2013 gold trophy

The “Best Content” series brings you a handful of the most thought-provoking and informative articles, reports, and videos related to professional services branding and marketing published over the last year, broken down into bite-sized pieces.

The Culture and Cost of Innovation
“Innovation” has become a buzzword recently, especially in professional services. We’ve heard with increasing frequency from many firms, especially in the management consulting space, their desire to be seen as forward-thinking, original, a game-changer. In this Consulting Magazine article, the author explains the innovation quandary in many firms: though they have “all the necessary ingredients for consistent innovation—brilliant discoveries, exciting products, a dynamic line of business—but failed to deliver that innovation to the market.” He points out that companies that truly innovate ask themselves, “If we were the competition, and we had nothing to lose, what would we do differently?” Read the article here.

Is Your Thought Leadership Strategy Using Research Wisely?
Content has become the new creative in B2B, and “according to CMI, 57 percent of marketers feel publishing original research is an effective content tactic.” Unlike many other industries, professional service firms have been publishing thought leadership for decades, so CMI explored how these companies can further differentiate their content marketing strategies. The CMO of Tellabs, a telecommunications company, explains, that while traditional thought leadership proves your expertise, you must also offer “a new viewpoint or [challenge] the status quo” in some way. Read the interview here.

Attracting, Developing and Retaining Our Most Valuable Assets: Our People
Professional services brands are built on reputation, relationships, and intellectual capital: a professional services firm’s brand is largely based on its people. This is especially true in management consulting, where employees often act as the primary communication channel to customers and prospects. And yet, the consulting industry is known for its employee turnover. This Consulting Magazine piece explains how firms can recruit and retain top employees, investing in talent for the longer term. Read the article here.

The New Normal in Professional Services Marketing
This particular article is part one of a three-part series, which starts off by taking a look at the changing world of professional services marketing. Like many other B2B industries, professional service firms approach new digital marketing strategies with caution. Yet these techniques can no longer be ignored, and this series explores how “to make sure that a professional service firm’s digital marketing efforts are as effective as possible.” From social media to phasing out email blasts, this primer explains how to successfully incorporate new techniques into professional service marketing strategies. Read the series here.

Social Media Tips for Professional Services Firms
B2B marketers usually prefer to watch the effectiveness of marketing strategies within B2C first before getting their feet wet. Social media, though, can hardly still be considered a new realm. It can certainly be a powerful tool in communicating your brand to clients, prospects, and even employees. Accounting Today mediated a discussion between a social media strategist and a CMO of a CPA firm to learn how professional service firms can leverage social media to their marketing advantage, as well as tips for navigating the online landscape. Watch the video here.