One of our all-time favorite mentors, a managing partner at one of the Big Four accounting firms, gave us a precious piece of advice many years ago; advice that any marketer in professional services should take to heart.
That advice was, “don’t be an order taker”. In other words, in his wise view, marketing needed to be a business partner, not the executor of partners’ whims. If another partner decided that, for example, a new brochure needed to be printed, our mentor would encourage the marketing team to not to ask “by when?”, but “why?”
This led to a lot of heated conversations, for sure. Many partners had not been challenged in this way before and, of course, most of them felt that they knew more about marketing than the professional marketers they had hired! The ultimate result, however, was a dialog between the various practice areas and the marketing team. This translated into better marketing – better use of resources, more consistency in our efforts and better brand building.