‘Change-maker' consultancies are lagging with their own digital marketing

A “worrying gap” has been discovered between the low adoption of digital marketing by management consultancy firms and the digital-first approaches now demanded by their clients.

As reported by Consultancy.UK and part of the UK-based ‘State of Digital Marketing in Professional Services 2018’ report, a reliance on traditional word of mouth referrals is lingering among professional services firms, compounded by a complacency to adopt spend big on new and innovative marketing channels. That’s despite 75 percent of those companies surveyed realising the need to go digital in their marketing.

The result is that many of these companies - which tout expertise in digital transformation strategies - are not landing in front of their target audience in an evermore competitive and crowded digital marketplace.

Conducted by Propero Partners and based on responses from firms of various sizes and operating years, the survey found that only 13 percent of companies invested more than £20k per annum in marketing. Most shockingly, though, was that 53 percent don’t invest any budget at all, while 15% are giving digital marketing the swerve full stop.

As noted by Consultancy.UK, these firms offer services based on innovation, effective change and progression, with an emphasis on adaptability and agility. By lagging behind in digital marketing, not only are they missing out on potential leads, but their perception among clients could suffer if they’re not seen to be practicing what they preach.

Meanwhile, those firms that are investing are reporting more client enquiries per month, which ultimately perpetuates the risk of laggards being shouldered out and left behind.

But while three out of four firms realise the importance of digital marketing, many of those moving to adopt it are finding themselves unguided in a trial-and-error approach.

According to the report, while unpaid social media (53 percent), email marketing (51 percent) and content marketing (43 percent) are the most popular channels among management consultancy firms, channels such as paid social, search engine marketing and display advertising are used by just 32 percent, 23 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Like in any industry, the need for consultancy firms to keep up to speed with new technologies and innovations is only going to increase if they are to keep up and differentiate themselves from competitors.

Professional service industry giants like Deloitte and PwC are well aware of this sea change, and are piling resources into equipping their teams with tech-based skill sets to match the demands of their digital-savvy clients.

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