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Posts Tagged ‘new clients’

How to get results and value from your marketing spend (and everything else)

Last year we conducted a survey of professional services firms, to find out about their experiences of effective, and ineffective, marketing.  Marketing has long been an area where businesses struggle to understand the real impact of their activities, and spend.  We wanted to know what makes a difference to that.  As a result we have developed a whitepaper that we offer at our website at no charge to help professional firms get the best value from their marketing spend.

The survey explored a range of areas including planning, targeting, use of expertise, types of activity and opinions of effectiveness.  The results were interesting – predictable in some areas and not in others.  It was no surprise to find that overall, respondents considered paid media (newspapers, radio, television) advertising to be least effective.  Perhaps more surprising was that the number was twice that of the next ‘least effective’ category – being tradeshows. 

On the other hand, the overwhelmingly most effective method of advertising was considered to be ‘word-of-mouth’.  

The survey explored marketing as a whole though, and not just the advertising aspect.  We explored whether respondents had a strategic plan that directed their marketing effort, and whether or not they used marketing expertise.  In most cases those with a plan also used marketing expertise, although the data was not able to tell us whether they had a plan because of a marketing presence in the firm, or whether the developing of the plan had resulted in recognition and acquisition of marketing skills.

Nonetheless, there were three key differences in those firms that had a strategic plan in place.  They were:

  1. Twice as many respondents who had a strategic plan reported that inviting prospective clients to events, lunch etc was cost-effective, as compared to the respondents overall.
  2. Three times as many respondents from firms with a strategic plan reported that  providing informative copy, press releases or articles for mainstream media was cost-effective compared to the respondents overall.
  3. Those with a strategic plan had a larger quantity of effective methods than those without.

Most activities are more likely to be effective where they are well-targeted, whether that’s marketing, investment, human resources or production.  Logically, it must be easier to achieve with a clear plan.

As a result of this survey we have produced a white paper titled ‘Find More Clients With Less Effort, and Get Better Value from Your Marketing Budget’.  This whitepaper is available at no cost from our website – http://www.strategies-direct.com.  It sets out how to target your marketing activity with a clear strategy, so that your firm can be sure you are gaining new clients from your marketing spend.  The whitepaper is available now for a limited time.

Categories: Business and Strategy

Most effective ways to get new clients revealed

A new survey is finding out about the experiences of professional services firms in getting new clients, and the results will show processes that are working, those that are more cost-effective and those that might be a waste of your resources.  Despite the much touted fact that selling further services to existing clients is more cost-effective than obtaining new ones, the reality is that every business needs a steady stream of new clients.  If you could find out the most cost-effective methods to acquire new clients, you could save precious marketing budget ‘experimenting’.  Competitors are unlikely to directly share what’s working for them, but wouldn’t it be great to know?   Those who complete the survey can opt to receive the results.

For a whole variety of reasons, every business loses clients over time.  Some of the reasons could be –

  • You have succeeded or completed the work, and the client no longer requires your service
  • Client has moved to a competitor due to their specialization, marketing, service, price or some other reason
  • Client personally knows someone who has just set up in competition and transfers
  • Client has decided to do it themselves – perhaps employing in-house
  • Client’s business has grown or changed and they require services you don’t offer or specialize in
  • Client is unhappy with your service and leaves

No matter the reasons and how you respond to these, it’s essential to regularly replace these clients to maintain your business.  This is a critical function of your strategic thinking and planning.  The block many professional services firms face, is understanding really what’s working in the sector.  It’s very easy to waste resources spending time and money developing and implementing strategies that, had you understood the experiences of others in the industry, you would have steered clear of.  It’s logical to share what’s working within a sector, and what’s not working, but most firms are reluctant to share this directly with competitors.  Most are especially reluctant to openly admit what hasn’t worked.  Also, what’s worked in other professional services sectors who are attracting similar clients, could also work for you.

The survey has been developed to find out, anonymously, what’s working and what hasn’t been cost-effective or good use of resources for professional services firms.  It’s short and can be completed in just a few minutes.  On the final page there is a web address that you can go to and opt to receive the results.  The survey closes at the end of October and can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/professionalfirmsnewclients

 

 

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