How Consulting Firms Can Use Communications to Win Clients, Attract Talent and Differentiate from Competition
There are over 375,000 management consulting businesses in the country employing a total of 1.2 million people. With growing competition appearing on multiple fronts, it can be difficult for firms to differentiate and go up against both well-known and emerging consultancies for new business and recruitment initiatives.
While advances in technology and a trend towards the unbundling of larger projects into more modular work have created greater opportunities for smaller firms to square up against larger players, they are now also facing new competition from an influx of independent consultants who entered the market since The Great Recession.
Even big name firms — though not hurting for business — have difficulty separating themselves from their peers. A survey from Source Global Research asking senior end-users of consulting services to rate firms based on quality of work and attributes found that 18 of the 19 firms asked about — including IBM Global Business Services and McKinsey — all scored within a nine percent range of one another.
In order to stand out and catch the attention of prospective clients and employees, consulting firms are increasingly focused on improving and enhancing their communications efforts. In 2016 investment in thought leadership marketing more than doubled compared to the previous year (1.9 percent spend of annual revenue in 2016; 0.9 percent spend in 2015), according to a survey conducted by Bloom Group and the Association of Management Consulting Firms.
However, spending more on thought leadership does not mean better content or results will follow. And with the mega firms like Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, and McKinsey on a massive shopping spree for digital and creative agencies like they were part of a Black Friday sale at Target, there is an even greater need for firms to be more strategic, efficient and focused in their communications activities.
Based on secondary research and Ditto’s in-depth experience working with consulting and other professional services firms, this paper will provide insights and best practices for consulting firms to maximize the impact and value of their communications programs and initiatives.
In this paper you will learn how to:
- Create an infrastructure of communications activities
- Improve thought leadership content
- Review positioning
- Set strategy and tactics