The consulting industry outlook

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The consulting industry outlook

  1. 1. On yer’ bike What’s next for the consulting industry
  2. 2. … but first <ul><li>An instant benchmarking study </li></ul>
  3. 3. Today’s presentation <ul><li>Then </li></ul><ul><li>Now </li></ul><ul><li>Tomorrow </li></ul><ul><li>How to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>Exit strategies </li></ul>
  4. 4. Then – Mark 1…the 1960s <ul><li>Two major firms – EWA and IPR </li></ul><ul><li>Many freelance journalists </li></ul><ul><li>Media relations main game </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly retainer remuneration </li></ul><ul><li>Salaries consistent with journalists </li></ul><ul><li>A few in-house people </li></ul><ul><li>Few females working ”fashion” accounts </li></ul>
  5. 5. Mark 1 – my 60s client base <ul><li>Cement plan local environment problems </li></ul><ul><li>Mining companies (Poseidon boom) </li></ul><ul><li>Industry associations </li></ul><ul><li>APC takeover of Adelaide Brighton </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing (Kentucky Fried’s first store) </li></ul><ul><li>Food/nutrition (butter vs margarine) </li></ul><ul><li>Government departments </li></ul>
  6. 6. Then – Mark 2 – the 1970s and 80s <ul><li>Growth of major nationally-operating multinationals </li></ul><ul><li>Proliferation of medium size agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Much outsourcing from in house people with PR backgrounds and big budgets </li></ul><ul><li>More fee-based remuneration </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer journos more women </li></ul><ul><li>Salaries consistent with corporates </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mark 2 – my client base <ul><li>..deja vu all over again </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental (forests/petrochemicals) </li></ul><ul><li>Government departments </li></ul><ul><li>Industry associations </li></ul><ul><li>Food and nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Issues management </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate governance issues </li></ul>
  8. 8. Some turning points <ul><li>1972, Whitlam, stagflation and rapid industry growth in counter-cyclical fashion </li></ul><ul><li>1987 “recession we had to have” and industry and budget cutbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Recovery and boom with dot-coms and salary pressures followed by bust both cyclical and structural. </li></ul><ul><li>Telstra epitomises the trends </li></ul>
  9. 9. Now <ul><li>Mainly state-based medium size agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Many small operators </li></ul><ul><li>ACCPA most important industry player </li></ul><ul><li>Biggest consultancies personnel operations offering contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-nationals in retreat </li></ul><ul><li>Build-up in corporate resources and salaries – clients finally smarter or think so </li></ul>
  10. 10. Now – part two <ul><li>Females dominant </li></ul><ul><li>Salaries lower than corporates </li></ul><ul><li>Retainers and project fees back…...but different </li></ul><ul><li>Transaction and project based relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional money-spinners undermined by distintermediation </li></ul>
  11. 11. What next? <ul><li>What you’re good at will continue to be the new black but…….. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What next ? <ul><li>Media relations (Chairs and CEOs) </li></ul><ul><li>Issues management </li></ul><ul><li>- CSR mismatches </li></ul><ul><li>- Corporate “corruption” </li></ul><ul><li>- Corporate remuneration </li></ul><ul><li>- Shareholder and stakeholder </li></ul><ul><li>activism </li></ul>
  13. 13. What next? <ul><li>Even more industry scrutiny and scepticism </li></ul><ul><li>- new Bob Burton book </li></ul><ul><li>- PR Watch in Australia </li></ul><ul><li>- Weekly Spin </li></ul><ul><li>- crikey </li></ul><ul><li>Industry licensing – Harold Burson already! </li></ul>
  14. 14. What next? <ul><li>Another political and market inflexion point? </li></ul><ul><li>- Political hubris </li></ul><ul><li>- Business hubris </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate down-sizing and head-counts? </li></ul><ul><li>Remember ……the conventional wisdom is always wrong </li></ul>
  15. 15. What to be good at? <ul><li>Media relations (for Chairs and CEOs) </li></ul><ul><li>Talent retention through industry-wide training and semi-retired senior corporates </li></ul><ul><li>IP and proprietary research </li></ul><ul><li>Financial services (NB not investor relations) </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory research social marketing </li></ul>
  16. 16. What to be good at? <ul><li>Truth telling to hubristic leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Framing issues and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge – being smarter than the clients again </li></ul>
  17. 17. Exit strategies <ul><li>Too many fingers burnt (buyers not sellers thankfully) </li></ul><ul><li>Second level or other discipline buyers </li></ul><ul><li>Use the new super rules! </li></ul><ul><li>Wait for the next upturn and sell early rather than trying to maximise the price </li></ul>

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