High-growth professional services firms grew more than 3 times faster than average in the past three years, and are twice as likely to be highly profitable than firms that haven’t experienced growth in that time frame. So, what are these firms doing differently from the rest? Here’s what research [executive summary, download page] from Hinge Research Institute reveals.
In a survey of more than 1,000 professional services organizations, Hinge Research Institute determined that “high-growth firms are those that experienced 20% or greater compound annual growth in revenue over a three-year period.” And, while the report notes that some of these firms grew due to mergers and acquisitions, an average of 90% of their growth was organic.
Even though high-growth professional services firms are more likely to prioritize search engine optimization (47%) and choosing the right marketing mix (37.4%) compared to no-growth firms (39.6% and 28.3%, respectively), the biggest gap can be seen with the prioritization of marketing technology and automation. Some 34.8% of high-growth firms prioritize martech and automation versus the 15.1% of no-growth firms that cite it as a priority.
The survey also determined that high-growth firms are 74% more likely to make buyer journey mapping a marketing priority. Previous research shows that these high-growth firms have something in common with high-performing customer experience professionals, who also consider mapping out the customer journey an important part of their strategy.
Employer branding is another area that high-growth professional services firms (32.2%) are more likely to prioritize than firms with no growth (20.8%). The report connects this difference in prioritizing employer branding to the gap in employee skills between high and no-growth firms, with high-growth companies more apt to be attracting employees who rank highly in areas such as face-to-face networking, strategy development, research and simplifying complex concepts.
High-growth firms are also 3 times more likely to frequently research targets. And, as professional services firms continue to adopt digital and content marketing tactics such as networking on social media, email marketing campaigns and webinars there is even more potential for growth. The report shows that those that embrace these digital tactics and generate more than two-thirds of their leads online have grown more than twice as fast as those that generate less than one-third of their leads online.
The executive summary for the report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 1,00 professional services firms.