With the Australian professional services market becoming increasingly saturated and fragmented with top tiers, mid-tiers, boutiques and the new models vying for their piece of the pie, the importance of high-level marketing and business development is magnified. Firms that do not effectively invest or develop their marketing and business development capabilities will struggle against firms that have identified the critical importance that a high-performance team can have in increasing profitability.
My marketing career commenced at a well-regarded mid-tier firm with a substantial marketing team which included a marketing manager and three marketing executives. Although the team worked well together, the issue with this traditional marketing team structure was that the marketing manager had three generalist staff members, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, who weren’t experts in any particular function (whether it be graphic design, database development, search engine optimisation or website development). This lack of expertise in key functions placed pressure on the marketing manager as they then needed to become heavily involved in managing these functions and mentoring these employees on skills they probably don’t have either. As the marketing manager became involved in these day to day operational issues, they’d then lose sight of the overall marketing objectives and strategic direction of the firm.
A successful law firm needs their executive managers to be looking at the high-level detail and not getting lost in the day to day operational issues that plague inefficient marketing teams.
When it turned around
Fast forward a few years and I was given the opportunity to rebuild a marketing function at a highly specialised boutique firm. The role required a highly strategic approach with a need to manage the development of the firm’s marketing and business development strategy and then implement it. I recalled the days where I wasted countless hours fumbling my way through graphic design programs or developing SEO frameworks and other more operational tasks. I asked myself how I could work on the high -level strategic side of things when I would no doubt become inundated with the time-consuming day to day marketing tasks common to all professional services firms.
This is where the concept of using offshore/outsourced staff was introduced to me. The directive was issued to build my own offshore/outsource marketing team that would allow me to focus on working with key stakeholders on strategy and other higher level project work. In order to do this, I broke down the key functions where in the past I had invested a substantial time in completing and then sourcing an offshore/outsourced expert. In the space of a few months, I was able to build a team that included a graphic designer, SEO expert, and database research analyst (to name a few).
As a result of developing this offshore/outsourced marketing team, I could now focus on work that was critical to the firm’s success whilst ensuring that the operational and day to day marketing tasks were completed effectively and efficiently. Additionally, the need for external consultants had been reduced and timeliness on completion of projects has improved.