Our clients can access a broad range of fully integrated services across all marketing and business development disciplines. 

Our integrated approach combines insight, innovation and experience with business and industry knowledge to help businesses retain clients and win new business. 

The services we provide help clients exploit new opportunities and improve performance. We do this by solving business issues and improving marketing management processes. Our in-depth knowledge of professional services firms provide us with insights into the issues that hinder our clients. This enables us to provide high quality business-oriented marketing advice to assist law and accountancy firms to achieve their commercial goals.

 

Strategic marketing planning 

Training and coaching 

Marketing planning strategy accountants solicitors barristers 250

Give your firm a sustainable competitive advantage. We can help you write a marketing plan using our proven methodology that has helped accountants, solicitors and other professional services firms implement successful growth strategies. Once you have got the basic framework, you can build on your success for the long-term.

     

Business development - how to make winning new business a part of your day-to-day activities 

Roles traditionally thought as far removed from marketing have an important part to play but the people in these roles may not necessarily have the skills. We can help develop skills to ensure the required capabilities are in place. We align people with the firm's growth strategy to work as one towards common objectives.

Social media, website and digital

   

 

Copywriting and thought leadership

Integrated marketing accountancy 222

From setting up a Twitter or LinkedIn page to blog management, and individual training we can help drive traffic to your site and increase exposure. Sometimes it is hard to manage the day to day activities on your social media platforms. We can help with tweeting your own content and sharing other people’s content.

     

Brand Strategy Solicitors Accountants Barristers 222

You need to communicate with your audience and compel them into action. We can help you engage with your audience during inbound and outbound marketing activities, and across digital and traditional media. We can also assist with internal communications helping to ensure everyone in the company is on-brand.

 

 

Copywriting, thought leadership and PR

You need to communicate with your audience and compel them into action.  We can help you engage with them during inbound and outbound marketing activities, and across digital and traditional media. We can also assist with internal communications helping to ensure everyone in the company is on-brand.

Newsletters, guides and briefing documents – as part of an long-term integrated campaign, a great way to raise your profile and win new business.

Blogs – it’s a great way of sharing content. They sometimes take a while to write but blogging needs to be a part of your search engine optimisation strategy for generating traffic.

Email campaigns – we’ll design a strategic e-marketing programme to reach your audience help maintain on-going dialogue.  We can also set-up systems to help you collect and manage your data, deliver compelling campaigns and provide detailed measurement and analysis reports.

Copywriting – we can help you determine how you want your business to be perceived and match this with the right messaging. We write newsletters, blogs, website copy, articles, briefing documents, PR releases, and anything else that requires words and messages.

Case studies – case studies are an important tool for any business wanting to showcase their services. We can draft case studies that focus on the value your business added, not just what you did.  We will also highlight the benefits of working with you.

White papers – are simply documents designed to promote your products or services. Used as a marketing tool, these papers can help generate sales leads, develop your thought leadership platform, and inform or persuade your audience.

Surveys – can be used to find out more about issues affecting your clients and highlight topical issues.  They are also a great way of communicating with clients and get PR. 

Direct mail – the letter isn’t quite dead and still useful for the initial introduction, change of address, events and special promotions. Used selectively and integrated with other tools, it’s another useful tool.

Tweets – another great way to drive traffic to your website and improve the effectiveness of your search engine optimisation strategy.

PR – we’re continually flabbergasted at the amount of traffic a good story can bring.  We can help you with a strategy and be prepared for opportunities. We’ll help you to become more pro-active by getting your surveys, videos and case studies out.

Legal directory entries for Chambers and Legal 500 - we are well placed in the market to provide legal directory services. Our legal directory publishing and in-house experience ensures we submit the highest quality submissions.

Social media, website and digital.

Your brand never sleeps. Social media means that you can continuously monitor your brand. You can research your competitors and see trends emerging. You can communicate directly with potential clients and build an immediate dialogue. You can drive sales and build a network. You can help individuals or the entire organisation to be seen as a 'thought leader'.

 

You are also more open to criticism from your target audience, or anyone for that matter. Being able to respond means you can manage criticism which has to be a good thing. Social media usually doesn't have huge costs attached but does require time so you need to be in it for the long haul.


They key is to ensure your social media strategies are integrated across all channels. You need to get involved and interact: it is after all, social media. 


From setting up a Twitter or LinkedIn page to blog management, and individual training we can help drive traffic to your site and increase exposure. Sometimes it is hard to manage the day to day activities on your social media platforms.  We can help with tweeting your own content and sharing other people’s content.

 

If your strategy is to build an audience and develop relationships with key influencers in order to nurture followers into loyal customers and advocates, then we can help.  We’ll show you how to partake in discussions and build a strong network. Above all, we will ensure you get revenue and increase market share as a direct result of your social media strategy.  Our approach is to undertake a full review and provide you with a report and actionable recommendations to implement immediately.


Blogs are great but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to update them or come up with something to say.  We can help you write content or give you a plan and some structure to follow.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool for managing your network of contacts and is a great business development tool.  We can help your company implement best practice procedures, set up a profile, and leverage LinkedIn to win new business.


Twitter is an excellent tool to drive traffic to your website.  We can help you to set up and use your account effectively ensuring it’s aligned against the overall marketing and business development strategy.

 

Website

Your website is an essential tool and a shopfront to your business. For some businesses it is the first point of contact, for others it is simply a verification tool to help put the buyer at ease by showing you’re capable, professional and are what you say you are. There are a number of ways we can support you:

  • SEO recommendations
  • Pay-per-click programmes
  • Split testing
  • Maintenance
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Copywriting
  • Landing page optimisation

 

Digital

  • Strategy
  • Campaigns
  • Lead generation and conversion process
  • Driving traffic to your site and building an online audience
  • Thought leadership
  • Content creation and management
  • Blogs

 

Business Development Training

Once a firm decides how it will engage with clients and contacts to win new business and retain clients, it requires the organisational capabilities to deliver. Roles traditionally thought as far removed from marketing have an important part to play but the people in these roles may not necessarily have the skills. We can help develop skills to ensure the required capabilities are in place. We align people with the firm's growth strategy to work as one towards common objectives.

