The Missing Ingredients
We live in a world inundated with images, messages, and choices, all heightening the discernment of your potential clients. They aren't
choosing firms based solely on familiarity or a beautiful portfolio anymore. Instead, they ask, "Who is the best option to solve my specific
challenge?" No matter how notable or expansive your firm is, your target audience won't automatically see you as the solution to
their problem unless you spell it out for them. You must explicitly tell them — over and over again — how you will make their lives better.
However, many firms lack the key ingredients needed—strategy, operational infrastructure, and true marketing execution—to ensure their story
resonates with their potential client.
Clear, Actionable Strategy
Marketing should not be comprised of siloed or disjointed efforts, but without a strategy connecting everything toward a company vision,
this is often what happens. A clear, actionable strategy gives all marketing efforts purpose: a holistic way to communicate value and
influence the market. Driven by firm objectives, the roadmap guides what, when, and why marketing tactics should be executed. Without this
documented, detailed plan, you will continue overlooking crucial opportunities to reach your ideal client and build brand
Successful marketing requires optimized systems, tools, and workflows to get it done. Driven by the company's marketing strategy, marketing
operations clarify and streamline the roles and responsibilities of marketing efforts, allowing your firm to prioritize the right things at
the right times.
Operations also help ensure your hard work is moving the needle on company goals through metrics. Metrics are like a compass, telling you if
you're headed in the right direction or need to adjust.
True Marketing Execution
Many firms have relegated marketing to mere business development support (i.e., proposal generation), stripping its proper function as a
"primer" to the marketplace. As a result, they put their work on display without connecting the dots to their audience's needs. While
proposal generation is a critical need within a firm, it is not the foundational role of marketing.
I can't count how often I've heard well-intentioned leaders say, "The work should speak for itself." Can I let you in on a secret? Every
firm thinks it does excellent work, and the reality is most of them do. So why is your portfolio any better? Marketing is a discipline that
requires dedicated effort and expertise to ensure your brand stays relevant. As marketers, we create and promote (I.e., one-to-many
communications) engaging value-driven stories that illustrate how your firm is different than others in your space.
- Haven't established your brand identity or voice
- Don't create content based on your value propositions or positioning statements
- Aren't regularly promoting your purpose and differentiators through stories
- Aren't enforcing your brand guide (or have one to outline brand standards)
- Don't have marketing expertise on your team or as an external partner
- Aren't leveraging distinguishable press coverage and awards
Don't explore new ways to get in front of your audience (before an opportunity has been identified)
- Don't know what potential clients want to hear or the way they want to hear it
These are just some components of a practical marketing approach required to stand out in a noisy market.