Positioning for growth 2012


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Entitled Positioning for Growth, the publication is aimed at helping consulting firms understand prospective clients´ perceptions and opinions of consulting firms´climate change and sustainability engagements.

In 2011 I conducted in-depth interviews with over 30 sustainability executives to ascertain their opinions on climate change business consulting and thought leadership research offered by external consulting firms. This publication provides valuable insights into:

- Buyer attitudes towards consulting firms
- Decision factors that drive consulting firm selection
- 2012 Investment Priorities
- Authoritative Thought Leadership Design
- Go to Market Activities
- Current Market Landscape - report cards of 11 consulting firms / performance benchmark

This publication combines market and customer intelligence to help consulting firms (re)position for growth in 2012 and beyond, by providing guidance on business strategy & expansion programmes, service line development, talent acquisition and go-to-marketing activities.

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Positioning for growth 2012

  1. 1. POSITIONING FOR GROWTHBuyer Needs & Market StrategiesPREPARED BY: JONATHAN BALLANTINE DATE: JANUARY 2012 A vendor guide for climate change & sustainability services and thought leadership research
  2. 2. Positioning for Growth:Buyer Needs & Market StrategiesA vendor guide for climate change & sustainability services andthought leadership researchExecutive SummaryIn late 2011, CR Vision conducted a series of interviews with sustainabilityexecutives to ascertain current perceptions and opinions on climate changebusiness consulting services and thought leadership research offered byconsulting firms.CR Vision conducted in-depth research with 31 industry practitioners from across18 business sectors to assess the market landscape in order to provide a buyers´perspective on climate change business consulting services and thoughtleadership research from 13 consulting firms. The responses also providevaluable insight into thought leadership design, marketing and 2012 investmentpriorities, as well as illustrating key decision factors (both internal and external)that drive vendor selection. Furthermore, this publication includes a report cardfor each of the consulting firms, ranking their performance across sevenindicators.By combining competitive intelligence together with customer insights, thispublication will assist consulting firms position for growth in 2012 and beyond, byproviding unique guidance on business strategy & expansion programmes,service line development and go-to- market activities.Ranked most important Key selection factorPwC & McKinsey Sector KnowledgeKey CC&S progamme Engage consulting firmsEnergy Efficiency 3 out of 4Least effective TL tool Most effective TL toolSurveys WebinarSpending plans 2012 External TL Partnerships83% increase 84% state add valuePositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 1
  3. 3. Report FocusThis publication is aimed at helping consulting firms understand buyers´perceptions and attitudes towards hiring external consultants for climate changeand sustainability engagements. The report has four main sections:! Profile – this introductory chapter provides an overview of the companies and participants involved during the research and development of this publication. It also examines industry practitioners’ areas of responsibility, current climate change and sustainability programmes, and the level of support (both internal and external) required for successful implementation.! Buyer Behaviour – summarises the opinions of 31 industry practitioners – identifying their perceptions and preferences of external consulting firms for the engagement of climate change and sustainability services (CC&S). Furthermore, this chapter provides insights into buying behaviour and spending plans for 2012 and beyond.! Does Thought Leadership Matter? - the publication outlines to what degree thought leadership influences spending decisions, identifies what sustainability executives consider to be the key fundamentals of Authoritative Thought Leadership and determines their channel preferences. This chapter also features a perception-based benchmark that assesses thought leadership by consulting firms across the two dimensions of familiarity and perceived quality.• Tell to Win – this concluding chapter highlights the transformation that is happening across many industries, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities this presents consulting firms with respect to delivery engagement, thought leadership research & marketing, external collaboration and business development.In addition, this publication includes a performance report card for 11 consultingfirms. Following the interviews with sustainability executives a set of indicatorswas developed to assess consulting firms across two dimensions – performance& marketing. Consulting Firms SustainAbility Booz & Co. Accenture McKinsey AD Little Deloitte KPMG ERM BCG PwC E&Y Indicators Performance Scorecard 7 4 4 4 7 5 7 6 7 8 7 Market Share 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 Track Record 2 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 3 3 Geographic Presence 3 1 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 2 Marketing Scorecard 12 9 8 10 7 9 9 7 11 12 9 Website Utility 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 1 3 3 3 Content 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 External Collaborations 3 2 2 3 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 Thought Leadership 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 ChannelsPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 2
  4. 4. ContentsExecutive Summary 2Report Focus 3Chapter 1 – Profile 5–9…Demographic profile…Geographic coverage…Annual revenues & emissions…Survey participants - areas of responsibility…Climate change becomes a strategic issue for business…Internal support - enterprise-wide approach…External supportChapter 2 – Buyer Behaviour 10 – 14…First impressions…2012 investment plans…Supplier categories – most likely to be hired…Why buyers´ buyChapter 3 – Does Thought Leadership Matter? 15 – 20... External thought leadership partnerships…Thought leadership & consulting firmsChapter 4 – Tell to Win 21 – 25…Toward an open and collaborative process…Why buyers´ buy…Motives matterThought Leadership for a New Era 26 – 33…Practicing the art of thought leadership…PwC CEO Survey…Engaging with your audience…The rise of social media technologies…Developing a “Leadership of Thought” platform…Webinars…A war on content…Thought leadership fuelling demand creationLooking Ahead 34References 35Appendices 36 – 53 1 – Performance Benchmark 37 2 – Report Cards: 11 Consulting Firms 38 - 49 3 – Interview Questions 50 - 53Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 3