Benefits for your firm

  • Increased business development activity as a result of people who are more confident
  • The right people have the right skills and techniques to needed to develop strong relationships with clients and targets by understanding their businesses and their markets
  • Greater commercial awareness of clients' needs and more likely to be seen as their trusted strategic adviser
  • Improved relationship management and focus on strategic business advice as part of the complete service
  • Growing pipeline for individuals while still managing clients and workloads
  • Saving time by being more targeted, through greater ability to speed up sales cycle, and close deals more effectively
  • More opportunities to grow referral and introducer network
  • Better ROI from business development training
  • New clients and enhanced existing relationships using a more commercial mind-set
  • Improved business development skills and processes that form part of an individual's day-to-day time and work targets

What we offer

  • Experienced presenters and trainers who work or have worked as BD Directors within firms
  • Specialist professional services focused workshops
  • Training and development that is embedded in the mind-set and followed up with complimentary activities to ensure longevity
  • Use of long or short sessions to meet time and budgetary needs
  • Training that is integrated with strategy and wider firm activities

How we do it

  • Start from the top through discussions with leadership teams to determine content and method
  • Work with senior management to champion training programme and bring about change
  • Provide digital and traditional material to support the learning
  • Adapt to different needs of fee-earners at different stages of their career and experience
  • Focus on training and development that actively contributes to the bottom line by using real clients and targets
  • Ensure firms are very specific about the results they are seeking to achieve
  • Offer ongoing support – everyone is different
  • Help develop targets, objectives and KPIs
  • Integrate training with wider firm marketing activities and support systems
  • Use client portfolios as a basis for planning

One-to-one coaching

People buy from people so it is important that every member of the team is working to growing the business. We help indviduals build their confidence and develop softskills such as networking.

Building and managing a pipeline – individuals can be shown how to build a target list and develop relationships.  Often your team will already have an informal pipeline but may be spending too much time chasing the wrong targets. We work with individuals to develop a pipeline that is targeted and has opportunities that are profitable and real.

Building and managing a network – everyone has a network, be it family, old school friends, a networking group, or a volunteer organisation. The key is to develop the network the same way you would for any marketing activity.

Social media training – we can show you how to set up LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and use them to develop a pipeline or network. We can even write them for you.

Personal brand development and planning – we love working with individuals who get truly excited about what they do, and what they say about it. We’re experienced at transforming this energy into valuable thought leadership and business development activities.

 

Strategic Marketing Planning

We help accountants, solicitors and other professional services firms design strategic marketing plans that get results. 

We do this by designing a strategy that supports the business objectives. Your strategy will be supported by practical, realistic and achievable tactics and actions. We believe activities should be targeted and focused, giving you more time spend on the business, and with your family. 

Give your firm a sustainable competitive advantage

We can help you write a marketing plan using our tried and tested methodology that has helped numerous accountants, solicitors and other professional services firms implement successful growth strategies. Once you have got the basic framework, you can build on your success over the coming months. 

Strategic marketing plans for accountants and solicitors

Current situation: where are you now?

We begin with a marketing audit. What have you been doing up until now. What worked? What didn’t work? If you haven’t been doing anything, what is stopping you? We'll also look at your competitors and what they are doing. What could you do better or differently? 

Objectives: what do you wish to achieve?

Marketing objectives (and activities) need to be aligned with the needs of the business. The objectives should be defined in specific terms so progress can be tracked and measured and if necessary take corrective action. Examples of typical marketing objectives include:

  • Increasing the number of clients by 10%
  • Grow market share by 5%
  • Successfully launch new services in particular markets or segments
  • Increase client referrals by 20%

Strategy: how are we going do this?

The marketing strategy is about the approach a firm takes to achieving marketing objectives. For example, if an objective is to increase number of client referrals by 20%, the strategy may to enhance client relationships. An increase in the number of new clients may be achieved through market penetration, or expanding into new markets. 

Tactics and actions: what are we actually going to do?

This is about implementing the activities to achieve the objectives and strategic drivers. It includes things like the website, events, advertising, newsletters, referrers, social media, branding, networking, presentations, directory entries and internal communications. List the key activities, who is going to do them and by when. 

Measurement and controls

If we can’t measure it, we’re not going to do it. This needs to be your mantra too. To succeed you have to truly understand what value you are getting for your effort. We'll start by setting some basic KPIs and targets to measure your success. 

Your plan will be fluid in the sense it needs to adapt as your firm changes and heads in new directions or reacts to market forces.

We can design you an entirely new plan or review your current strategy.  Contact us today for a no-obligation meeting.



 

You need to be sure your marketing function is working effectively. We can help with a specific campaign, brand enhancement, reporting and measurement, and ensure you have all the right people in place. We can also help align your systems and processes so that you can work more efficiently.

 

 

Save yourself time and money by getting it right the first time.

 

Strategic campaigns – a well thought out campaign will help you to increase your pipeline, get some quick wins and raise the profile of the brand. E-marketing, telemarketing, and direct mail can all be used in combination with social media to achieve your goals.

 

Branding – firstly we understand your business objectives and then help transform the brand into something will help you achieve these.  Our services are normally called upon when something isn’t working.  We’re sometimes called in for a merger, a new product or service on offer, or simply when everyone realises it’s time for a refresh.

 

Measurement and reporting – we measure marketing performance and effectiveness of marketing functions and campaigns.  We do this by undertaking full marketing audits; reviewing systems and procedures; analysing budget allocation; agreeing and measuring key performance indicators (KPs); undertaking brand audits, and ensuring that you are getting value for money.

 

Systems and process implementation and enhancement – once we’ve reviewed your systems and process we will make recommendations for improvement. Sometimes it’s simple things like making sure the right person is responding to email and website enquiries while other times it’s implementing a new CRM system. We can improve the management and effectiveness of:

  • Proposal processes
  • CRM systems
  • E-marketing systems
  • Data management
  • Enquiries processes
  • Projects
  • Social media

 

People – we can help build a new team, fill a particular gap in skills, or provide an extra pair of hands during a busy period. We’re frequently asked to come in to run a specialist business development campaign, respond to a last minute proposal, or support and develop junior stand-alone marketing staff.

 

 

The team has many of years of marketing and business development experience and has helps professional service organisations increase their revenues and provide better client service delivery.


Following is a selection of how we have helped our businesses with their marketing and business development needs:


Marketing for Professional Services Firms 

  • Drafted a growth focused strategic marketing plan, and individual marketing plans for the Managing Partner and Partner of an employment law firm in London. The Managing Partner brings in over £1.5 million of revenue annually.

  • Deliver a range of outsourced marketing services to a firm of management consultants specialising in the legal sector. Initially, we designed and implemented a marketing strategy which included overseeing management of the website, thought leadership, overseas event support (Japan), all social media, and design and production of communications materials. 

  • Helped a new firm of Quantity Surveyors design and implement a growth focused marketing strategy. It involved working with the Managing Director to instil a culture of client service and business development. The firm now has a clear understanding of what it needs to do to achieve its goals.

  • Worked with a sole practitioner accountant to start a practice in the Northern Home Counties. We designed a practical easy to implement marketing strategy, re-designed the website and drafted and optimised content. 

  • Designed a strategic marketing plan for a business training organisation. We undertook research to understand new markets, developed a target list and designed a programme of integrated marketing tactics across all aspects of the marketing mix.  

  • Drafted a growth focused marketing strategy for a Health and Safety consultancy. The consultancy achieved its targets and is now diversifying the service offering to clients. A key element to the project was working with the owner to help find new leads and develop the pipeline.

