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Company Marketing August 14, 2005

Posted by newyorkscot in Marketing.
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As we were preparing some new marketing messages and ideas for our sales team, we ran into an interesting issue — we actually did not have the exact same view on what we did in life as a company. We have been very successful at executing our projects for clients over the last ten years, are pretty unique in what we do (building specialist business and technical solutions for capital markets clients), and we all have a general idea of what that has been. The problem is really how we actually articulate that at a formal but granular level ?

I ran an emperical excercise (basic marketing 101 stuff). I asked the mgt to answer the following questions:

  • Who are we ?
  • What do we do ?
  • How do we do it ?
  • Who do we do it for ?
  • What is our value-add to clients ?

The results were very interesting — we did all agree on the general type of work we perform, but the way we communicated it was inconsistent, yet enlightening, but not surprising. This exercise validated the fact that we have never formally sat down and answered these questions as part of a formal communication plan (mainly because we have never formally done marketing since most of our worok has come through relationships and reputation – imagine we we actually actively market ourselves ?!!). It is clear that we all represent the company differently depending on the situation (not a bad thing), but we don't have the "elevator pitch" nailed. What was interesting was some people came up with some creative (and true!) ways of telling the story which we were then able to use in new ways of communicating our service offering(s).

One other issue it raised was: as a professional services company, how do you formally structure your service offerings ? We have a particular challenge in that we provide a range of specialist skills and services to clients through a project-based approach. However, the reality is that the makeup of the project varies by client and domain. Sometimes the client wants us for our Capital Markets domain experience, sometimes for our technical expertise, and sometime because of our approach/philosophy to projects, sometimes for any or all of the above. The challenge is to stay focused and differentiated from the competition, while also providing a relatively broad level of appeal to prospective buyers on paper. The good news is that once in front of a client we have a really high success rate because we fundamentally understand our clients and know how to "situationally sell"

I guess the acid test will be if we can't tell our own sales guys what our message is, they have no chance of telling our prospective clients … stay tuned as we sort it all out..

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