  5. 5. List of TablesTable 1: Sector overview 6Table 2: Area of responsibility 7Table 3: Significant climate change programmes 7Table 4: The role of business functions 8Table 5: Supplier categories 9Table 6: Consulting firms – first impressions 11Table 7: Spending plans 2012 12Table 8: Supplier categories – most likely to be hired 13Table 9: Consulting firms most likely to be hired 13Table 10: Reasons for hiring external consultants 14Table 11: Key selection factors 14Table 12: The fundamentals of thought leadership research 16Table 13: Thought leadership delivery channels 17Table 14: External partnerships – preferred organisations 18Table 15: How to improve thought leadership research 18Table 16: Thought leadership & consulting firms 19List of FiguresFigure 1: Thought leadership perception matrix 19Figure 2: Consulting firms & thought leadership 32Figure 3: Content development matrix 33Figure 4: Consulting firms´ performance scorecard 38Figure 5: Consulting firms´ performance benchmark 38Legal DisclaimerAssertions made in this document reflect the opinions of survey respondents and / or theauthor. The author shall not be liable for any indirect or consequential loss, including lossof actual or anticipated revenue or impact to reputation or goodwill, whether arising fromnegligence or otherwise.This publication remains confidential and is for private use only.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 4
  6. 6. Chapter One Profile Demographic profile Geographic coverage Annual revenues & emissions Survey participants - areas of responsibility Climate change becomes a strategic issue for business Internal support - enterprise-wide approach External supportPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 5
  7. 7. ProfileThis introductory chapter provides an overview of the companiesand participants involved during the research and development ofthis publication. It also examines industry practitioners’ areas ofresponsibility, current climate change and sustainabilityprogrammes, and the level of support required - both internal andexternal - for successful implementation.Demographic profileOver 30 industry practitioners, representing 18 industry sectors participated inthis study. The largest number of respondents (3) represented Aviation,Construction, Retail & Leisure, Utilities and Transport & Logistics. Table 1 belowhighlights all the sectors that participated in this publication.Table 1: Sector profile Sector No. of Respondents Aviation 3 Construction 3 Retail & Leisure 3 Transport & Logistics 3 Utilities 3 Food & Beverage 2 Metal & Mining 2 Telecommunications 2 Automotive 1 Banking 1 Chemicals 1 Health Care 1 High Tech 1 Insurance 1 Media 1 Oil & Gas 1 Pharmaceutical 1 Real Estate / Property 1Geographic coverage Annual revenues & emissions12 9 US $861 billionEurope UK 2010 combined annual revenues3 7 164 MMt CO2Asia US Combined emissions (2010)** figure based on CDP 2010 disclosures / public informationPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 6
  8. 8. Survey participants - areas of responsibilityThe study was based on 31 interviews with leading multi-national companiesrepresenting 18 sectors across four geographic zones. Respondents interviewedwere the most senior person responsible for climate change businessprogrammes within their organisations and had roles such as Head/Director ofSustainability, Climate Change, Environment; or Corporate Responsibility. Table2 below outlines their level of responsibility across eight categories.Table 2: Area of responsibility Energy & Resource Efficiency Environmental Management Ethical Supply Chain Reporting & Assurance Primary ! Carbon Inventory Management Secondary ! Implementation Plan Ethics & Integrity Management Design of CSR Strategy 0 20 40 60 80 100 120Climate change becomes a strategic issue for businessAll respondents affirmed that climate change/sustainability was both an importantbusiness issue and a strategic issue within their business. This is reflected by thefact that 84 percent of respondents have board-level commitments for CC&S.Respondents were asked to outline their three most significant CC&Sprogrammes. Unsurprisingly, given today´s economic conditions, EnergyEfficiency was the most common activity receiving 21 nominations. Otherprogrammes included the transition to Low-Carbon / Renewable Energy Systems,and Emission Reductions. Table 3 below highlights the most significant climatechange programmes.Table 3: Significant climate change programmes Can you describe your 3 most significant Results CC&S programmes? Energy Efficiency 21 Low Carbon / RES Energy 11 Emission Reduction 9 Clean Tech (finance & investment) 4 Technology Upgrades 4 Business Collaboration 3 CHP / Cogeneration 3 Efficient use of Resources 3 Innovation / Opportunity 3 CC Investment Strategy 2 Employee Engagement 1Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 7
  9. 9. Internal support - enterprise-wide approachClimate change and sustainability programmes have become more strategic tobusiness, represented by the increasing number of core business functionsseen as playing a critical role in their successful implementation. From thesurvey responses Facilities Management & Energy was ranked ¨important ¨or¨most important¨ by the most respondents (26 nominations) – although whenweighted scoring was applied it averages out as third behind CorporateResponsibility and Health, Safety & Environment.Table 4 shows the importance of business functions in the implementation ofCC&S programmes. Scoring has been weighted based on five levels.• Totally unimportant -2• Unimportant -1• Neutral 1• Important +2• Very important +3Table 4: The role of business functions How important are the following business functions Total for the implementation of your CC&S programme? (1= totally unimportant to 5 = very important) Corporate Responsibility 67 Health, Safety & Environment 64 Facilities Management & Energy 61 Finance 56 Human Resources 46 IT / Telecoms 42 Legal & Regulatory Affairs 25 Logistics / Distribution 24 Manufacturing 18 Marketing 15 Procurement / Supply Chain 13 Sales 10 Strategy 8External supportOne of the core objectives of the study was to ascertain the level of externalsupport required by multi-national companies to implement their CC&Sprogrammes. From the responses, nearly 3 out of every 4 respondents haveengaged external support during the design or implementation of their CC&Sprogrammes.When asked which types of suppliers they felt were important for the success oftheir CC&S programmes, respondents scored Environmental Consultants,Energy Consultants, Not for Profits and Verification Companies positively. Bycontrast, Management Consultants, Big Four Accounting Firms were consideredto be on average ¨neutral¨, whereas IT Consultants and Telecoms Companieswere considered to be ¨unimportant¨.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 8
  10. 10. Table 5 below shows the perceived importance of external suppliers for thesuccessful implementation of CC&S programmes. Scoring has been weightedbased on six levels.• Totally unimportant -2• Unimportant -1• Neutral 1• Important +2• Very important +3• No response -1Table 5: Supplier categories How important are the following categories of 1. totally unimportant 5. very important suppliers for the success of your CC&S Weighted Score 2. unimportant No response 4. important programme? (1 - totally unimportant to 5 = very 3. neutral important) Management Consultants 12 7 5 3 1 3 -20 Big Four Accounting Firms 11 8 2 6 2 2 -12 Environmental Consultants 5 6 5 11 2 2 15 Energy Consultants 3 3 9 10 3 3 26 Not for Profits 6 2 12 7 2 2 16 IT Consultants 14 9 3 3 0 2 -30 Telecoms Service Providers 18 5 1 0 2 5 -39 Verification Companies 6 7 7 5 4 2 8What is interesting here is that even the highest scoring consulting firms don’tscore that favourably. Is this because a) the market is so fragmented? or b) thatconsultants aren’t actually valued that much? Based on the results in Table 9(page 13) it appears to be a combination of both.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies CR Vision Private Use Only 9
  11. 11. Chapter Two Buyer Behaviour First impressions 2012 investment plans Supplier categories – most likely to be hired Why buyers´ buyPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 10
