A Strong Marketing Strategy is Key to Your Growth
In fact, developing your marketing strategy is where we begin our work together. Why? Because all the things you “do” in marketing need to be grounded in a strong, customized marketing strategy that defines what makes you unique in the marketplace, why your clients and customers hire you, your compelling marketing messages, and the various groups to whom you are marketing. Our mantra is “strategy before tactics.” The reason is simple. We don’t want you wasting money on marketing ideas that have not been vetted, tested, and proven through the strategic marketing planning process.
If you think about the things you have tried in marketing that haven’t worked, it’s likely you chose activities you saw others in your industry doing, thought might be cool to try, or a suave sales person promised you immediate results (think pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). Don’t be embarrassed these things didn’t work. You were willing to try new things, be unique and creative. That said, it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of high-level strategy that went into your decision. That’s where PSM steps in.
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Our Marketing Strategy: We start by Analyzing Your Business
With experience in myriad industries, we know what works and what doesn’t. How do we know this? When we begin the marketing planning process, we start with a strategic marketing assessment where we look holistically at your past marketing efforts – successes and failures. We take every detail about you and your business, lay it out on a table, and look for focused threads, missing links, and common denominators. Our process is analytical at this stage. From the strategic assessment we develop our summary and recommendations. We refine our findings to ensure we are completely in sync with you.
Strategic Marketing Plan: We Recommend Only what Works
It is from the strong foundation of our marketing assessment that we craft our recommendations into your strategic marketing plan. Our marketing planning process has been tested over time and is designed to deliver targeted strategies to grow your business. Your marketing plan will define your:
The Four Pillars of Marketing: A Balanced Approach to Marketing Strategy Implementation
Many years ago, PSM founder, Terrie Wheeler, developed a construct to organize her clients’ Marketing Strategy implementation efforts. The Four Pillars of Marketing focus on efforts to retain and grow existing relationships, develop new business, increase name recognition, and effectively communicate with target audiences. Take a moment to explore The Four Pillars and to see examples of marketing tactics supporting each pillar:
Describe the objectives you have regarding how you will ensure your clients are satisfied with the delivery of your services (conduct a client survey, schedule client interviews, send end-of-work surveys)
- Client satisfaction surveys and interviews
- End of case surveys
- Focus groups
- Client satisfaction training for staff and professionals
- Implement web-based survey tools
Create an objective that defines your continued approach to serving your clients (new client intake, ongoing client service, rapport building with clients, keeping clients informed, communications via email, voicemail and returning telephone calls).
- New matter reports to track marketing
- Client intake and screening process
- Client service systems and process development
- Client service training for staff and professionals
- Client services best practices
- Development of Client Services Directory for use with employees, clients and the media
Define an objective you have related to providing more services to your existing clients, or better communicating how you can serve clients of the firm.
- Identify clients with top cross marketing potential (grid)
- Train associates on cross-marketing
- Incentive program for cross marketing
- Compensation plan consulting to reward results
Referral Source Development
Create objectives around developing your referral sources. How many new referral sources would you like to attract, in what industries?
- Incoming referral tracking
- Outgoing referral tracking
- Proactive and mutually beneficial referral source development
- Maximize referral-based associations
- Training on referral source development
What is your objective related to how often and with whom you will proactively develop relationships with?
- Identifying opportunities for the firm and individual professionals
- Networking programs for practice groups
- Networking training and best practices
Targeted Business Development
What is your objective in the area of developing relationships with new clients? How many do you want to attract? What industries do they represent? Do you have a sales pipeline?
- Client-specific marketing plans
- Practice group marketing plans
- Individual marketing plans
- Sales pipeline development and implementation
What objective do you have in the area of increasing your ability to efficiently respond to requests for information about your services?
- Create proposal archive
- Develop efficient proposal response process
- Design professional and visually appealing proposal responses
- Write proposals for new business
Define an objective related to incorporating market research into your practice before meeting with a new prospective client or referral source.
- Big opportunity research on companies and people
- Create client dossiers for new business
Trade and Professional Association Involvement
Every professional should be active in his/her industry association (Financial Planning Association or Bar Associations) as well as at least one industry-based association attracting prospective clients or referral sources. What is your objective in this area?
- Assess firm’s involvement and ROI with associations
- Create association strategies to become high profile members by pitching professionals to write articles and speak at upcoming events
Are there opportunities for you to cost-effectively use advertising to convey the message of why clients should hire you? Advertising can be cost-prohibitive. Make sure there aren’t better ways to increase your name recognition.
- Graphic design
- Ad placement
- Campaign management
- Style guide development
Are you satisfied with the strength of your brand? Set an objective to enhance and improve the quality of your brand. Your brand includes your logo, tagline, marketing materials, website and other tangible aspects that reflect the personality and professionalism of you and your firm.
- New logo
- Letterhead, business cards, and identity materials
- New website
- Customized social media headers
- Branding Guide
Tap into the power of the press! Set at least one objective around activities you can pursue to garner positive press coverage for you and your firm. Do you want to draft an article for publication? Be interviewed on the radio? Become a spokesperson for the media?
- News release and media list development
- Story pitches
- Online media kit development
- Ghost-write bi-lined articles
- Position firm and professionals as “expert” sources for the media
- Secure speaking engagements with targeted groups
You might have the opportunity to showcase your expertise at a trade show attracting prospective clients or referral sources. Create an objective for this area. Join an association, become a high profile member, and consider a presence at the organization’s annual trade show.
- Trade show booth
- Soliciting presentations
- Networking guidance
- Follow up strategies
Being an involved and active member of your community is an excellent way in which to build your reputation and increase your name recognition. Create an objective surrounding your current and future community involvement.
- Board and volunteer placements
- Promotion of activities on website and in communications
- How to maximize board involvement
- Leveraging pro bono activities
LinkedIn, FaceBook, blogs – – what’s a person to do? One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. Your marketing plan wouldn’t be complete without setting an objective in support of how you plan to engage in social media to build your name recognition and enhance your thought leadership to a very targeted group of prospective clients and referral sources.
- Individual LinkedIn profile creation and enhancements
- Develop company pages on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
- Develop blogging program
- Create monthly posting calendar for the firm and attorneys
- Manage engagement on social media
Set an objective around doing more communications with your target audiences. What do you want to communicate, to whom, and how often? Make your communications relevant to specific audiences versus too general.
- Develop e-based communications
- Firm announcements
- Ongoing firm-wide communications
Can you easily and effectively communicate with your clients? If not you might want to create an objective around creating and managing your marketing information. Look into tools like Highrise, Constant Contact, and Campaigner.
- Implement marketing Contact Management System
- Implement communications database like Constant Contact
- Manage marketing database/CRM
- Run reports for marketing purposes
- Track and report on open rates of email campaigns
How is your website? Over 85% of prospective clients will check you/your firm out online. Set an objective to create or update your website this year!
- Website strategic planning and site map development
- Copywriting with focus on key word research
- Website design and technical development
- Integration with social media
- Website promotion and communications
- Managing and updating client websites
Interested in bonding with your clients, contacts and referral sources? Consider hosting an event and create an objective in this important area!
- All details including venue selection, catering, entertainment, speaker lineup, invites, promotion, and follow up
- Firm seminars
- Client events
- Employee events
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