  • For the past three years we have assisted a firm of accountants (£3m t/o) by designing a client retention strategy that helped the firm achieve a 95% client retention rate and improve referrals by over 50%. We have also helped the firm with award entries, copywriting, communications and various projects. 

  • Worked alongside a two partner East London accountancy firm to design a marketing strategy aimed at doubling the firm's turnover within 12 months. We also drafted content for the new website.

We are a professional services marketing consultancy.

We provide professional services marketing support for accountants and solicitors across London, and the UK. We're passionate about helping accountants and solicitors win new business and raise the profile of their practice.


The success of our marketing consultancy is built around three key pillars - our professional services ethos, our integrated marketing approach, and our team of unparalleled experts.


In order to help clients succeed, our people have 
an in-depth understanding of the sectors in which our clients operate, and a strong understanding of the professional services sector. 


We've listened to what our clients want from a professional services marketing and business development consultancy and that means a combination of marketing expertise, sector specialism and commercial understanding.

Our marketing services for accountants and solicitors include:

 

  • Marketing strategy and planning for accountants and solicitors
  • Professional services marketing consulting and marketing management
  • Creative design, branding, and photography for law and accountancy firms
  • International marketing for accountants and lawyers
  • Law and accountancy firm communications
  • Social media for solicitors and accountants
  • Professional services proposal management and bid support
  • Website marketing for accountants and solicitors
  • Marketing and business development training for accountants and solicitors

 

Tom Horigan BWTom Horigan
Founder and Managing Director
M. +44 (0) 7816 292 451
E. tom.horigan@horigan.co.uk

Tom is the founder and managing director of Horigan Professional Services Marketing. He is a qualified marketing consultant and an experienced professional services specialist who has built a strong track record helping his clients put marketing at the heart of their business strategy. With a strong network and a wealth of experience, Tom is passionate about providing professional marketing services to ambitious firms.


He brings a wealth of insight and expertise to his clients, having worked with some of the world's leading professional services firms. Using his 15 years' experience, his particular area of expertise is to work alongside leadership and marketing teams to design and implement a strategy that will increase market share and drive business performance. Tom oversees every aspect of the process, ensuring solutions are well planned and strategically sound.


A professional services industry expert with global experience


Tom has worked on numerous multi-million pound proposals and successfully led bids to provide services to BT, Rio Tinto, Cobham Plc., Toyota Plc., GTL Resources Plc., AES Corporation, Standard Chartered, Peugeot Citroen, Invensys Plc., and the British Council. Many of these were multi-jurisdictional with up to 120 countries and fees ranging from £5k to over £1m.


Tom has held senior roles at Vinson & Elkins, RSM Tenon, Baker Tilly as well as working at ACCA, the professional accountancy body. Whilst working at these organisations his areas of responsibility included audit and accountancy, litigation, government and public sector, management consultancy, retail, technology, and international services. He has worked in Asia, Australia, USA and the UK.

He is a frequent social media commentator and writer on professional services marketing issues. Tom holds a BA (Literature and Philosophy), and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing – the world's leading professional marketing body. 


--- 

“We have enjoyed working with Tom... He gives honest, straightforward advice. He is also professional and has some very good ideas that have assisted us with our marketing and business development plans.”

Simon Turner, Managing Director, Seymour Taylor Chartered Accountants

“Tom is someone who gets the job done.”
Stephen Braham, Partner and Head of London Accounts and Business Advisory group, Baker Tilly

"Tom is a strong communicator… He worked through some challenging situations for us in a determined fashion - he was seen as someone who got things done.”
Harry Capewell, Partner, Baker Tilly

"Tom is a true marketing professional with great attention to detail. He approaches complex tasks with enthusiasm and is not afraid to get his hands dirty in the pursuit of excellence in his campaigns."
Tim Tansley, Senior Marketing Manager, Data & Digital, RSM Tenon Chartered Accountants

"Tom had a very clear vision of the direction he wanted to take marketing within the firm, and was passionate about seeing this through."
Katie Fitzsimons, Senior Business Development Executive, Chantrey Vellacott

We have developed a methodology that provides a consistent, informed and efficient approach.

Our experience advising professional services firms on all aspects of marketing and business development enabled us to develop a process which is critical to business success.


Professional services marketing methodology

 

Features of our methodology

  • Tried and tested approach focused for increasing market share and achieving business objectives
  • Begins by considering the broader impact on the business — policies, people, reporting, business processes and systems, and stakeholder management
  • Adapted from the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) approach to marketing planning
  • Scalable and responsive to the unique complexities of each client's business
  • Establishes clear objectives with the client in the planning stage
  • Results focused

 

Press release
10 January 2014

Horigan boost financial and professional services team with new appointment 

Marketing consultancy Horigan has appointed a new member as it continues to grow its UK team.

The appointment of Diane Cunningham strengthens Horigan's financial and professional services team. Diane has spent a number of years in the re/insurance (London market and beyond) and outsourcing sectors having worked for Capita and Xchanging. In professional services she has worked with Towers Watson, BDO and a number of wealth managers.

Away from corporate work, Diane works with social enterprises and start-ups to help them develop a more strategic approach and with local authorities on place marketing/regeneration projects.

Tom Horigan said: "I am very pleased to welcome Diane to our team. We recognise the challenges our clients face in a growing market and appointing someone of Diane's calibre and experience will significantly enhance our ability to serve our clients."

Diane Cunningham said: "I am excited to be part of this team and look forward to working with horigan's financial and professional services clients."

--- ---- ---

For more information telephone 07816292451 or email info@horigan.co.uk.

www.horigan.co.uk

 


Mentoring and James Caan start-up loan for London party planners

 

Sunday Express June 16, 2013

 

A desire to "give something back" spurred business development expert tom horigan to volunteer his time as a mentor to two young party planners. After launching his own consultancy company last year, he found he had the time to share his experience in the way he was helped out at a pivotal stage of his career.

 

Tom said: "I had a good job in London seven years ago but I wanted to improve my career and take a different progression, so I found a mentor.

 

"He helped me to talk through my challenges and what I wanted to do, to think about what I needed to do to grow my career and this really helped me.

 

"I found a new job with more money, so I had always wanted to give something back and when I launched my Mentoring and James Caan start-up loan for Cult Eventsown business I had the time, which you don't have when commuting to the City."

 

The Australian-born businessman, who lives with British wife Rachel and their children Emma, three, and Lauren, one, in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, has been mentoring Hugo Jones and Ian Ballantyne.

 

Hugo, 26 and Ian, 30, both of Clapton, east London, launched Cult Events, a marketing and events management company, last October with a £5,000 Start-Up Loan each. They used the Government-backed unsecured loans for 18 to 30-year-olds to set up a kitchen and office in Hackney Wick.

 

Their company holds "pop-up" events, bespoke events for brand development, and also arranges private ­parties, weddings and corporate events.

 

With a background in providing professional services for accountants and solicitors, Tom had no catering experience but said this was not an issue as his role as a mentor was to get the pair to focus on what was important for their business and to set aside time for administrative tasks.

