Top 5 Trends In Professional Services Marketing
The business marketing landscape is ever-changing and it can be challenging to keep up with the trends. I personally have a little difficulty keeping up with the pace of innovation across all the marketing channels and sifting through the endless flow of content. One of my jobs is to cut through all the sales pitches and work out what is relevant for our clients and how we can make them more competitive now and better prepared in the future.
B2B marketing communications is now completely dominated by digital which itself is made up of several different channels and infinite approaches you can take to engage your key audiences. It takes time to re-think, get the firm's buy in, skill up and execute, so I am providing my view of theC significant trends that you must taking into consideration in your marketing planning.
The mobilization of audiences and content is probably the most significant trend that B2B marketers must rapidly adjust to. Clients can now consume and share content from any mobile device, meaning marketers must bake mobile into their strategy early on, not leave it as an after-thought. All your digital assets now need to be mobilized so that you can engage with your audience whose habits have changed overnight. Smartphones, tablets are now their preferred devices for consuming and sharing content on the go.
The customization and personalization of content to deliver relevance for the individual client or prospect will significantly impact your ability to connect and retain your audiences. Forward-thinking professional marketers are deploying strategies and next generation marketing technology to deliver am ultra-personalised content experience that adds more value to the client relationship. This approach may solve the ongoing battle between fee earners and relationship owners wanting to control what is best for their clients and marketing teams wanting to control the brand and review what is sent. The result is highly relevant content delivered on a perceived one-to-one basis, directly from the individual owning or managing the relationship and not the just the firm.
3. Marketing Automation
The reduction of content duplication across digital channels in order to free up marketing time for other initiatives. This is a content-centric approach to marketing that has been a popular strategy in consumer marketing, yet high-value services marketing has been slow to adopt due to the long sales cycle and internal complexities, among other factors. Advanced digital tools can now cater for the automated delivery of relevant content to contacts based on individual preferences for content, frequency and channel. The tools are surprisingly easy to implement and have a hugely positive impact on your ROI and team moral.
4. Empowered Technology
The latest innovations in decentralized marketing technology provide client-facing professionals and teams with access to intuitive digital tools and mobile apps, empowering them to execute and monitor their own client relationship marketing activities. These tools are now accessible via multiple devices, desktop, smartphone, and tablets, where content can be consumed, curated, shared and socialised without the involvement of a central marketing team. However, central marketing teams retain control of these tools as administrators, the result being less focus and time spent on execution and more energy focused on strategy.
5. Marketing-Centric CRM
Firms have invested untold amounts of money and time on CRM implementations with questionable results. The professional services CRM playing field has been levelled recently, with traditionally dominant installed platforms losing their momentum and struggling to innovate in this mobilised and cloud-based economy. There is already a shift towards marketing orientated CRM's platforms that have better usability and mobile baked in, with advanced marketing workflows and integrations to help navigate to long relationship sales cycle.
These are just some of the major trends that you need to consider. There are obviously many other factors at play that will affect the direction you take with your marketing. The main thing marketers forget is that they need to INNOVATE and DIFFERENTIATE, otherwise they are just following the other firms and will have no competitive edge.