Friday, April 28, 2006

ROI Drives Professional Services To Outsource Marcomm

As pressure increases to produce billable revenue, more professional services firms are partnering with marketing communications agencies as a powerful way to maximize marketing-related return on investment.

Lawyers, accountants and financiers have less time than ever before to build and maintain crucial relationship-driven business models. Necessity, being the mother of most innovative thinking, has driven many to conclude marketing communications can play a strategic role in developing these relationships. Simultaneously, however, they’ve realized creating and executing these strategies is not their core competency.

This is all part of a mind shift in professional services firms from “if we do good work, clients will come” to “we must communicate who we are and why we are better” to differentiate in the marketplace and attract profitable clients and powerful recruits.

Managing how a firm is perceived in the marketplace requires constant communication about actions taken by the firm to maintain perceived value, effectiveness, quality, credibility and competence with key audiences. Perception—good or bad, accurate or inaccurate—becomes reality and impacts a firm’s bottom line.

By retaining professional outside communications counsel, firms can leverage the unvarnished, more powerful perspective that is crucial to effective marketing communications while cutting internal overhead costs. Where internal staff retreat from confrontation, outside counsel serves as loyal opposition to tell firm leaders what they need to hear—how to truly differentiate their firm from other firms in the marketplace.

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