 

"We have lots of ideas but it has been great having someone to make sure we are going in the right direction."
Hugo Jones

 

He said: "Their business plan and long-term forecasts were ambitious, which was great, but one of the things I tried to do was bring them back to the plan to get them to think about their long-term future. They are young, energetic, ambitious with amazing ideas."

 

Tom has enjoyed working with them and said he had also got a lot out of the arrangement.

 

"When the opportunity came up to mentor these guys it was something I could really be involved with, to work with them over a number of years and help them develop."

 

Hugo, a graduate, met chef Ian at a pop-up event last year.

 

He said: "Tom's been incredible as we were both new to being entrepreneurs. He showed us you have to do the graft as well as the fun side in business.

 

"We have lots of ideas but it has been great having someone to make sure we are going in the right direction."

 

For ­details on Cult Events visit culte.co.uk To apply for a Start-Up Loan enter your details at startuploans.co.uk.

 

 

 

Are you a reputable strategic marketing consultant looking to help ambitious businesses grow?

We are seeking knowledgeable freelancers who know when to roll their sleeves up.

We often have short or long-term projects ranging from high level strategic consultancy work through to admin support. Typical projects include: undertaking a marketing audit and writing a marketing strategy; copywriting; running a campaign; producing communications collateral; updating a website, and producing material. We need people who are happy to be flexible depending on what is required at the time. 

Current vacancies: we are looking for friendly, capable people who have worked within, or for professional services firms.

If you are interested, please email your CV to info@horigan.co.uk. Please add no more than two or three paragraphs explaining a little bit about yourself.

We are a marketing and business development consultancy who specialises in providing services to accountancy firms and law firms.

The success of our marketing consultancy is built around three key pillars - our professional services ethos, our integrated marketing approach, and our team of unparalleled experts.

We believe it is important that our people have a strong understanding of the professional services sector but more importantly, an in-depth understanding of the sectors in which our clients operate. In order to help clients succeed, marketing agencies need to know how their clients' sectors operates and how their respective challenges and opportunities evolve over time. 

We've listened to what our clients want from a professional services marketing and business development consultancy and that means a groundbreaking combination of marketing expertise, sector specialism and commercial understanding.


Read more about our accountancy marketing and law marketing services.

 

 

 

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We enjoying hear from our clients and learning about their ambitions and challenges. If you are a professional services organisation, let’s talk. Book your no-obligation one-hour consultation with one of our marketing experts to discover just what we can do for your firm.

What can we achieve in one hour?

If your marketing strategy needs strengthening or you just want to ask some questions, we can give you some advice about planning to grow your firm. We will listen to your objectives, review your resources and processes, and give you tips on how you can do more, for less.


Where would we start? We could begin by looking at:

We work with leadership and marketing teams of small and medium sized firms who want to grow. If want to save time, maximise resources or just need a little guidance, the Horigan PSM team can help.


To learn more about how Horigan PSM can help your firm better align marketing to the business, book your no-obligation consultation and get growing today using our online form.  Alternatively, you can email or telephone us on 01494 578925.

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Reduce your marketing spend

Reduce your marketing spend

If you want to reduce your marketing spend while continuing to improve marketing effectiveness, you need to be strategic, focussed, creative, and think differently. Find how you can do it.

    

Essential marketing tools

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When it comes to marketing in a professional services business, there are a number ‘fundamentals’ every firm should implement. These are the basic tools needed to grow your firm.

Practical BD - everyday

Business development management consultants lawyers accountantsBusiness development for accountants and solicitors - read how you can make winning new business a part of your day-to-day activities.

 

60 minute marketing plan

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How to write a marketing plan for a professional services firm in one hour. Use this simple introduction to marketing planning for professional services and get your firm on the road to growth today.

Integrated Marketing Campaign

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Learn how to design an integrated marketing campaign. By following the simple steps you will be able to raise the profile of your firm, win new business and grow your pipeline.

 

What should be keeping managing partners awake at night?

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What should be keeping managing partners awake at night? Four questions you should ask in order to prepare for future marketing challenges.

Four ways to improve marketing effectiveness

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Understanding conversion rates

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The "Long Tail" of SEO

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You probably have a pretty good idea which SEO search terms are the most important to you. Think again.To continue reading, please click here.

 

12 Days of Christmas
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Here are some marketing and BD tips for you to implement.

Marketing fundamentals: the tools every firm needs regardless of size

When we think of core accounting services for a business, we think of things such as bookkeeping and accounts, annual returns, tax, and registered address; the compliance obligations that need to be met.

When it comes to marketing in a professional services business, there are also a number ‘fundamentals’ I would recommend every firm implements, regardless of size. These are the basic tools needed to grow your firm.

A strategic marketing plan

First and foremost, the strategy should be aligned with the business. Where are you now and where would you like to be in 3 to 5 years’ time? Ensure your marketing objectives are defined in specific terms so progress can be tracked and measured. You need to execute activities efficiently and effectively to achieve the objectives and strategic drivers. Finally, if you can’t measure it in some way, don’t do it. Start by setting some basic KPIs and targets to measure your success. Contact us for a free template.

Client Relationship Management system (CRM)

No, a spreadsheet isn’t good enough nor is Outlook. SalesForce, RSS, Zoho, Goldmine and InterAction are all great systems with different levels of functionality and cost. There is something available for any budget including sole practitioners.Brand Strategy Solicitors Accountants Barristers 222

If you are looking to grow your firm, you require a system that tracks who your contacts and clients are, and the interactions you are having. Who are your targets and which ones are warm? Who are your introducers and referrers? Who are your profitable clients? A CRM can also show you what the firm’s pipeline looks like and who is bringing in the work. Many CRMs are free to try so well worth looking at the options.

Website with a CMS

These days there is simply no excuse for not having a website built on a CMS based platform such as WordPress. You can build your own website or have someone build an off-the-shelf system starting from only a few hundred pounds. A CMS means you can make changes yourself or have someone make these for you. No technical knowledge is required and it is much more cost-effective than paying your website developer for minor changes.

Digital and social media

The beauty of digital and social media tools is that they are largely free. Very little, if any cash outlay is required, usually only set-up and maintenance time. The amount of effort will depend on your objectives and the stage of your business lifecycle. Set up a Twitter account and ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. It is also worth setting up a LinkedIn company site as well.

Conclusion

By getting the fundamentals right from the outset, you will have a solid base on which to grow your firm. You will know where you are going and will be confident in the knowledge that your tools and systems are efficient. Once these ‘big’ projects are in place, you will be able to run successful growth and client retention campaigns.

If you would like help with implementing any of these activities or would like a free marketing plan template, we’re always happy to have a chat. Please call 0203 637 3958 or email info@horigan.co.uk.

