Digital Innovations In Professional Services Thought Leadership
Digital has changed the way professional services firms and their clients communicate and consume information but I can't imagine ever hearing someone say "I have nailed my digital strategy". The audience and business landscape is constantly moving, but through applying the basic tenets of effective marketing and business development you will find choosing your digital tools that much easier. The message must come before the channel.
I was at a lunch and learn hosted by Professional Services Marketing Group (www.psmg.co.uk) and run by Meridian West. The session focused on the thought leadership that professional services firms produce and how digital has opened up opportunities to improve this important, but resource intensive process.
Professional services firms produce prodigious amounts of content, a lot of which falls under the "thought leadership" banner. So what are the digital trends that are driving the move away from thinking the campaign is finished once the ink has dried?
One of the first messages that the speakers Joyce and Alistair delivered confirmed that a lot of the process has only just started once the content is ready for dissemination. A huge amount of planning goes into this process; however as a visitor to our blog I am going to assume that you're here for the tech and digital angle. The slides are at the end of this post and discuss the importance of partner engagement and KPI setting amongst other key elements of successful Thought Leadership digital campaign.
Joyce went on to focus on the use of metrics including from your content distribution, such as email marketing downloads. However, stronger BD metrics are the responses from interactive tools and surveys (Meridian West had an excellent tool for this) to drive warmer conversations for fee earners. Sector insights from these tools can make fee earners' client conversation less of a barrier especially if you are able to benchmark and rate your client against the results. Another proven benefit of the interactive approach according to Alistair.
Content Working Harder
Email marketing still plays a part in your thought leadership, but in this era of content marketing, how can you make this content work harder for you? There were some excellent templates and checklists on display. One of the key points was to use snippets of information depending on the channel that it is used for. Pull out critical sections and adapt them so that this content can be shared by the actual fee earners through their own networks, be it email, enterprise apps or social.
This theme of personalisation is critical to driving relevance and effectiveness of your campaign. In practical terms you are amplifying this content (concep.local/product/touch) with relevant messages by the relationship owner. Be it top and tailing content, or sharing it with some signed off messaging in their personal network, a theme we have previously explored here.
Joyce and Alistair finished off by referencing the well-managed firm study by the Financial Times - by applying this rigour to your thought leadership you will of course show how well managed your marcomms are!
This was an excellent session that provided plenty of practical tips you can apply throughout the lifecycle of your Thought Leadership campaign. The digital landscape is providing lots of exciting opportunities to connect, inform and engage with clients and prospects at every Professional Services firm.