  12. 12. Buyer BehaviourThis chapter summarises the opinions of 31 industrypractitioners – identifying their perceptions and preferencesof external consulting firms for the engagement of climatechange and sustainability services (CC&S). Furthermore,this chapter provides insights into buying behaviour andspending plans for 2012.First impressionsUnprompted, respondents were asked to identify which consulting firmsfirst came to mind when thinking of CC&S business programmes.Respondents were able to list up to three companies. The clear leaderwas PwC, which received 11 nominations, followed by McKinsey (7), withERM & WSP scoring 6 & 5 respectively. Table 6 shows the consultantfirms identified, together with the frequency of nominations.Table 6: Consulting firms – first impressions When you think about climate change & Results sustainability which consulting firms come to mind first? PwC 11 McKinsey 7 ERM 6 WSP 5 Accenture 4 Deloitte 3 AD Little 2 Booz & Co. 2 Forum for the Future 2 SustainAbility 2 ALTRAN 1 ARUP 1 BSR 1 Bureau Veritas 1 Carbon Trust 1 Climate Group 1 Context 1 eava 1 Ecorys 1 Ernst & Young 1 First Climate 1 KPMG 1 Siemens 1 The Carbon Neutral Company 1 UL Environment 1 URS 1Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 11
  13. 13. The study shows a small contradiction in that Table 5 (page 9) shows thatManagement Consultants and Big Four Accounting Firms to be ¨unimportant¨ or¨very unimportant¨ in terms of success for the delivery of CC&S programmes.However, what is interesting is that the first consultants people thought of werePwC and McKinsey. This suggests a few things from the audience:! Survey participants tended to name the first consultancies they thought of,! They are not really sure which consulting firms can offer practical guidance on these issues, and / or! Illustrates that both PwC and McKinsey are benefiting from increased visibility in the marketplace based on their marketing activities.2012 Investment PlansWhen asked to comment about 2012 spending plans, 83 percent of respondentsstated that budgets would increase/remain the same as in 2011. Respondentswere then asked to outline the business areas in which they were most likely toinvest in during 2012. Approximately 40 percent stated that they would beinvesting further across four areas: Developing Strategy; Innovation/Opportunity;Supply Chain; and Green IT. Table 7 highlights the focus areas wheresustainability executives plan to invest during 2012.Table 7: Spending plans 2012 How would you describe your spending plans 2. yes – next 12 3. will consider for the following types of CC&S services in No Response 1. will spend 4. no further 2012? (1 – will spend to 4 – no further months spend spend) Develop Strategy 11 7 4 7 2 Conduct Risk Assessment 5 8 6 9 3 Governance / Remuneration 3 3 5 17 3 Climate & Energy Strategy 5 10 6 5 5 Carbon Management Strategy 6 7 3 10 5 Stakeholder Engagement 5 12 4 5 5 To provide an Assurance Statement 9 6 6 5 5 Supply Chain and Operations 10 8 4 5 4 Water Footprint 7 4 8 7 5 Green IT 10 8 5 5 3 Compliance / Regulation (REACH, ETS) 9 11 2 6 3 Innovation / Opportunity 11 5 4 7 4Supplier categories – most likely to be hiredGiven the current economic conditions it was no surprise to see EnergyConsultants ranked the highest with 22 respondents stating that they are ¨likely¨or ¨certain¨ to hire them in the next 18 months.Verification Companies were ranked second with 10 respondents stating that theyare ¨likely¨ or ¨certain¨ to hire them in the next 18 months. Table 8 highlights theirpreferences regarding supplier categories.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 12
  14. 14. Table 8: Supplier categories – most likely to be hired How likely are you to hire one of the 1. very unlikely following consultant firms in the next 18 no response 2. unlikely 3. neutral 5. certain 4. likely months to deliver a CC&S engagement? (1= very unlikely, 5 = certain) Management Consultants 14 8 1 2 2 4 Big Four Accounting Firms 12 7 1 3 3 5 Environmental Consultants 8 3 11 3 2 4 Energy Consultants 2 5 3 14 4 3 Not for Profits 8 5 7 3 2 6 IT Consultants 13 4 6 1 0 7 Telecoms Service Providers 16 5 2 0 1 7 Verification Companies 7 1 9 6 4 4Using a predefined list of 13 consulting firms, respondents were asked toidentify the specific consulting firm they were most likely to engage with overthe next 18 months. Based on ¨likely¨ and ¨certain¨ scores PwC andMcKinsey scored most favourably with 6 & 4 nominations respectively. Bycontrast, based on ¨very unlikely¨ and ¨unlikely¨ scores, ICF and AD Littlescored least favourably with 25 and 24 nominations respectively.Table 9: Consulting firms most likely to be hired How likely are you to hire one of the 1. very unlikely following firms in the next 18 months to no response 2. unlikely 3. neutral 5. certain deliver a climate change engagement? (1= 4. likely very unlikely, 5 = certain) Accenture 19 4 0 3 0 5 AD Little 21 3 1 1 0 5 BCG 19 2 3 0 0 7 Booz & Co. 21 4 0 0 0 6 Deloitte 15 6 1 2 1 6 Ernst & Young 17 4 1 2 2 5 ERM 10 9 3 2 1 6 ICF 21 4 0 1 0 5 KPMG 17 6 2 2 0 4 McKinsey 13 6 3 2 2 5 PwC 11 7 3 4 2 4 SustainAbility 17 2 2 2 1 7 URS 19 2 1 1 1 7Why buyers´ buyResponses provide valuable insights into why companies hire externalconsulting firms to support their CC&S programmes. The two most prominentresponses were: Lack of Expertise/Resources; and Independent Advice (orSounding Board). See Table 10 for additional responses.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 13
  15. 15. Table 10: Reasons for hiring external consultants What are the top 3 reasons why your company Results would seek consulting help for your climate change initiatives? Lack of Expertise / Resources 17 Independent Advice / Sounding Board / Specialist 13 Knowledge Strategic Development / Global Action Plan 7 Risk Analysis 6 New Ideas / Innovation 4 Third-Party Certification 4 Build Internal Capacity 3 Staff Changes 2 Legislation Changes / Compliance 2 Bespoke Research 1As a follow up, respondents were asked to explain their three key decision criteriaor selection factors for hiring a consulting firm to support their CC&Sprogrammes. Although Price was the most widespread response (11nominations) it only featured once as the top answer. Respondents consideredSector / Business Knowledge (9 nominations) to be the key decision factor whenselecting a consulting firm.Several respondents commented that as climate change and sustainabilitybecomes more pervasive within their organisation – Sector / Business Knowledgewould become increasingly more valuable – with some suggesting it would bemore important than specific subject expertise. Although the ability to leverageboth provides a unique point of differentiation between consulting firms. Table 11highlights the key decision factors for supplier selection. Scoring has beenweighted on three levels.• First 3• Second 2• Third 1Table 11: Key selection factors What would be your top 3 decision criteria 1st 2nd 3rd Score when hiring a consulting firm for climate change and sustainability initiatives? Understanding of our business / sector 7 2 0 25 knowledge Price 1 7 3 20 Subject Expertise 6 1 0 20 Track Record 1 2 3 10 Composition of Team 0 1 2 4 Reputation 0 0 3 3 Implementation Driven 0 2 0 4Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 14
  16. 16. Chapter Three Does Thought Leadership Matter? External thought leadership partnerships Thought leadership & consulting firmsPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 15