How to: spend less on marketing and business development

Reduce your marketing spend

We’re not suggesting you stop spending money on marketing by any stretch of the imagination. What we are saying is that if you want to reduce your marketing spend while continuing to improve marketing effectiveness, you need to be strategic, focussed, creative, and think differently. Here is how you can do it:

Write a plan

A plan will give you an overview of everything that you are doing, and planning to do. It will enable you to see where efficiencies can be made. For example, the presentation delivered on Thursday, could become the Round Table topic next month. The article in the newsletter can be adapted to form a chapter in a book. Unless you can see and understand everything going on then you won’t be able to maximise your return on investment. It doesn’t have to be long but it should be measureable and align with the business objectives.

Embrace technology

Thanks to an ever growing proliferation of digital tools, marketing has never been easier and cheaper. Cloud based CRMs (Client Relationship Management system), free social media tools and free content management systems mean even the smallest firm can think and act big. The amount of time you spend on social media can be reduced using tools like Hootsuite and Passle. Zoho is a great CRM and free to use for up to 10 users. If you have a website that isn’t built on a CMS (Content Management System) then invest in one, it will save you money in the long run.

Be targeted and remain focussed

When an opportunity arises for something “not quite in our space”, try saying “no-thanks”. Refer them to a partner organisation or better still a client who can help and has the expertise. If you don’t really like doing something, and there are companies who do it better than you, then don’t do it. For example, we don’t like running events and there are others who can organise a better function than us. We have also found that when we service clients outside of the professional services sector our profits are reduced. Focus on what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.

Do we still need to be doing this?

During the recession, many firms looked at their marketing spend and realised they were doing things that they didn’t need to or used up budget that could be better spent elsewhere. Unused subscriptions and membership costs should be the first to go. Are you paying to access software or an image library you don’t use? Check the outgoings carefully and cut out waste.

PR, PR, PR

As a marketing firm we have an almost unhealthy fascination with PR. A good piece of PR can do wonders for any organisation. If you have an interesting story to tell, then tell it. If you have an opinion, give it. If you have done some interesting research, share it. A good photo will also increase your chances of getting in the press. Surveys are useful when they produce interesting or unexpected figures.

See marketing as a revenue driver, not a cost

This one requires a change in thinking. In 2015 the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) reported that “marketing will increasingly be seen less as a cost and more as a source of revenue” and “in three to five years, approximately four of five companies will classify the marketing function as a revenue driver.” Moving from a cost centre to a revenue driver will mean more accountability, more measurement and a better understanding of the ROI. Those firms that continue to class marketing as ‘business support’ will be left behind. Those that view the firm more holistically and understand that all functions are necessary will not only work better as ‘one-firm, but are more likely to be around in the future.

Conclusion

To reduce your marketing spend while continuing to grow you need to be focused and targeted at all times. You need to know where you want your firm to be in 3-5 years’ time and then understand how marketing can help you achieve your goals. Embrace technology to increase the quality of service you provide to your clients and how you communicate with them. Finally, tell a story and get valuable PR inches.

If you would like help with implementing any of these activities or would like a free marketing plan template, we’re always happy to have a chat. Please call 0203 637 3958 or email info@horigan.co.uk.

Opportunities to pitch the firm's products and services can take a variety of formats. For an informal client meeting, an open-ended discussion document may be needed, while other opportunities may call for a very detailed request for proposal.


However your pitch is delivered, try incorporating some of the approaches outlined below to increase your chances of winning the business.


1. Qualify the opportunity

There are a few items to evaluate before giving any opportunity the green light. Team with the appropriate practice or business development leaders to determine:
What is the probability that we will win?


Who is the incumbent?

  • Is this a "beauty contest" to solicit unnecessary proposals for the sole purpose of due diligence, or is it a genuine opportunity?
  • Is there a strategic angle to taking part in the pitch? (Does this enhance our visibility in a critical space, or is this a door to future opportunities?)
  • How strong is our relationship with the decision makers?
  • Do we have a track record/evidence indicating we can deliver against their criteria?
  • Do not be afraid to turn down new business opportunities. Weigh the cost of involving several people in a proposal effort against the win probability.


2. Find out as much as possible about the (potential) client

  • Always try to get a meeting with the key decision makers, especially if you don't know the organisation or the company is unfamiliar to you.
  • Understand the factors that might influence the outcome. This is a good time to probe for the hot- button issues
  • Establish what you do and don't know:
  • Is there crucial information missing? Are you on the inside?
  • How can you fill in the gaps?
  • Utilise internal or external resources to gain a broader view.
  • Check CRM systems and obtain a client revenue report.


3. Tailor your presentation/proposal response to the client requirements

  • Focus on making your presentation/proposal concise and clear in delivering on the company's primary issues and requirements.
  • Ask yourself, "What does this statement demonstrate to the client?" Avoid questionable claims, such as, "We have the largest team in the market." Instead try, "Because we have over XX staff specializing in this area — the largest team in the market — we have the right expertise to draw upon to obtain the best rates for your program."
  • Ensure that you have a clear value proposition
  • If not specified, check with the client on how it would like to receive your response — as a formal presentation, a written submission or a succinct one-pager.
  • Line up your support resources — sales support manager, graphics/print, binding
  • — to ensure you meet the client's deadline.
  • Focus your content on the client's requirements.


4. Plan your oral presentation carefully to ensure success

  • Before making an oral presentation, hold a run-through with your team. The client will evaluate your proposal/pitch presentation and consider it a preview of how you will behave in a project setting. As such, you will want to present a united front.
  • Agree on roles and responsibilities for the oral presentation.
  • Think through the top questions your client may ask, as well as your response.
  • Consider what sort of handouts you will need. Do not bombard the client with thought leadership they are unlikely to read.
  • Get the logistics straight. Make sure everyone on the team knows where the presentation is being held, where to meet and who on the client side will be attending.


5. Conduct thoughtful follow-up meetings

  • It is helpful to schedule debriefs both internally and with the client after you have delivered your proposal/presentation. Generally, it is more effective to have a third party conduct a debrief because the client will be more willing to discuss the positives and negatives of your pitch. Remember to include your business development team, relevant CRMs and your sales support manager in these meetings so everyone can focus on ways to improve.
  • Agree on your team's next steps for developing the client relationship.
  • By giving more thought to what your (potential) client is looking for, you will hopefully avoid spending time on the wrong content and increase your win rate!


 

 

Press release
10 January 2014

Horigan boost financial and professional services team with new appointment


Specialist professional services marketing consultancy Horigan has appointed a new member as it continues to grow its UK team. 
The appointment of Diane Cunningham strengthens Horigan's financial and professional services team. Diane has spent a number of years in the re/insurance (London market and beyond) and outsourcing sectors having worked for Capita and Xchanging. In professional services she has worked with Towers Watson, BDO and a number of wealth managers.

Away from corporate work, Diane works with social enterprises and start-ups to help them develop a more strategic approach and with local authorities on place marketing/regeneration projects.

Tom Horigan said: "I am very pleased to welcome Diane to our team. We recognise the challenges our clients face in a growing market and appointing someone of Diane's calibre and experience will significantly enhance our ability to serve our clients."

