Five marketing best practices from fast growing firms

24 August 2020 3 min. read
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According to a recent report by Hinge, professional services firms that excel in marketing and business development enjoy higher growth rates and business success. Elizabeth Harr, a partner at Hinge, shares what they are doing to outshine the rest. 

Firms in the professional services industry face a range of challenges. These include facing increased competition from larger and new competitors, commonly cited as the top challenge, as well as dealing with the shortage of top talent, changes in how buyers purchase services and the need for building up rapidly emerging digital skills.

Addressing these challenges requires professional services firms to take an integral approach, from strategy and sales & marketing to recruitment, procurement practices and technology. In Hinge’s ‘High-Growth Study’, we looked into what contribution the marketing function can make, exploring how marketing practices can drive business performance and identified the strategies that lead to the largest return on investment (ROI).

Five marketing best practices from fast growing firms

According to the benchmark, firms that apply best practices in marketing managed to outgrow their peers by 20% or more for at least three consecutive years.

Further reading: High growth consulting firms are specialised and invest in marketing.

Here are the five main marketing techniques that helps them stand out:

1. Content creation

Demonstrating expertise through relevant, high-quality thought leadership content not only helps firms attract new clients, but also draws top talent. Relevant, educational content establishes firms as leaders and sends a message to potential candidates about the firm’s culture and employee development. 

2. Brand differentiation

With a sea of otherwise similar competitors, high-growth professional services firms distinguish themselves by conducting research on their target audience so they can identify industry trends and monitor their clients’ evolving needs. They are 3x more likely to conduct research at least quarterly than their no-growth peers – and also 3x more profitable than firms that fail to incorporate research into their plans. 

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

High growth professional services firms are 19% more likely to prioritise (SEO), an effective driver of visibility and online lead generation. 

4. Social media marketing

One of the most highly leveraged marketing strategies available to professional services firms today is based on the growth of social media. This channel satisfies the modern-day requirement of networking and sharing high-value, high-quality content, enabling firms to become a major online voice within target client groups. 

5. Website performance:

While every firm faces unpredictability in the marketplace, properly designed websites can offer some stability by drawing the right type of visitors and nurturing them over time. High-growth firms prioritise regular review of web analytics to ensure their websites are performing as expected.

In most cases, the best overall marketing and business development strategy will be one that combines several of these top strategies. Professional services firms can take these cues from their high-performing peers to survive, if not thrive, in challenging market conditions.