  17. 17. Does Thought Leadership Matter?In this section, the publication tries to understand to what degreethought leadership influences spending decisions, outlines whatsustainability executives consider to be the key fundamentals ofAuthoritative Thought Leadership and determines their channelpreferences. This chapter also features a perception-basedbenchmark that assesses thought leadership by consulting firmsacross the two dimensions of familiarity and perceived quality.Respondents were asked to what extent can thought leadership research fromconsulting firms influence perception and ultimately spending decisions. Theresults are ambiguous in the sense that approximately 40 percent of respondentssay it has no influence, whereas 45 percent state that the quality of thoughtleadership can influence behaviour change / spending decisions.During the interviews with practitioners they were asked what they considered tobe the key fundamentals for high impact, authoritative research.Relevance was ranked as the key component in thought leadership research with30 respondents rating it as either ¨important¨ or ¨very important¨. Practicality wasrated second with 28 nominations. By contract, Novelty was considered to be theleast important with 22 respondents rating it as either ¨neutral¨, ¨unimportant¨ or¨totally unimportant¨. Table 12 highlights what practitioners considered as the key 1components of authoritative thought leadership research.Table 12: The fundamentals of thought leadership research In your definition of what constitutes as 5. very important 2. unimportant ¨Authoritative Thought Leadership¨ - how important 4. important unimportant 3. neutral 1. totally are the following components? (1 - totally unimportant to 5 = very important) Relevance 0 0 1 12 18 Practicality 1 2 0 11 17 Clarity 1 0 4 10 16 Validity 2 0 6 5 18 Focus 0 0 8 13 10 Rigor 0 0 8 10 13 Novelty 6 6 10 8 1Thought leadership has existed in various forms for over 50 years, notably in thepublished form (publications, newsletters & surveys). However, during this timewe have seen a rapid transformation in how people produce/consume content.The study wanted to ascertain buyers´ channel preferences in the face of anever-changing media landscape.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 16
  18. 18. One 2 One meeting with a lead-partner was, not surprisingly, ranked the highestwith 27 respondents rating it as either ¨important¨ or ¨very important¨. Within themore traditional realms of thought leadership publishing, Case Studies wereranked the highest with 21 nominations.One key finding was that Webinars scored more favourably than White Paper /Publication – with 16 nominations versus 12 nominations. However, the surprisefinding was that the Survey, the cornerstone of consulting firms´ thoughtleadership research portfolio, was rated as ¨important¨ by only 8 respondents, ormore bluntly was rated as ¨neutral¨, ¨unimportant¨ or ¨totally unimportant¨ by 3 outof every 4 respondents. Table 13 highlights buyers´ channel preferences.Table 13: Thought leadership delivery channels What is your preferred channel for consuming 5. very important 2. unimportant Thought Leadership research? (1 - totally unimportant 4. important 3. neutral unimportant to 5 = very important) 1. totally One 2 One meeting 0 0 4 15 12 Case Studies 0 4 6 14 7 Hosted Event 0 3 11 13 4 Webinar 1 8 6 11 5 White Paper / Publication 1 7 10 9 4 Video 6 7 9 8 1 Survey 3 6 14 8 0 Social Media 4 10 10 5 2External thought leadership partnershipsMore and more companies are turning to business partnerships or collaborationsto support long-term business objectives. The very nature of thought leadershiphas resulted in consulting firms going alone – however, responses from the studyprovide new evidence that this model should evolve and that there are benefitsfor consulting firms to engage more collaboratively in the design, developmentand delivery of thought leadership.Survey respondents were asked their opinions on the value of partnering withdifferent organisations. Eighty-four percent stated that external partnershipswould add creditability. Table 14 shows their preferred choice of externalorganisation. Scoring has been weighted on five levels.• First 5• Second 4• Third 3• Fourth 2• Fifth 1Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 17
  19. 19. Table 14: External partnerships - preferred organisations In priority order, please rank which 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total organisations add the greatest value or creditability to a consulting firms thought leadership research? 1. Stakeholder Organisations (such as 8 6 11 1 5 104 WBCSD, WEF) 2. Businesses 10 4 6 6 5 101 3. Academics / Business Schools 6 10 2 6 7 95 4. NGOs (such as WWF or Greenpeace) 3 7 5 12 4 86 5. Sector Focused Association 4 4 7 7 9 80Respondents were asked what consulting firms could do in order to improve theirthought leadership research. The responses from the interviews provide practicalsuggestions that consulting firms could embrace in order to improve theirapproach to thought leadership research (see Table 15).Table 15: How to improve thought leadership research What 3 things can consulting firms do to improve their approach to Responses Thought Leadership research? Make it relevant, practical and delivery focused Balance / Reality 16 Check - understand timeframes and our constraints Work collaboratively with business to produce meaningful studies 6 Show better understanding of sector knowledge 5 More genuine / sincere 5 Greater transparency on assumptions and frameworks 5 Better Examples / Real Case Studies 5 Conclusions should not be linked to services offered 3 Look to have research published externally (business and 2 sustainability publications Be honest / admit failures or lack of knowledge 2 Stop Bragging 1Thought leadership & consulting firmsRespondents were asked to rate their familiarity / perceived quality of the thoughtleadership research from a predefined list of 13 consulting firms.Table 16 highlights mean scores based on the two dimensions of familiarity andperceived quality. Scoring has been based on six levels.• Totally Unfamiliar -2• Unfamiliar -1• Neutral 1• Familiar +2• Very Familiar +3• No Response -1Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 18
  20. 20. Table 16: Thought leadership & consulting firms How familiar are you with the CC&S Thought Leadership research offerings from the Familiarity Perceived quality following 13 consulting firms? (1 = totally (mean score) (mean score) unfamiliar to 5 = very familiar). Please also rate its perceived quality (1= low quality to 5 = high quality) Accenture 8 8 AD Little -16 -14 BCG -5 -9 Booz & Co. -19 -20 Deloitte 14 5 Ernst & Young 5 4 ERM 14 8 ICF -38 -38 KPMG 11 4 McKinsey 30 29 PwC 38 31 SustainAbility 20 21 URS -32 -35The below matrix (figure 1) highlights mean scores based on the two dimensionsof familiarity and perceived quality.Figure 1: Thought leadership perception matrixPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 19
  21. 21. Figure 1 suggests that although certain organisations have high brand recognitionboth in general and, specifically, in terms of thought leadership – it doesn’tnecessarily correlate with their perceived abilities/strengths in the CC&S area – ifit did, then they would have scored more highly when respondents were asked tostate who they were most likely to work with in the future.Combining this data with the results from Table 5 (Supplier categories) and Table9 (Consulting firms most likely to be hired), the inference that can be made is thatmany consulting firms may be winning in terms of ¨presentation¨ in the sense ofgaining recognition by getting well-presented thought leadership out there, but thegeneral consensus from respondents was that for the majority of consulting firmstheir content lacks real penetration.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 20