Diane Cunningham said: "I am excited to be part of this team and look forward to working with horigan's financial and professional services clients."

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For more information telephone 07816292451 or email info@horigan.co.uk.

www.horigan.co.uk

Planning your approach to networking events

Networking events are not for everyone. If you do plan to use events as a marketing and BD tool, make sure you plan your approach. Here are seven top tips on how to plan your approach to networking events.

1. Choose events with a purpose in mind. Remind yourself why you are going. You are using your precious time to network and to make some useful connections, so make sure you aren't wasting energy. Will your potential targets/clients/introducers/referrers be attending? If not or you don't know, don't go.

2. Use inside contacts. If you know the event organiser ask if it will be worth your while attending.

3. Prepare for an event. You may consider some background research on key targets/people or at least know what they look like. Look at the event online – who are the presenters or sponsors?

4. Choose events that interest you. Your time is precious. You've got friends and family with whom you would much rather spend your time with. If you're going to be out, go somewhere you like. Think about aligning your networking with your interests such as running and music.

5. Avoid events with overly long presentations, speeches etc. If you're going to an event to network, it is not advantageous to spend 75% of that time listening to a keynote speaker or watch awards being handed out. Instead get their early, network, make your (pre-prepared) excuses and go home.

6. Plan and choose events with the intention of enjoying yourself. Keep reminding yourself that it is just another social event, another chance to meet someone interesting. Business will automatically follow when you begin to connect with people you like and vice versa.

7. Be realistic. Thinking about the plan/spreadsheet and your time and energy levels, what is going to work for you in terms of the number of events. Start with one per month and see how you get on.

Working the room at networking events

 

So, you have chosen the right event for you – good targets, introducers or referrers, at a cool venue, at time that works for you. You now need to make the event worthwhile.

 

Get there early – check out the attendee list and freshen up. You may find that you get to speak with 3-4 useful contacts even before the event is in swing. If the hosts are also your targets, they are likely to welcome you saving you the hassle of find them.

Scan the room and decide who you should approach. Starting with individuals can be easier than breaking into a group. If you know your targets are there, see if you can spot their name badge or ask the host to introduce you.

You don't have to talk business – football, music, art, kids, politics, whatever. It doesn't have to be about your job. This will make it easier to make a real connection and a common interest with people.

Arrange a coffee – if you do meet someone you think could be a prospect, don't talk business at the event. Invite them out for a coffee. Do determine if they are worth meeting again (and vice versa)

Have a target – 3-4 good contacts is good number for an hour or so. Once you've got these, go home, or hang out with colleagues and friends.

You can always leave – if the event appears is not what you expected, or you're not really in the mood, count your losses and go home. There is always the next event.

Useful ways of moving on to the next person

  • "I came here to see Emma, so please excuse me while I try and find her".

 

  • "Great speaking with you but I need to get around and talk to a few other people".

 

  • "I'm going to get a drink, can I get you one?" (Get a drink for them and then move on).

 

  • "Have you met Emma? She works in your field/sector/is a lawyer as well. Excuse me."

 

  • "If you'll excuse me, I understand that you're supposed to mingle at these things. Here's my card – do you have one? It was a great meeting you and hope to talk again."

 

Just be honest and say what you plan/need to do – nobody will be offended.

Following up from networking events

What can you give in return? Can you refer work or make recommendations or help them in some way? Try and connect with people you can help in return and keep these at the top of your target list.

Follow up immediately – for key leads and those coffee suggestions, arrange to meet as soon as possible. Send a note one your way home or draft a note to send the next morning. Either way, send it fast. Don't forget to add all contacts to Outlook or your CRM.

Ask for work – when you meet your newly found contact, you need to ask them for work, be it a referral or recommendation.

Use social media – you may not be a fan of social media, nor want to put your face in the public eye. That doesn't mean the firm can't follow your targets, retweet, mention and get involved in LinkedIn discussions. Share your contacts with the marketing support and let them do the hard work.

Share something – you don't have to always use social media or make a referral. You may however see an article that is relevant to a contact. Send a quick email with, "thought this may be of interest" Don't be worried if they don't reply, people are busy.

Ask for work (again) – yes, it is already mentioned above but you always need to be asking.

 

 

Press Release

28 October 2014


Horigan Marketing moves into new creative workspace


A Chesham marketing company has moved into a bigger space on the High Street.

Horigan Marketing is a professional services marketing firm who specialise in supporting accountants and solicitors.Horigan Professional Services Marketing Accountants Solicitors


The relocation comes a year after Horigan Marketing moved into same building. The company wanted to find new accommodation after it outgrew its old office and jumped at the chance when a vacancy came up. The building is owned by WDG Research, an independent full service marketing research agency.


Tom Horigan (pictured), Managing Director said they really liked the environment and were lucky to find anything that suited their needs.


He added: “We couldn't be more delighted with the move. We had less room in the old office the new space is full of light with great views of Lowndes Park and the town. Being so close to the station, it is also easy to meet with our London clients."


Margot Grantham (pictured), Partner at WDG Research said: “We’re delighted that Horigan Marketing found new space in the building. They add to what is an already interesting range of designers and brand consultants. As market researchers, we find this diverse group to be a great source of inspiration, helping us to bring our clients even closer to their customers.”


Tom Horigan added: “The building is a real creative hub. There are lots of innovative organisations in the building and we all get to bounce ideas off each other and refer work. We are truly lucky to be here."


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For more media enquiries call 07816 292451
www.horigan.co.uk

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Horigan Professional Services Marketing is now registered as an accredited Growth Voucher Adviser


Under the Growth Voucher initiative, up to 20,000 UK small businesses will be eligible to receive £2,000 worth of business support and advice through a central marketplace, of which Horigan Professional Services Marketing is an approved adviser.


What is the value of the Voucher?

Growth Vouchers are available up to a value of £2,000, and they will cover 50 per cent of the total spend. This means the government will match your spend up to £2,000.

Growth Voucher Logo

How does the scheme work?

The £30m scheme is part of a government experiment to find out the impact of advice on small business growth. Growth Vouchers are worth up to £2,000 and must be match-funded by the small business. Successful applicants will be chosen at random.

Small firms can get help on any of the following topics: finance and 

cash flow; recruiting and developing staff; improving leadership and management skills; marketing, attracting and keeping customers; or making the most of digital technology.


Horigan Professional Services Marketing has been approved as a Growth Voucher Adviser for marketing, attracting and keeping customers.

 

Tom Horigan, Founder and Managing Director said: "


What type of advice can a Growth Voucher be used for?

  • Managing finances
  • Developing skills and taking on staff
  • Improving leadership and management
  • Professional services marketing, attracting and retaining clients
  • Making the most of digital technology

How do you obtain a growth voucher?

You can now apply for a Growth Voucher online, at the government's Growth Voucher hub.

