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PPT presentation of Marketing Professional Services In Asia Seminar at Cim HK Aug 09


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A copy of my ppt presentation delivered at CIM HK on Marketing Professional Services in Asia in Aug 09

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PPT presentation of Marketing Professional Services In Asia Seminar at Cim HK Aug 09

  1. 1. Marketing Professional Services in AsiaRobert SawhneyManaging DirectorSRC Associates Ltd<br />Chartered Institute of Marketing HK<br />19th August 2009<br />1<br /><br />
  2. 2. Part I – where are we?Professional Service Firms (PSF) are Different<br />Product resides in the structural, social, and intellectual capital of firm<br />Key marketer is the professional who interacts with client<br />Differentiation is harder to achieve – ‘we do better audits’<br />Branding at the individual, practice group, and firm level<br />Marketing and BD coupled together – misunderstanding?<br />Professionals don’t take easily to being ‘managed’, strategy bottom up and involves all or no one (are they interested)?<br /><br />2<br />
  3. 3. And the difficulty of…<br />Fundamental misunderstanding by professionals of what marketing is<br />Growth of 10% per annum, who needs it?<br />Strong resistance by seniors<br />Belief in conflict with professional ethics and association guidelines<br />Combined role of producer/manager<br />Short term orientation and lack of longer term strategic thinking<br /><br />3<br />
  4. 4. Case study – one of the largest US law firms in the world:New branding in HK<br />Strategy driven from US ‘HQ’<br />Hired a consumer goods branding consultancy<br />Campaign was almost totally externally oriented<br />Staff heard about it when new branding unveiled at company briefing<br />No resonance or affinity = low impact<br /><br />4<br />
  5. 5. Further problems in Asia: cultural differences and association guidelines<br />Advertising: research shows that Asian consumers much less accepting of professionals who advertise<br />Research also shows that the professionals themselves in HK more averse to marketing than consumers<br />Value pricing: variouswork requires time sheet records for tax purposes<br />Merit vs lock step compensation systems<br />Service quality-meaning and measurement<br />CRM – building relationships<br />Managing alliances between firms of different national cultural backgrounds<br />Associations lack of practice management strategy know how and guidance to member firms<br /><br />5<br />
  6. 6. So where are we now?<br />PSF marketing is already in the mature stage in the US. The Bates decision in 1976 was a key factor in this area. There are probably hundreds of firms that specialize in professional services marketing and PSF’s adopt marketing openly<br />The state of the profession is still probably in the growth stage in Europe as barriers to marketing activities have been slow to come down<br />In HK and Asia, PSF marketing is very likely in the embryonic stage as most professional associations still limit activities and the understanding of marketing as a business process is still quite limited<br /><br />6<br />
  7. 7. Part IIMarketing and client value<br />Firstly – what marketing is not:<br />Promotion<br />Clever logo and new brand name<br />Run by the marketing/BD people<br />Something that can be turned on and off according to prevailing conditions<br />In its entirety, something that cannot be measured using ROI<br /><br />7<br />
  8. 8. Cont’d<br />What it is:<br />A business process about creating client value<br />A firm culture that has the most significant impact on firm performance<br />The guiding force for strategy and strategic management <br />The bed rock of firm performance (market orientation) <br /><br />8<br />
  9. 9. What Do Clients Want?: the value they seek17 factors that drive law firm success<br />Client focus. <br />Commitment to help by suggesting strategies and demonstrating interest. <br />Understanding the client’s business. <br />Providing value for the dollar – showing money and time saved. <br />Breadth of services. <br />Advise on business issues. <br />Regional reputation. <br />Unprompted Communication <br />Bringing together national resources. <br />Keeping clients informed. <br />Show skill in legal expertise, experience and outcomes. <br />Quality work, show attention to detail. <br />Ability to deal with unexpected changes. <br />Handling problems quickly and effectively. <br />Meeting client-imposed scope of work and deadlines. <br />Anticipating client needs. <br />Having international capabilities. <br />(Source: BTI consulting: The survey of client service performance, US) <br /><br />9<br />
  10. 10. How does marketing fit?<br />A market orientation is a firm culture that stresses three interrelated perspectives:<br />A client orientation<br />A competitor orientation<br />Inter-functional coordination<br />Numerous studies show it to have the most significant impact on firm performance<br /><br />10<br />
  11. 11. Bed rock of firm performance<br /><br />11<br />
  12. 12. Still more than you think!<br />David Maister in his book: Practice What You Preach, studied a number of PSFs using rigorous quantitative methods. <br />He found in particular, 9 factors that were strongly linked to PSF financial performance<br /><br />12<br />
  13. 13. The Maister Diagram<br /><br />13<br />
  14. 14. Cont’d<br />In fact, what he found is not new<br />But was a revelation for PSFs<br />He expanded on what is known as the service profit chain<br />This idea shows that happy staff make happy clients which makes money!<br />This revolves around strong values, clear direction, and the right culture<br /><br />14<br />
  15. 15. Now You See<br />This is what we mean by adopting a marketing culture<br />Peter Drucker said years ago that firms have only 2 functions: marketing and innovation, the rest are costs<br />But when he said marketing, this is what he meant. The adoption of the marketing concept into the very fabric of a firm<br /><br />15<br />
  16. 16. Case Study: the acceptance of value pricing for CPA firm<br />One of the major factors that has professional associations soul searching, as well as senior partners, and causes the most dissatisfaction among PSF juniors is billable hours<br />Billable hour requirements and time sheet completion treats people like cogs in a machine<br />Focus on efficiency instead of effectiveness<br />For clients, time spent on a job often has nothing to do with value<br /><br />16<br />
  17. 17. Cont’d<br />Harrex Group, NZ (source: J of Accountancy, 2008)<br />Founded in 2007 by Brendan Harrex, first chief value officer at his former firm<br />He says focus on time and cost only creates illusion of managing a PSF<br />What really matters is value creation<br />No more hourly billing, a change of culture<br /><br />17<br />
  18. 18. Cont’d<br />Key Performance Indicators for Harrex:<br />* Ability to think strategically on behalf of clients<br />* Client Communication<br />* Delegation<br />* Turnaround Time<br />* Client Feedback<br />* Effective Listening and Communication Skills<br />* Knowledge Elicitation/Coaching<br />* Risk Taking, Innovation and Creativity<br />* Continuous Learning<br />* Passion, Attitude and Commitment<br />* Team Player<br /><br />18<br />
  19. 19. Thank You!<br />If you want any of the full references for work cited or have any questions, please feel free to contact me:<br />,<br />Blog:<br />Twitter:<br /><br />19<br />