High growth professional services firms are prioritizing content creation, social media marketing and brand differentiation this year. This is according to a report [download page] from Hinge Marketing, which also outlines which marketing techniques high-growth firms find most impactful.
The global survey of professional services firms shows that high-growth firms — those firms with a compound annual growth rate of 20% or greater over a three-year assessment period — are using a similar share of their of revenues on marketing as those firms that have not seen any growth. In fact, on average, high-growth professional services firms dedicated 15% of revenue to marketing in 2021, compared to the 16% dedicated to marketing in no-growth firms.
However, high-growth firms use an average of 8.6 marketing techniques, while no-growth firms use slightly fewer (7.8). The Hinge Marketing analysts suggest that “it’s not just how much you invest, but what you invest in.”
Some of these marketing techniques have more of an impact than others. On a scale of 0 to 10, high-growth firms rate providing assessment and/or consultations the highest on average (7.3). Live product/service demonstrations (6.9), conducting and publishing original research (6.8) and public relations (earned media; 6.7) are also considered some of the most impactful marketing techniques by high-growth firms.
Keyword research and SEO (7.1) also ranks well among the most impactful high-growth marketing techniques. On the whole, most professional services firms have a low level of maturity when it comes to SEO. This might be due, at least in part, because firms don’t always have employees with the skill set to do SEO effectively
That said, high-growth firms are more likely than no-growth firms to report a higher level of SEO maturity. The professional services firms that have the highest level of SEO maturity also tend to be more profitable than those with lower levels of SEO maturity.
It shouldn’t, however, be a surprise that high-growth firms are more inclined to use business development technologies such as CRM, email marketing solutions and marketing automation than no-growth firms. They are also more likely than no-growth firms to measure marketing by using KPIs or dashboards to show the health of the pipeline, tracking visits and followers on social media, and using analytics from website, social and digital media to score leads and create prospecting lists.
An excerpt from the report can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a global survey of 1,150 professional services firms representing $216 billion in combined revenue and almost 1.9 million employees.