Who is eligible to receive a growth voucher?

The Growth Vouchers programme is available to small businesses in England who are actively selling goods and/or services, have a turnover no greater than £45m, own 75% or more of their business, and have 250 employees or less. (full terms and conditions here).

Apply now for a £2,000 government Growth Voucher.

 

 

The "Long Tail" of SEO

 

SEO-for-Law-Firms

If you're doing SEO for your business or looking into it, chances are you're thinking a lot about which keywords you want to focus on. You probably have a pretty good idea which ones are the most important to you. You might even have a certain "golden" keyword you're looking at, thinking to yourself "If I could rank #1 for that, it would change my entire business!" Think again.

To continue reading, please click below.

Source: www.forbes.com

Press Release
21 November 2014 

Horigan Professional Services marketing has celebrated the launch of its new London office

The marketing firm, which already has offices in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, has opened a new office in the Strand Building on Urswick Road, London.

 

The move comes in response to client demand for regional expansion of the firm's marketing and business development services as well as for the firm's ancillary training services.


Horigan Marketing is a professional services marketing firm who specialise in supporting accountants and solicitors and is in its third year of operation.


Over the course of the last several years Horigan Professional Services Marketing has been looking to expand its UK footprint, and has plans for international growth in the next few years. An office in London is the next logical step in the ongoing process of building an international operation.


Tom Horigan, Founder and MD, Horigan Marketing, says: "We are seeing increasing demand for our services, so this was a natural move for us." He continued: "Our new office puts us in the heart of a growing professional services sector, and we are confident that we will witness rapid expansion in this market."


The London opening comes one year after Horigan opened its first offices in Buckinghamshire and only a few months after it moved into larger premises. The company will utilise their London based office as a hub to easily reach the demand that exists in Europe and then look further afield.

 

 

Use your Growth Voucher with Horigan Professional Services Marketing


Under the Growth Voucher initiative, up to 20,000 UK small businesses will be eligible to receive £2,000 worth of business support and advice through a central marketplace, of which Horigan Professional Services Marketing is an approved adviser.

Growth Voucher Logo


What is the value of the Voucher?

Growth Vouchers are available up to a value of £2,000, and they will cover 50 per cent of the total spend. This means the government will match your spend up to £2,000.


Growth Vouchers - how does the scheme work?

The £30m scheme is part of a government experiment to find out the impact of advice on small business growth. Growth Vouchers are worth up to £2,000 and must be match-funded by the small business. Successful applicants will be chosen at random.


Small firms can get help on any of the following topics: finance and cash flow; recruiting and developing staff; improving leadership and management skills; marketing, attracting and keeping customers; or making the most of digital technology.

Growth-vouchers-how-the-process-works


Horigan Professional Services Marketing has been approved as a Growth Voucher Adviser for marketing, attracting and keeping customers.


What type of advice can a Growth Voucher be used for?

  • Managing finances
  • Developing skills and taking on staff
  • Improving leadership and management
  • Professional services marketing, attracting and retaining clients
  • Making the most of digital technology

 

How do you obtain a growth voucher?

You can apply for a Growth Voucher online, at the government's Growth Voucher hub.

 

Who is eligible to receive a growth voucher?

The Growth Vouchers programme is available to small businesses in England who are actively selling goods and/or services, have a turnover no greater than £45m, own 75% or more of their business, and have 250 employees or less.

Apply now for a £2,000 government Growth Voucher.

 

 

 

Four questions you should ask in order to prepare for future marketing challenges

There are thousands of professional service firms around the world actively marketing their firms on a daily basis. Those who get it right focus relentlessly on the vision of the business. They have deep understanding of the marketplace in which they work and align their activities accordingly. They will ask:

How loyal are my clients?

Only a few weeks ago a potential client told me that one of their long standing clients of over 50 years was leaving to move to a Big Four firm. Naturally they were quite upset but given the company had recently been acquired it was not unexpected. When it comes to attrition, around 5-7% of clients leave a firm each year. The goal is to keep those percentages from rising and possibly reduce them.

Think about the needs of your clients – are they looking for strategic advice, or just compliance? If it the latter, you may need to change your pricing accordingly.

Solicitors Marketing Barristers BD Accountants Business DevelopmentWho are our competitors?

The Big Four, Google and Amazon have all been mooted as new competitors for legal and accountancy firms alike. The Big Four are leading the trend of accountancy firms offering legal services, while continuing to work with law firms in areas where they do not compete. In a March edition of The Economist this year, Michael Roch of Kerma Partners, said the Big Four are “the biggest underestimated threat to the legal profession today”. The article goes on to discuss the Big Four not building full-service firms, but instead concentrating on areas of law that complement their existing services.

The Big Four are also moving into the SME space usually owned by mid-tier accountancy firms – both PwC and KPMG have developed an offering for small to medium sized enterprises.

Earlier in the year ICAEW quoted KPMG’s Head of Enterprise, Ian Moffatt, as saying “In the next five years, are big accountancy firms going to be our competition, or is it actually going to be Google, or Amazon, or somebody else?”

How effective are our marketing efforts?

How do you measure something that is difficult to measure? Placing a tangible value to a firm’s marketing efforts can be challenging. You need to ask what has going well and what could be done better. What are the challenges or blockages that stop your firm from achieving its goals? Do you need to re-prioritise your activities for next year? Do you have systems in place to ensure you are working efficiently and effectively?

A big challenge is the gap between marketing and the rest of the firm. If firms wish to generate more income in a cost-effective way, the marketing function needs to be fully integrated into the firm and evolve with the business accordingly. Conversely, saying your marketing people are your business partners doesn’t make them that unless you have marketing people who are commercially aware and fully aligned with your firm’s business strategy.

Are we planning for the long term?

The economic climate of recent years has meant that many firms may have been tempted to focus on short-term activities and immediate needs – some have focused on client retention, others on winning new business. But if we lose sight of we want in the long term, we're far more likely to make the wrong decisions in the short term.

This means thinking strategically and investing in long-term activities and not only looking at the next 6-12 months. Market penetration and brand recognition requires years of strategic planning and implementation. It demands a clear understanding the firms’ long term business goals.

Summary

It is no longer acceptable for firms, regardless of size, to think of their marketing function as separate from the rest of the firm. Firms need to take a long-term view and align marketing with the business goals, and the needs of the clients. This means thinking strategically about who competitors are and what is the potential impact they may have on the firm. It means responding to day-to-day demands while remaining focused on the long-term goals.

Tom Horigan

Founding Director

www.horigan.co.uk

Contact us to find out how we can help you review and benchmark your marketing activities.

 

 

Understanding conversion rates

At a recent pitch, we were asked if there were any figures to help better understand ROI (Return on Investment). Lots of different anecdotal figures immediately sprung to mind: It takes seven interactions to win a piece of work. We win one out of three pitches. Our proposal rate is one in three. This information is nice to know but not substantial so we decided to give it some further thought.

