a number of different ways that legal firms can gain market presence and improve their opportunities for success.

As with marketing accountancy firms, there are two perspectives on marketing law firms, and both have merit.

  1. Use traditional methods of marketing including consistent presence in the local newspapers, sponsorship of local events and sports teams, partnerships with local estate agents and growth through acquisition and merger.
  2. Recognition of an evolved client market where people expect to be kept up to date with the work you are doing for them and expect to be able to gain some information without paying a fee. Take a more open stance on your knowledge and enable your potential clients to learn about you, how you work and how you do things differently so they can make an informed choice when the time comes for needing you.

[su_rm_boilerplate style=”white2″ boilerhead=”Case study” boilertext=”How renew marketing helped this law firm to improve their image and attract more customers.” buttonlink=”” boilerbutton=”Read more”]

Top tips for marketing professional services businesses

  1. Although markets have changed and the way people find you has changed, many of the traditional marketing methods you have been using are still completely valid.
  2. If you want to be found on a web search for more than your company name, you need to use the services of a professional.
  3. Any communications you have with clients that are process driven or repeated to many different people, even if it’s not at the same time, could be automated. Automation improves customer experience and reduces time and effort required by staff.
  4. If you wish to grow at a greater rate than organic and referral business determines, you need to focus on your marketing strategy and implement strategies that work.
  5. Producing packaged products can be an excellent way to grow your business.
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