[box]Does your firm have a formal marketing and business development program and assigned marketing professionals for each industry?[/box]
If your firm has seriously set about the business of becoming more industry-focused, you’re on the right track.
Once you’ve targeted specific industries, set goals, and adapted your service offerings, it’s time to ensure that you’ve got a solid go-to-market plan in place. That means having both industry-specific marketing strategies and dedicated experts to lead the business development charge for each sector you’re targeting.
Assign an in-house marketing pro to cover your target industries.
First things first: Each sector that you serve needs to have a marketer dedicated to it.
That person doesn’t have to be exclusive – they could oversee several industries at a time – but there should be one person who’s responsible for the marketing efforts of each industry.
Think of them as the point person that your industry experts can go to when they need to get the word out about emerging industry-specific services, new regulations or legal developments they can address, or their latest success stories. The marketers should be focused on the individual needs of the industry so that their marketing plans are driven by those needs, rather than your firm’s menu of services.
Tailor your marketing plans to each industry you serve.
Leverage your industry-specific business strategies to create industry-specific marketing strategies. The two are interdependent in the sense that a business strategy will spin its wheels if it’s not backed up by a strong plan for taking that strategy to market. Conversely a marketing strategy that lacks strategic clarity about your target market, the value propositions you are bringing to the market and your points of differentiation will likely deliver very little or generate leads for the wrong kind of work with the wrong kind of clients.
As an example of a firm whose marketing strategy reflects their firm strategy, PwC has industry-specific content on their website to address the needs and concerns of the industries they serve. Their U.S. consumer products page, for instance, demonstrates their understanding of the pain points that their clients face, has links to relevant briefs and research materials, and provides a list of contact info for their in-house industry experts.
Sharing all of this information in this way serves several key marketing purposes for PwC:
- They’re establishing themselves as a thought leader in a targeted industry
- They’re demonstrating that they not only understand common problems of the industry, but that they know how to mitigate them
- They’re highlighting their expertise without talking about themselves in a hollow or self-aggrandizing way, which increases clients’ trust in them
Figure out which marketing methods work best for each industry.
It’s crucial to identify the most potent marketing methods and outlets for each sector, which will be informed by the high-level strategies for each sector. PwC chose to market their U.S. consumer product insights on their website, but they’re likely talking about it on other platforms, as well.
Each industry has its own way of connecting and communicating, so it’s important to hone in on which media resonate with a specific client base. For example, Navigant Consulting sponsors and presents at industry-specific conferences, while Venable hosts webinars and speaking engagements. The methods may be different, but both firms are connecting with their clients, discussing industry trends, and addressing issues and concerns.
Industry-focused marketers work with niche experts to understand how clients search for business services, choose service providers, and research problem-solving solutions. Your marketing pros should be able to look at their own client research and industry goals to determine which techniques will work best for each sector – whether that’s presenting at conferences, publishing newsletters, sponsoring events, or engaging social media outlets.
Reaching your target audience is not always easy work, but with the right people dedicated to the task, your firm will find new clients, bolster existing relationships, and reinforce its profile as an engaged industry expert.