In Australia and internationally, we are moving towards a more specialised, complex and globally engaged marketplace. Professional services now play a more crucial role in our economy.
With this market shift, the target markets for professional services are now more sophisticated and discerning. They need an authentic, distinctive brand that stands out from the crowd.
Today, your target markets are extremely time-poor and need you to make their decision easier for them, through helpful, easy to understand information, as they search online.
Why is professional services marketing different?
Marketing ideas / strategy for professional services requires a different approach to other sectors. When people are doing research for a physical product, they can see, touch and maybe even taste the product. With professional services, you are selling an “intangible” promise.
Potential clients look for cues that will help them trust that your organisation will deliver on this promise. The faster you can build trust, the sooner they will buy from you.
How to market “professional services” organisations.
The key success factors in professional services marketing ideas are:
- Creating a unique, strong brand that helps potential clients build trust sooner
- Demonstrating your capabilities and creditability through case studies, testimonials and blogs from in-house experts
- Sharing engaging stories about your people, clients and business
- Providing information that is genuinely helpful to potential and existing clients
- Using simple, easy to understand language, that helps them understand faster
- Staying in regular contact and ensuring you are front and centre in their mind- progressively moving them up the sales funnel.
The most effective professional services marketing ideas / strategies include:
- Continous networking and relationship building to generate an ongoing stream of referrals
- build relationships and generate referrals from your business community
- Marketing communications to cross sell other services to existing clients and move leads up your sales pipeline
- Public relations to elevate your brand, enhance and build your reputation as a professional services leader
- Facebook Marketing (paid and organic) to generate awareness and warm up prospects
- Google advertising (AdWords, Display & Remarketing) to generate leads
- Google My Business, if you are targeting prospects located around your business location
- Case studies, client testimonials and in-house expert interviews- showcasing your credibility through thought leadership and opinion
What are the professional services marketing trends in 2018?
Professional services organisations are no longer relying solely on networking and referrals. We are seeing some emerging trends that will transform the marketplace in 2018.
These trends have seen a shift to the adoption of a more integrated marketing approach, with organisations marketing across more channels- from traditional, digital and social media.
This helps organisations elevate their brand faster and maintain an ongoing pipeline of leads- helping them achieve sustainable growth.
Some of the marketing trends for 2018 that will see some professional services organisations leap out as industry leaders include:
- Niche targeting: precision targeting of ideal clients through understanding what appeals to them and creating high quality content that resonates with them
- Digital amplification: investments in new websites that are visually engaging, easy to find on Google, easy to navigate- based on what they are looking for and easy to understand. It’s about directing potential clients to your website, engaging and educating them, while holding their interest.
- Real: bringing the authentic personality of your brand and team to life with a strong brand story and professional, relaxed and friendly photos of your team
- Facebook advertising: Facebook’s changes in the Newsfeed Algorithm means more businesses will use advertising to build their reputation and offset the decline in organic posts
- Quality over quantity: this is the year where leading professional services organisations will prioritise quality content over quantity – whether that be webcopy, blogs or newsletter – and video will help too. Write about topics your niche audiences will want to read and in a language that makes it easy and fast to consume.
What are the challenges for professional services marketing?
In today’s high demand, fast-paced, digitally driven marketplace, it’s important for professional services to use a variety of marketing strategies. It can be hard for business owners to work out which strategies will suit their organisation and where to spend their marketing dollars.
Which marketing ideas / strategies suit my business?
Today, marketing can be very time and resource intensive, with so many strategies to choose from – traditional advertising, direct mail, public relations, marketing communications, digital marketing, social media and more.
What marketing strategies will support specific business objectives?
As a business owner, it is important to raise the profile of your brand- generating long term sales, as well as generate sales in the short term. Also, be aware that different marketing strategies support different marketing objectives.
For example, public relations and social media are better for brand awareness and influencing the public’s perception through good story telling. Google promotions are effective at lead generation. Some organisations struggle with how much to spend on branding versus acquisition. Often client retention is overlooked.
What topics and language will appeal to your target markets?
In the past, professional services organisations would write newsletters and blogs in their own technical language, based on what they thought potential and existing clients wanted.
Today, as clients become more discerning, it is more important than ever to write about topics that your niche audience wants to know about and in simple, plain English. As we’ve moved into an era of custom content, it is important to prioritise quality content over quantity.
An effective marketing plan will have brand, lead generation and retention activities all covered.
How can Sustainable Marketing Services help?
Sustainable Marketing Services have a proven track record in helping professional services organisations elevate the profile of their brands, generate leads and help retain existing clients.
We have strong experience working with accountants, aged care services, disability services, medical centres, commercial linen cleaning services and mining services to name a few.
Read about our specialist professional services experience.
Sustainable Marketing Services can develop marketing, public relations, digital marketing and social media tailored for your professional services organisation.
Meet us for coffee, we're happy to share our knowledge and understand how we can help you.
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