  22. 22. Chapter Four Tell to Win Toward an open and collaborative process Why buyers´ buy Motives matterPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 21
  23. 23. Tell to WinThis concluding chapter highlights the transformation that ishappening across many industries, reflecting on the opportunitiesthis presents consulting firms with respect to delivery engagement,thought leadership research, marketing activities, externalpartnerships/collaborations and business development.Authoritative thought leadership research is the lifeblood of consulting firms.When conducted with a genuine interest in the subject and client´s need, theideas and concepts can be very powerful, and can grab the hearts and minds ofthe target audience (think SWOT Analysis, BCG´s Growth-Share Matrix and,more recently, McKinsey´s Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve).Responses from the interviews provide practical suggestions on how consultingfirms can redesign their approach to thought leadership research – where 1 out ofevery 2 respondents stated making it more ¨relevant¨ and ¨practical¨. Onerespondent from the Oil & Gas sector commented ¨ it must be practical /pragmatic – a real hands on approach¨. Other comments included:¨Show better technical ¨Focus on the hypothesisknowledge of the industry they before getting stuck into theare talking to.¨ data. Have something to say.¨Logistics Utility¨Make it relevant, practical ¨Provide something new thatand delivery focused.¨ isnt already out there.¨Aviation Metals & Mining¨Try to get promoted through ¨Detailed thought leadership -leading sustainability journals/ which talks about solutionsmagazines.¨ and trade-offs not blue-sky thinking.¨Publishing PharmaceuticalToward an open and collaborative processA recurring theme from sustainability executives was the lack of practicality anddepth on thought leadership combined with a desire to see what is in the "blackbox" which many felt was at odds with what the consulting firms were willing toshow. Furthermore, several respondents commented that as environmental andsocial issues become more pervasive across their organisation, sector knowledgeand experience would become increasingly more valuable, with somerespondents suggesting that it would be more important than subject expertise.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 22
  24. 24. For many consulting firms where CC&S is a new service line there could besignificant opportunities to collaborate with mainstream business lines to providean integrated approach to thought leadership and delivery engagements.This meeting point between functional and subject expertise will becritical in helping clients go beyond incremental improvements.According to Art Kleiner (of Booz & Co.) this is where the ¨magichappens¨.2Responses from the survey provide valuable insight into the role of externalpartnerships for thought leadership design and delivery – where 84 percent ofrespondents believed that external partnerships would add creditability. Onerespondent from the automotive sector suggested that before publishing thoughtleadership, consulting firms should go to the trouble of ¨organising a trustablepeer review process¨. Other comments included:¨Draw on Academic research.¨Retail & Leisure¨Engage with businesses to develop case studies.¨Food & Beverage¨Engage with stakeholders.¨Retail & LeisureConsulting firms such as Accenture, Booz, McKinsey and PwC have alreadyestablished partnerships with ¨stakeholder organisations¨ such as the WorldEconomic Forum or the World Business Council for Sustainable Development(WBCSD), and NGOs such as WWF or The Climate Group for their thoughtleadership programmes. Sixteen respondents also suggested that consultingfirms work in collaboration with ¨business¨ or ¨academics¨ in order to produce¨meaningful studies¨.According to the White Space report ¨2010 was not a vintage yearfor thought leadership and that thought leadership is generally lesswell-researched than it used to be.¨ 3The White Space report asserts that in the aftermath of the global financial crisis,consulting firms may have scaled back investments in thought leadership. Thereport argues that this may be ¨false economy¨ as uncertain times leave clients¨hungry for new perspectives and ideas¨.Taking a collaborative approach to thought leadership could provide numerousbenefits to consulting firms. Firstly, it provides additional resources andviewpoints – adding resilience and rigor. Secondly, it can support thedissemination of seminal ideas by opening up a new indirect target audience.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 23
  25. 25. Why buyers´ buyWith 3 out of every 4 respondents engaging consultants, the demand forexpertise is vital in resolving climate change and sustainability issues. Seventeenrespondents acknowledged a lack of ¨internal expertise¨ or ¨resources¨ as themain reasons for engaging external support. Some of the comments fromrespondents included:¨For a project roll-out.¨ ¨Changes in Legislation¨Food & Beverage Retail & Leisure¨To provide knowledge and ¨Build internal skills /experience where we lack it¨ capacity¨Real Estate / Property Construction¨External/independent ¨Innovation / opportunityassurances we are taking focused goal¨correct path¨ InsuranceTransport & LogisticsDuring the interviews, respondents specified the key qualities they look for inconsulting firms prior to selection. When weighted scoring was applied IndustryKnowledge was considered the top decision criteria when selecting a consultingfirm - rated more important than Price. One respondent from the Retail & Leisuresector also commented ¨Responsiveness to customers¨. Other commentsincluded:¨They must possess a deep ¨Composition of the dedicatedunderstanding of our team, profiles of its membersbusiness¨ and confidence in their ability¨Oil & Gas Healthcare¨Technical knowledge of our ¨True passion forindustry (hard to find)¨ sustainability¨Logistics Utility¨Good cultural fit with our ¨As sustainability maturesorganisation – like the people¨ sector knowledge will become increasingly more importantAviation for us¨¨Combination of sustainability Pharmaceuticaland sector experience/insight¨InsurancePositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 24
