The Snapshot survey on where marketers add value, as presented at the Forum’s 2010 Conference, attracted responses from 500 MPs, marketing leaders and team members, a near 300% increase on 2009.
Respondents were asked to rank 15 commercial activities perceived to be of relevance in marketing a professional firm. Marketing leaders and marketing team members held similar views so the focus was on the differences between MPs and marketers:
One might expect that MPs would see marketers as needing to be most involved in the most important commercial priorities. In practice, there is agreement over marketers’ key role in ‘communicating clear value propositions’, ‘profile raising’ and ‘building rapport with fee earners’. However, for three high priority commercial activities (‘developing relationships with targets’; ‘creating resonance with clients; and ’encouraging referrals’), MPs do not see marketers as being that relevant and marketers are currently hardly involved.
When ranking the views of MPs and marketers on the commercial activities where marketers should be most involved, three are common to the top five for both groups: ‘profile raising’; ‘communicating clear value propositions’; and ‘influencing fee earners’. MPs suggest that marketers should concentrate more on ‘building rapport with fee earners’ and ‘identifying and researching targets’, while marketers favour ‘improving partners’ BD skills’ and ‘contributing to management decisions’.
MPs and marketers hold similar views on where marketers are currently most involved with implementing commercial activities, other than ‘clarifying needs’ where the actual involvement of marketers was higher than MP perceptions, and ‘creating resonance with clients’ and ‘authenticity in relationships’ where the converse applied.
Another important area of activity for marketers is participating in pitch teams; direct conversations with clients and targets over needs; and conducting client satisfaction surveys.
MPs and marketers agree that the communities with whom marketers need to share the closest relationships are senior fee earners, fellow marketers and the management team. However, MPs consider fewer marketers to have very good relationships with these people than do marketers – senior fee earners were 35.3% per MPs v 53.4% per marketers; peers were 48.1% v 21.2%; and management team members were 22.0% v 8.8%.
Life is about making choices in a world of limited resources. Setting priorities is critical. Messages from the survey include: