theGrogroup MD Paul Richmond and consultant Liz Whitaker spoke at a packed London PM Forum breakfast event this week on how practitioners in professional services marketing can demonstrate ROI. Expectations on marketing professionals are high so each focused on a specific area. Paul focused on how marketers can deliver ROI from their marketing activities, whilst Liz focused on how marketers can demonstrate ROI from them as experts, and the training and development that has been invested in them. Throughout the session practical case study examples of professional services marketing ROI were provided by Peter Scoffham, who is the Marketing Manager for Financial Services at PwC UK.
Commenting on his experiences of ROI in PwC, Peter said: “Being much more focused on ROI in professional services marketing is really important to me for two key reasons. Firstly it helps me to show my stakeholders the value that marketing is bringing to the table. And secondly, being able to relate to hardcore numbers also builds my confidence as a marketeer. I more able to speak with authority and gain greater respect, which from a career perspective, sets me apart from peers who aren’t able to bring ROI numbers into discussions.”
Jill Want, Chair of London PM Forum Committee and BD Manager for Punter Southall; “This practical and ideas filled session shone a light on the importance of measuring and presenting ROI to the stakeholders in the firm you work for. Paul Richmond and Liz Whitaker of the theGrogroup gave an excellent session demonstrating that by measuring ROI you are speaking the same language as the ‘fee earners’ in your professional services firm and have a much stronger argument for the ideas that you want to put forward (or decline!). The session gave tips for networking, managing stakeholders effectively and even looking at yourself – presenting your personal value clearly, and as Peter Scoffham of PwC explained, this can result in you getting a seat at the table of the more strategic discussions. 100% of attendees rated this session excellent or good – with over 85% rating the content as excellent!”
Top tips for everyone involved in professional services marketing gained from the session include:
- There is a vital difference between output, outcome and impact. For example:
Output – Event to promote new developments in a particular sector.
Outcome – 52 attendees, social media coverage, increase in website visitors to sector area on site.
Impact – Eight new client meetings, four proposals, three panel invitations, £242,000 new business.
In conversations with partners and fee-earners, focus on the impact and work backwards to decide output and outcome.
- Almost everything is measurable – take time to get the evidence, it’s almost certainly there in the business. Create a baseline so you can measure progress. Peter talked about measuring ‘share of voice’ before and after a campaign.
- Don’t be put off by euphemisms, drill down with good questions. For example:
- Partner – “We run this event annually and it’s very valuable ….”
- Marketing professional “Good …. How do you measure that value and what impact did it have last year?”
- Part of a marketing professional’s role is to educate stakeholders about marketing so it will make the role easier in the long run.
- Show them tough love – learn what the numbers are and the difference you can make to the bottom line. Example – A discussion focusing on the numbers that matter might go like this:
“I appreciate every £10k we spend in marketing comes out of your profit share and will need a £50k win to cover the cost, so this has to count …”
- Ensure stakeholders have a degree of choice, it will make them think harder about the decision and more likely to increase their attachment to the outcome/impact.
- Bring governance and discipline to their activity (they might resist at first but they will eventually respect you for it).
- Marketing professionals face common and shared problems – too many bosses, conflicting demands, working in a hierarchy, being seen as a drain on resources, working with fee earners with limited incentive to take advice, we speak different languages. But there are solutions.
- You will do your best work with ‘hungry’ fee earners so pick your winners. Peter Scoffham chooses his winners by looking at where they are on the career scale, what service line they’re in and what person type. Good candidates are newly appointed heads, newly appointed partners, fee-earners on a mission to prove something.
- Cultivate your ambassadors in the firm, those partners and fee-earners who are influential in the business and work well with marketing. Work with them to win the Prizes, those individuals who are influential but not yet on your side. Support the Eager Beavers … those who are up and coming, hungry for success and with the potential to be your ambassadors. Drop the deadweights.
- A pride of lions has only one goal …. So make sure the whole fee-earning team is behind that one goal, that the responsibility is shared, that you play to people’s strengths e.g. someone is good at pitching – they do the pitching, someone is good at social media – they do the social media.
- Make it a public goal, speak it into existence and use peer pressure to keep them on track. This is a mission that must succeed.
- Establish personal goals so you can use that to re-focus fee-earners on what they need to do. Want to become famous? In which case, you must share this story with all your contacts before someone else does …. Want a promotion? Winning this client will undoubtedly help ….
- ROI is the shared language of measurement. Use it all the time in all your communications. Refer to facts and figures, surveys, statistics. There’s plenty out there.
- Be visible to the fee-earning team. Sit with them. Join their meetings. Share their space. See the world from their point of view. Be one of the pride (not the prey!).
- Appreciate your value and start by re-writing your CV using ROI to highlight your achievements in terms of outcome and impact.
You can also find the event write up on the PM Forum website
For more information on how theGrogroup can support you and your fee earners in professional services firms please get in touch on 01892 610060, we would be delighted to catch up over a coffee to bounce ideas and challenges around.