There are three marketing activities that are priorities as it regards to consulting firms all over the world. These priorities are the highest and most necessary points in marketing for consulting firms. Planning, thought leadership and online contents are parts that cannot be skipped. Most of the time, research analysis for consulting firms have one very important factor lacking; there is that disconnection between where the management thought their teams were spending money on, where the team were spending the resources, and where they ought to be spending it.
Most consulting firms are still battling with this singular problem. How do they get to where they want to be from where they actually are? This is where the three topmost marketing priorities come to play: planning, thought leadership and online content. Problem with many consulting firms is that they are always in a hurry and miss either one or two of these important elements. They jump from one to the other creating that disconnection which later comes to affect them.
This is where you merge upstream marketing with prospects that were discussed earlier in the decision making process. Here you analyze the problem and opportunity of a prospect internally, creating scenarios and providing solutions. One really great place to start on this is an open communication where your team of consultants can exchange ideas with your marketing department.
As you work with your consultants you will be able to understand your client's trust issue and just how far your firm can go to win their trust. You will have to find a common ground around these issues. This is where you align the problems with the solutions and the ways of finding the solutions. It is from here that you start getting to where you ought to be, which is the point where the solution meets the problem.
Well, any firm that is not built on any sort of plan will have nothing to lean back on. In the fast moving internet market, it is only through progressive planning that firms will continue to stay relevant. This is because, in the world of consultation, needs and challenges do not stay the same, they change. This means that for any marketing plan to be effective, it must not be rigid.
There should always be room for some sort of development, for some maneuver. Marketing plans should be formulated with the future and the ever changing nature of needs and challenges in mind. Marketing plans should be made, evaluated, tested, reevaluated, reformed continuously throughout the year. Remaining rooted in one rigid marketing plan is not only bad for business, but will continuously push the firm backwards.
Of course, canceling your annual planning session is not called for, because you need it. But being as flexible as possible, bending and rising with the direction of the market is the intention. So you do not get stuck to one point or spot. You do this by listening to your consultants at scheduled meetings, internalizing the information they provide, and trying as much as possible to understand the recent issues which are bothering your clients.
Your consultants will provide many vital parts of your market research which you will align with your clients' issues, before working on a strategy. This strategy will best position your firm over the next months from the standpoint of upstream marketing as well as downstream marketing standpoint. From the the standpoint of upstream marketing you get more people in the development phases of the product, while the downstream marketing standpoint is a consulting firm validation phase. To make matters clearer, I'm not saying annual plans should not be made, but they should be made with as much flexibility as you can, especially content.
Your themes should be developed based on what is relevant at the time, before creating thought leadership, producing online content, PR angles, and then the distribution of the story. Do not hold yourself so much to the plan, but keep constant consultation with your consultants. Discussing with your consultants will help you know which direction to go with your maneuvering. Always know how to adapt and sometimes overhaul your plans depending on what is obtainable in the market. Go with the flow.
If you are a consulting firm, then you should go to great lengths in ensuring you present your content online in the best possible way. You have to take this part very seriously as it will be your image that will be portrayed to the marketing world.
The importance of thought leadership and planning cannot be overemphasised. It is also in this sane way that the way you present them online can not be overemphasised. It is as important as your market research. However you should pay greater attention to some places.
First of all, you need to be mindful of how much diversity that you let into your online content. In as much as you try to draw in a lot of people, some of them potential clients, you should also include other deeper and interactive content to really engage your clients and not just attract them.
Then you need to think of a conversation method for your new clients. Have a conversation in your head like you are one of your new clients. Develop the set of call to action you can make to guide your client through to the next level.
You need to manage the conversation effectively to bring the desired effect. You should also remember that your content can change with the evolving of the needs and challenges of your clients. The thought leadership, market planning and online content are three important priorities that will set firm on to the right part of where they should be.