  26. 26. Motives MatterIn uncertain times consulting firms must continuously innovate to create new methods andservices that enable clients to resolve complex issues. From a client standpoint selecting aconsulting firm entails significant risks. Thought Leadership research that is centred onearning trust and creditability is essential for giving buyers confidence. Once trust has beenestablished prospective clients will then turn to that company.A consulting firm´s commitment to thought leadership can reveal whether or not they are reallypassionate about what they do or are just simply in it for the money. Several respondents fromthe survey had questions about the underlying motives of a number of consulting firms –citing, for the majority, their lack of history in the CC&S space. A general consensus from therespondents was that given a lack of sector knowledge possessed by the majority ofconsulting firms a significant proportion of time was used teaching and training ¨MBAs withspreadsheets¨¨Many big firms are only in this space for the marketing opportunity ... notmany have a long-track record or for that matter a genuine interest orunderstanding in and of the issues. Typically smaller companies were foundedby passionate leaders - and this comes across in our engagements withthem.¨PharmaceuticalWhen communicating to prospective clients either through thought leadership or othermarketing activities, the end-user should be able to tell by themselves whether or not theconsulting firm has the required expertise or the experience to serve them. In practice,prospective clients do not pay attention to what companies assert about themselves – many ofthe respondents believed that consulting firms are ¨always trying to be right¨ and ¨never admitfailure¨ or ¨lack of knowledge¨.¨Conclusions and recommendations should not be directed at theirsolutions/products¨Real Estate / PropertyThought leadership must be focused around the current needs and challenges of prospectiveclients. Conclusions that are aligned to service offerings reveal a consulting firm´s trueunderlying motives. Prospective clients want to learn how consulting firms will help them toachieve their goals or resolve a complex issue. Clients, just like people, make perceptionjudgements based on motives more than on self-proclaimed expertise or extensive listings ofservice offerings.Many respondents cited ¨Global Capabilities¨ or ¨Global Rollout¨ as key reasons for engagingwith major, international consulting firms. As these firms cast their eyes on emerging marketsa strong portfolio of thought leadership, combined with a strong industry perception canincrease exposure in these new economies where name recognition goes a long way.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 25
  27. 27. Suggestive Approaches Thought Leadership for a New Era Practicing the art of thought leadership PwC CEO Survey Engaging with your audience The rise of social media technologies Developing a “Leadership of Thought” platform A war on content Thought leadership fuelling demand creation Optimising thought leadership process to support lead nurturingPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 26
  28. 28. Thought Leadership for a New EraThe world is transforming, where several industries are facing major disruptionfrom emerging technologies and changing consumer preferences. Over thelast decade we have witnessed the dismantling of the music industry. Thepublishing industry wrestles with the challenge of going from print to digitalwhile still maintaining revenues – and looks set to face a similar onslaughtfrom Amazon & Co. Likewise the automotive industry is facing a similartransformation as it moves grudgingly from petrol to electronic engines. Thissection provides practical suggestions on how consulting firms can repositionthemselves by embracing a new model of leadership.It is almost fifty years ago since McKinsey launched its management journal, the McKinseyQuarterly – and by consequence created the birth of the thought leadership movement. TheMcKinsey Quarterly was a coffee-table style publication that enabled them to target executivereadership. Other firms followed suit by creating their own publications and by the 90sconsulting firms were beginning to resemble publishers.For many businesses, marketing has transformed from talking about yourself (advertising) tolistening to your customers and creating content around their needs (publishing) - many of thenew marketing techniques are actually publishing initiatives (blogs, e-newsletters). Joe Pulizzi, 4author of Get Content Get Customers, states that ¨we are all publishers today¨.Consulting firms (as publishers) are perhaps one step ahead of this curve. However, theworld of publishing is also transforming and demands consulting firms to embrace a newmodel of leadership.Practicing The Art of Thought LeadershipTransformation is creating a level playing field for all – the tools and technologies are availablefor a one-man consultant to produce and disseminate thought leadership. From a clientperspective this creates advantages, as it should raise the bar for authoritative thoughtleadership; and secondly increase the number and presence of specialist providers.For large consulting firms they need to invest considerably more in the development andleadership of thought. Moving forward the art of thought leadership revolves around four keypillars:1. Content – developing a strong point of view2. Audience – the power of the secondary target market3. Segmentation – aligning content to specific audiences4. Connecting - engaging with your audiencePositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 27
  29. 29. Content Historically, developing a proprietary argument or point of view was key to developing authoritative thought leadership. Although this is still true in today´s world, this study advocates that there are alternative ways in how consulting firms can develop their point of view, depending on the topic at hand and market forces. For certain issues it may be suitable for consulting firms to adopt a position of ¨Thought Leader¨ - where through extensive primary research they can earn themselves a leadership position. However, in a crowded market achieving this status will become increasingly more difficult. Perhaps, the alternative and requires a paradigm shift for many consulting firms is to become ¨leaders of thought¨ - given the complexity and scale of climate change subjects, there could be numerous opportunities to adopt a more open and transparent approach to content development one which means involving prospective clients into the process. An OpenSource approach is being used in many industries where intellectual property is a key asset. Proctor & Gamble, IBM and GoldCorp are creating value to gain competitive advantage by 5 opening themselves up to the concept of mass collaboration.Audience Typically thought leadership was a direct communication tool – sent directly to the primary target audience. Given the fragmentation in media channels – each creating silos of interest - there is an ever-growing secondary market which can help influence a consulting firm´s primary audience. There is an added advantage in that what people say about you has creditability than what you assert about yourself. Therefore, marketing programmes need to be expanded to include a secondary market.Segmentation Changing communication platforms together with a reprioritisation of the target audience requires greater flexibility or agility in content delivery. The challenge or opportunity moving forward is to realign or segment content to meet changing consumption trends and expanding target audiences. A broader audience suggests that marketing departments should segment and target specific parts of their content so that it engages different audiences. Consulting firms must assume that no one reader wants to read their research in its entirety – by arranging segments of content based on the readers´ interests and preferences, consulting firms can broaden both their reach and impact.Connecting How clients and prospective clients consume information should dictate how consulting firms engage with them. Clients today are far better informed than at any time in history, thanks to the Internet, with analysts like Gartner reporting that 90% of all purchase decisions are now made based largely on internet 6 research. A review of the 13 consulting firms shows that the majority of thought leadership delivery channels to be publications (survey, newsletter, briefing, case-study), webinars or video. Some have adopted new social media technologies (Twitter, Blogs) – but like many companies they have not fully adapted their communication methods to utilize these emerging channels.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 28
