Advice, opinions and tutorials on all things digital marketing.

Professional Services Firms Sacrifice Marketing at their Own Peril

The average firm spends only 25% of the recommended Marketing Budget vs Comparable Business in other industries.

 The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising. However, the Huffington Post reports that law firms are only spending about 2 percent of gross revenues on marketing expenses.


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Professional services firms are notorious for streamlining their operating expenses and quite often marketing is one of the areas that winds up feeling the pinch.  They wind up relying on networking and an unquantifiable/unreliable “word of mouth” or the occasional charity golf tournament sponsorship to grow market share and attract new business. Data from eight of Nielsen’s key accounts in 2015 showed more than $1.1 billion of additional revenue could be obtained by optimizing a client’s marketing mix.

 

Making a Good First Impression

In today’s digital world, a website is the first impression of your firm. It takes 50 milliseconds for someone to make up their mind about your website. That means you could lose a potential customer in just 0.5 seconds because of a poor first impression. Potential leads are searching the web daily for your services and if your website has poor or dated visuals, is challenging to navigate,  is unresponsive to mobile, or if it even loads slowly -  that potential lead is clicking the back button as fast as possible and going right to your competition.

 

Being Found

But, before we even get to the website, how do potential clients even find your firm online? Are you relying on good results on Google?

Maybe you should consider spending a little money and push ads to people searching for various keywords. Research shows that the a #1 ranking on Google gets 33% of all organic clicks for that search. #2 position gets 17.6% and #3 gets 11.4%. Beyond that it drops off significantly.

Also, consider your content. Are you writing content that is valuable to consumers?  According to Dragon Search, "61% of consumers are influenced by custom content.” If you are not regularly updating your site with fresh original content that your clients will find useful,  then this is another place for  you need to allocate for some of your budget.  But fear not,  content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source:DemandMetric)

 

 Attracting Top Talent

Not only are your potential clients visiting your website, but so is the top talent of this year’s graduating class. A recent Monster.com interview, recruiting agency, CKR Interactive, notes “We are seeing a trend of employers embracing emerging media in efforts to be where their target audience is, while strengthening their employer brand as an innovative workplace.”

This year’s graduating class (and your potential new employees) will be even more tech-savvy than the last, and showcasing your firm as an innovative, progressive workplace is important to them. Is your website projecting that image? If not, you could be losing potential valuable employees and not even realize it.

 

BFD's Take:

Professional services firms need to be where the potential clients and top recruits are, yet are spending only a quarter on marketing compared to other types of businesses. The normal arguments for this usually fall into the “We’re a personal services business, our sales come through our network” or “We don’t sell a product, so it is hard to justify the return on investment.” While both of these statements may have been true, their validity in an age of smart phones and tech savvy consumers is dwindling.  

The reality is that marketing automation has evolved to the point that we can now track potential clients before anyone from your firm ever has a face-to-face interaction. A good website can help educate them about your firm, its services and people well before they ever pick up the phone to schedule a consultation. And, armed with this data, we can help you rationalize your marketing budget and track return on your investment in a clear, black and white manner that will make your CFO ecstatic.

Want to learn more? Read this white paper about a regional professional services firm who engaged us to build them a website and a lead gen program that began to show results in less than a month.  Click below to download our white paper and learn how we did it. Or give us a call at 978-238-1626 to talk about your firm’s marketing strategy.


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