Professional Service Firms: Reflections on 2014 – Actions for 2015Posted on: December 23, 2014
I produced an overview of my work during the year (see http://www.kimtasso.com/whats-new/work-update/) but have summarised below three key reflections on the year and thus the main focus for action in 2015 for professional service firms:
1. Lead with strategy – Some have it. Many don’t. Everyone talks about it. Industries and markets are changing. There is disruption and innovation. How many firms have a really good strategy? Where there is confidence in their planned financial and cash flow management? Assurance that people, physical and technological resources will meet the businesses’ future needs? Real clarity over the markets targeted and served (segmentation seemed to be the missing link for many firms), the value delivered to clients, the services to be developed to generate tomorrow’s profits and how to integrate pricing, delivery, communications and channel strategies? How many leaders are able to articulate their strategy in a way that energises and mobilises their entire workforce – both the professionals and their support people? Checking that there is a real strategy – and stress testing it against a fast-moving reality – and not just sharing wishful ambitions or repeats of previous business plans has to be a top priority.
2. Join up business development – Digital marketing has arrived with a vengeance. Social media has become main stream. And there’s yet more change on the horizon. And with these developments come an army of new specialists and exciting technologies. But as firms race to become early adopters and lead the technology charge, things become more complex and fragmented. Senior marketers need to guide their boards and stakeholders, be connected to and listening to their existing and future clients as well as bridging the communications gap with technical specialists, sales and business development experts and those responsible for faultless service delivery. Joining up the firm-wide business development activity – and keeping it integrated – will be no mean feat.
3. Engage the people – Those firms that have managed to stay ahead of the strategy and technology race face the never-ending people challenge. They must manage constant change, acquire precious rare talent and equip their people with an ever-increasing array of new skills. Firms must learn how to take people – clients, intermediaries, associated firms, targets and their own partners and staff – along the journey with them. Overcome resistance. Maintain motivation. Reward the desires new behaviours. Engage and persuade clients. Despite all the new communications technologies, there is a need to remember that all these programmes require ongoing, meaningful and skilled communication and engagement with real people.
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
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- Two book reviews – For “Rainmakers and Trailblazers: Business Development for Lawyers”
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- Marketing accountability and creativity, crisis management pragmatism, social media success and new banking brands at AMBA
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- Property marketing: Trends and challenging convention (Summary of EG Property Marketing summit speech)
- What are the essential skills for modern marketers?
- Review of law firm strategy and finance (First half 2014)
- Book Review – “How to think strategically: Your roadmap to innovation and results” by Davide Sola and Jerome Couturier
- Book review: “Developing a business strategy – How to use strategic planning to start up or grow your business” FT Essential Guides by Vaughan Evans
- Creativity 1: Seven steps to become more creative
- 2014 CIM professional marketing qualifications syllabus changes
- Business development for professional service firms – Summary of MBL seminar
- Strategy workshop: Skills, resources, involvement and tools for the journey
- Opportunities and challenges in the legal market – presentation by Steve Billot of Duff and Phelps
- Book Review: “The small big – small changes that spark big influence” by Steve J Martin, Noah J Goldstein and Robert B Cialdini (persuasion science)
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- Work Update - Kim Tasso clients and assignments
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- Update on digital marketing and social media in the professions (May 2015)
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- How to design a marketing and business development team
- Book Review: Professional Services Marketing Handbook (Edited by Nigel Clark with Charles Nixon)
- There’s a real person behind that Persona
- Client References
- Futurologist Chris Yapp on “The professional firms of 2020”
- Checklist: 25 practical and professional skills for marketing and business development assistants (2015)
- Before you set your goals – check your limiting assumptions
- Future Marketing Managers need some Finnish “Sisu” or Japanese “Ganbaru” for success
- Book Review – The Analytical Marketer – How to transform your marketing organization by Adele Sweetwood
- Fortress equity or successful succession?
- Thought leadership lecture for Laurie Young – The future of the professions
- Key challenges when developing and sustaining your private client practice
- Be more strategic – creating behaviour change
- Legal Marketing Case Study – Fisher Meredith family law services and so much more
- Back to basics – The importance of segmentation and personas
- Rainmakers and Trailblazers – Business development for lawyers
Category: Accountants, Kim's Blog, Lawyers, Management Skills, Marketing, Strategy
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