  30. 30. PwC´s Global CEO SurveyHow PwC segments its survey contentLast year, for the first time, PwC began to offer the survey in multiple formats, includingcustomised reports by industry and geography, as well as multimedia versions of specific 7sections.• Full Main Report• 19 Sub-reports by industry and region• Key issue data sets• Video interviews of six global CEOs• Video interview of PwC’s CEO• Transcripts of full CEO interviews• Various other customised reportsResource Revolution: Climate Change Thought Leadership hits McKinsey´s homepage In December 2011, McKinsey devoted its opening homepage to its new report Resource Revolution. The new McKinsey report "Resource Revolution: Meeting the world’s energy, materials, food, and water needs" shows that the resource challenge can be met through a combination of expanding the supply of resources and a step change in resource productivity. The research was developed by the Sustainability & Resource Productivity practice and the McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of the firm.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 29
  31. 31. The rise of social media technologiesWhat is important to remember about social media it that it’s not about the technologiesthemselves, but rather the change in behaviour. This is not a mere trend; it is a new form ofcommunication.This new way of communicating goes against the grain of what consulting firms have beentypically doing – top down, broadcast-type communications with no interaction or dialogue withtheir audiences. What social media has done is to turn this model upside down, by creating abottom-up, democratised communication platform. Incorporating social media effectively intotraditional communication strategy presents numerous challenges to consulting firms, notably achange in posture from “push” to “pull”.Consulting firms entering this space need to realise that social media is not another advertisingor media channel – even though it can facilitate business development and improve reputation.An effective starting position for consulting firms is to listen to what is being said about keyissues.Social media has been a quick success – and has caught many companies bysurprise. In less than a decade we have seen a massive shift in the way contentis being generated, distributed and consumed across global communities.Once a consulting firm (or any company) begins its approach it is imperative that it is done in atransparent, authentic and consistent way. There can be no dipping in and out – you have tomake a full commitment and try to become part of the conversation and the community. Contentneeds to be kept fresh and relevant – although it does not necessarily have to be new or evenproprietary. Content in this instance could be providing one half of a potential conversation.Based on discussions with social media leaders the critical success factor forany social media marketing activity is for it to be genuine. If it seems or feelsinauthentic, it will fail.A company’s communications team has a key role to play in the internal development of socialmedia engagement, by incorporating key components of social media within the organisationalcommunication strategy. However, if the two fundamental principles of social mediaengagement are authenticity and transparency, then social media cannot be the exclusivedomain of the communications department in the longer term. To fully realise the potential ofsocial media, consulting firms need to make it a part of their DNA by embedding social mediaacross different business units – with all employees acting as ambassadors.In many cases, client-facing personnel are better placed to engage at the micro-level andconvey a company’s message to their specific communities, rather than working through acentralised communicator. Marketing and subject experts can benefit immensely, and can go along way towards humanising a company through their participation. All of this can generatesignificant upside in the form of brand equity, research data, and much more.Developing a “Leadership of Thought” platformBusiness executives want depth of information, but they donʼt want to dig through a lot of rawmaterial to find what is relevant to them.Content must be designed as a collection of organised subtopics that lets the user quickly dialin on what is most important to them. Microsites provide this lightweight structure by offering aPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 30
  32. 32. few simple, interrelated navigation choices without getting bogged down with the baggage ofthe main websiteʼs navigation structure.By breaking topics into subtopics, consulting firms can deliver deeper content while making iteasier for users to consume. Microsites enable consulting firms to aggregate its collectiveexpertise on an issue in one place to provide a platform for clients / prospects interested inthat topic. PwC´s 13th Global CEO Survey provides an excellent example from the consulting industry. Another example from the consulting industry is McKinsey´s What Matters McKinsey´s What Matters microsite brings together researchers, academics, journalists, policy makers and executives to address ten big questions. Both PwC and McKinsey are leading the way in consulting firms’ use of microsites. The one area where PwC could improve is by incorporating interactive dialogue tools that foster exchange amongst the community. McKinsey´s What Matters features a Debate Zone that enables users to engage with McKinsey professionals and or with their peers.WebinarsA key finding from the study was the growing importance and value of webinars – perhaps aconsequence from a reduction in conference attendance by industry professionals. Done well,webinars can help consulting firms engage with their audience around a particular businessissue. The webinar presentation must be developed no differently from any high-level piece ofthought leadership – centred around the current needs and challenges facing clients.Prospective clients will want to learn how the consulting firm will help them to solve a currentproblem.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 31
  33. 33. A war on contentPoor thought leadership can erode reputation therefore deciding not what to do is perhaps asstrategic as what should be done. Consulting firms should develop a process for thoughtleadership development based on a combination of internal and external factors to develop theirsweet-spot.Thought leadership has become a competitive battleground for consulting firms. Figure 2 belowhighlights the competitive landscape for services and thought leadership activities of 11consulting firms.*Figure 2: Consulting firms´ services & thought leadership Ernst & Young SustainAbility Booz & Co. Accenture McKinsey AD Little Deloitte KPMG PWC BCG ERM Services / Thought Leadership Assurance Adaptation / Resilience Biodiversity Branding Carbon Cities Energy & Resource Efficiency Finance Green IT / Facilities / Buildings Lifecycle Assessment Opportunity / Innovation People / Talent Renewables / Clean Tech Risk / Governance & Compliance Sector Focus Smart Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Supply Chain / Procurement Trading Transport Transactions Waste Management Water Key Low Presence / or No Activity Some Presence / Some Activity High Presence / Activity*The analysis is not conclusive and merely serves as an illustration to help facilitate the thought leadership contentprocess.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 32
  34. 34. The (imperfect) analysis in Figure 2 enables consulting firms to develop their thought leadershipsweet-spot by identifying the green white space. From this a simple matrix can be developed toassist consulting firms plan their thought leadership strategy (see figure 3 below).Figure 3: Content development matrixThe matrix enables consulting firms to take a portfolio approach to developing thoughtleadership where, depending on internal expertise, they will want to publish a range of researchwithin each of these quadrants. This matrix also assists in determining the appropriate deliverychannel. For example, in the top right hand corner ¨Lead¨ - it would be viable for consultingfirms to develop their own high-level platform such as a Microsite or Event.Consulting firms must understand that not all prospects are ready for thought leadership or havesufficient trust in their company / information. Instead, consulting firms must create multiplepieces of content relevant to the prospective client´s stage in the buying cycle.Thought Leadership fuelling demand creationThe buying process is highly emotional, and requires consulting firms to make both anintellectual and personal connection. There are two emotions that will impact the prospectiveclient – fear or greed. More often than not it is fear which presents itself in two forms:organisational; and personal.Consulting firms must do their best to minimise this fear by eliminating risk, best achieved byillustrating (not asserting) their capabilities, experience and services. A genuine, long-standingcommitment to practical thought leadership helps consulting firms build trust and long-termengagement with prospective clients. Thought leadership that is well researched and deliveredenables consulting firms to make both an intellectual connection and personal connection withprospective clients – helping to reduce any organisational / personal risk.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 33
  35. 35. Looking AheadWe are moving away from a world dominated by traditional printed media to one in which blogs,twitter etc predominates. This doesn’t just mean that individuals and organisations have toutilise these channels to communicate; they also have to adapt the content and tone to reflectthis new reality. What is often overlooked is that the language and style of writing favoured bythese new interactive channels is very different to that to be found in traditional publications.There is a much greater expectation that content has to be tailored to the needs of the individual– or, at least, the individual is free to select what interests him rather than be spoon-fed. Thishas enormous implications both in terms of design of/investment in “smarter” communicationtools – the PwC CEO Survey serves as a great example of content segmentation to align to thespecific needs and interests of a broadening target audience.More fundamentally, it requires a change in the corporate culture which, hitherto, has focusedon controlling outgoing information in order to a) project clear and common messages (e.g.there is a McKinsey view of the world); and b) avoid the possibility that one part of the businesssays one thing while some other part says the complete opposite!What this requires is a willingness to “trust” employees to represent the organization’sviews/positions consistently. This requires a much more holistic approach to managingknowledge within consulting firms to ensure that those who engage with the outside world havesome basic understanding of the new research concepts their employees are articulating.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 34
  36. 36. References Publication / Number Title Company Date 1 Learning from Success: Survey Alterra Group 2009 reveals the keys to more effectively developing and marketing intellectual capital How Booz & Company Develops and The Bloom Group 2011 2 Markets Consulting Concepts 3 White Space Report Source for Consulting 2011 Joe Pulizzi Online Marketing 2009 4 Summit Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Anthony D. Williams & 2007 5 Changes Everything. Don Tapscott 6 JOINED UP CUSTOMER Peter Smith - How to 2011 SERVICE? DONT MAKE ME trot marketing LAUGH! How PwC Repackages Content Source: Claire 2010 7 McDermott – Content Marketing Institute 2010 8 How the B2B Buying Process has Inbound Sales changed NetworkRelated Research Title Company Date Green Quadrant Sustainability Business Consulting Verdantix 2011 2011 (UK) 5 Growth Areas for Sustainability Spending 2012 Verdantix 2011 UK enviro consulting market assessment & Environment 2011 competitor analysis Analyst White Space Report Source for 2011 Consulting Global Environmental Consulting Strategies and Environment 2011 Competitor Analysis 2011 Analyst Corporate Social Media Useful Social Media 2010 / Jonathan Ballantine Vendor Needs & Strategies IDC 2009Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 35
  37. 37. Appendices 1. Performance Benchmark 2. Report Cards: 11 Consulting Firms 3. Interview QuestionsPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 36
  38. 38. Appendix 1Performance BenchmarkFollowing interviews conducted with sustainability executives a set of indicators were developedto assess consulting firms across two dimensions – performance & marketing.Performance ScorecardMarket Share based on ratings made by survey participants.Track Record based on relevance of core experience, proven expertise of leadership team and history in the delivery of climate change business consulting engagements.Geographic Presence It was important to identify the breath of reach consulting firms have in order to support global roll-outs or emerging market strategies.Marketing ScorecardWebsite utility rates the ease of navigation in finding relevant services, leadership and insights from sustainability sections. In addition it assess the ease in finding sustainability services from the main homepage.Content rating is based on the frequency of thought leadership produced and the perceived quality and familiarity as rated by survey participants.Collaborations the number of partnerships or external collaborations the consulting firm is engaged in for either thought leadership research or client service engagements.Channels rating based on innovation in content delivery – in terms of fostering engagementScoring has been based on three levels3 = Leading2 = Average1 = LimitedThe scorecard on the following page is based on opinions of survey respondents, andrepresents perceived findings in 2011.Positioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 37
  39. 39. Figure 4: Consulting Firms´ Performance Scorecard Consulting Firms SustainAbility Booz & Co. Accenture McKinsey AD Little Deloitte KPMG ERM BCG PwC E&Y Indicators Performance Scorecard 7 4 4 4 7 5 7 6 7 8 7 Market Share 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 Track Record 2 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 3 3 Geographic Presence 3 1 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 2 Marketing Scorecard 12 9 8 10 7 9 9 7 11 12 9 Website Utility 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 1 3 3 3 Content 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 External Collaborations 3 2 2 3 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 Thought Leadership 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 ChannelsFigure 5: Consulting Firms´ Performance BenchmarkPositioning for Growth: Buyer Needs & Market Strategies 38