What do we mean by conversion rates?

Conversion rates are measures of conversion marketing activities, usually the number of percentage of a group who follow a desired action. For example, when running a direct marketing campaign, one in ten targets will meet with us, and of those ten, we are likely to get one or two pieces of work.

Pipeline Management Accountancy Law Firm Solicitors Professional Services Sales

We can also look at pipeline management as whole by looking at the image below. Starting from the right hand side, if Barry has a target of £500k and the average value of projects is £100k then he needs to win five projects per year. If conversion rates average at two to one, then he needs to propose ten jobs to win five. And so it goes.

Good pipeline management helps to avoid peaks and troughs in workflow because it ensures marketing and business development activity is ongoing, rather than just when a job is finished. We can look at different touchpoints along the sales funnel or pipeline to improve conversion and adjust tactics as needed.

As a consultancy, the most important measure is conversion rates because it tells us if our activities are being successful or not.

In our experience, conversion figures vary from firm to firm, practice group to practice group, and from service to service. It gets a bit easier when it comes to digital marketing as you can easily compare page visits, cost-per-click, impressions, bounce rates, undertake split testing and so on. These figures are very useful to help paint a picture but for us, conversion rates are most important.

How do we measure conversion rates?

The formulas are straightforward. Here are some examples:

  • Conversion rate = Number of Leads / Number of Sales x 100
  • Website Lead Generation Rate = Number of Leads Collected / Total Traffic to Site x 100
  • Direct Marketing Lead Generation =Number of meetings / Number of targets x 100

If possible, you should compare your conversion rates against previous data. If you don’t have previous data, set your own benchmark and start from there.

Why measure?

Conversion rates will help you understand what marketing activities work better than others and provide you with data that will help you to improve your Return on Investment (ROI) for the long-term. They provide valuable information about the best way to spend your marketing budget. Conversion rates will help you decide whether a campaign is worth repeating or changing.

Why CRM’s are essential for measuring conversion rates.

For many firms the idea of implementing a CRM (Client Relationship Management System) seems excessive. A good CRM will provide you with an excellent overview of your clients, provide you with data about leads and contacts, and ensure one of your most valuable assets, your data, is up-to-date. Spreadsheets are useful but cumbersome in measuring activity. Even the smallest firm needs a CRM to be able to effectively measure conversion rates efficiently – how many leads did you get. How many meetings, and how much new business?

You can look at which type of client is more likely to convert and what the elements of your marketing strategy are most effective. For example, once you have recorded the source of the lead, you can look at what marketing communications and activities have to push that particular client through the sales funnel.

Next steps

If you are looking to get a better result for the amount of effort or money that you put into your marketing activities then it may be time to explore how you can do this. Look at your conversion rates and start to understand what is working well and what isn’t. Think about introducing a CRM system; many are free so there is simply no excuse. Simple measurement and benchmarking will massively improve your ROI giving you more time to spend with family and friends.

Contact us to find out more about conversion rates and how you can implement a CRM.

 

Business development - how to make winning new business a part of your day-to-day activities

The ability to generate business is not so much an afterthought for professional service specialists, but rather something that becomes increasingly important as they progress through their careers. For some this comes naturally, easily slotting in with their personality and lifestyle. For others, it is more of a challenge and the idea of ‘managing a pipeline’ or ‘closing the deal’ feels artificial and forced.

Marketers are regularly told by practitioners that “we’re really busy” and “we all have our ‘day jobs’ to do”. We fully appreciate the difficulties of fitting business development activities into an already packed work schedule, or worse still, be forced to allow BD to impact on the time you spend with family and friends. However, it is important if you want to build a sustainable practice and do more of the work you enjoy.Business development management consultants lawyers accountants

Based on our years of experience we are sharing four key steps to save you time, and ensure what you do is effective.

Step 1 – Have a plan

In our experience, the length of the plan is determined by the needs of the individual. This may be as simple or a complex as you like, depending on your needs and personal style – but focus on a few key things rather than trying to do too much. Set 3-5 goals and identify the steps you need to take to achieve these.

Step 2 – Focus on your strengths and what you enjoy

Our approach to advising partners and fee earners when selecting BD activities is to avoid those which feel like a chore. We’re not saying you can avoid everything, but there are many ways to win new work and build relationships. Our advice is to choose what you enjoy doing, so long as it helps to achieve your objectives.

For example, if you don’t like writing articles or delivering presentations, steer clear. If networking is less appealing than a trip to the dentist then skip it. Choose activities that you enjoy, play to your strengths and then the BD won’t take up too much of your precious time (e.g. record a video or Podcast if verbal communication is a strength).

Step 3 – Avoid the easy stuff

If you need to do marketing and BD activity, do it properly. Be strategic. Be focused. Turn your email off and make a couple of calls. Don’t just collect LinkedIn contacts but make contact and win some work. Click here to find out what is easy, and what requires more grit.

Step 4 – Integrate yourself with wider firm activities

If you are in a firm with a marketing function, there will be various marketing and BD activities occurring as a matter of course: the website, the corporate brochure, PR, social media, campaigns, CSR activities, events, awards and (hopefully) targeted campaigns. Find out what is going on and then integrate yourself into these activities.

It’s sad but true

Business development has traditionally been overshadowed by more sophisticated marketing communication tactics. Yet as firms and individuals become increasingly more sophisticated in the way they make win new business, it’s never been more important to be truly focused about understanding exactly what it is they want to achieve. Business development is about unlocking growth now. How firms might interpret or act on that definition will vary, but having a clear understanding of what business development means for both individuals and the firm allows business leaders to develop a shared vision of how it can be used to capture value.

This is an abridged version of an article published in August 2015. Read the full article here.

How to write a marketing plan in one hour

This guide can help you write a marketing plan in 60 minutes. It follows our tried and tested methodology that has helped numerous accountants, solicitors, management consultants, and other professional services firms implement successful growth strategies. Once you have got the basic framework, you can build on your success over the coming months.

Marketing planning strategy accountants solicitors barristers 250

Current situation: where are you now?

Describe your marketing and business development (BD) activities in brief. What have you been doing up until now. What worked? What didn’t work? If you haven’t been doing anything, what is stopping you? Think about your competitors and what they are doing. What could you do better or differently?

Objectives: what do you wish to achieve?

Marketing objectives (and activities) need to be aligned with the needs of the business. The objectives should be defined in specific terms so progress can be tracked and measured and if necessary take corrective action. Examples of typical marketing objectives include:

  • Increase the number of clients by 10%
  • Grow market share by 5%
  • Successfully launch new services in particular markets or segments
  • Increase client referrals by 20%

Strategy: how are we going do this?

The marketing strategy is about the approach a firm takes to achieving marketing objectives. For example, if an objective is to increase number of client referrals by 20%, the strategy may to enhance client relationships. An increase in the number of new clients may be achieved through market penetration, or expanding into new markets.

Tactics and actions: what are we actually going to do?

This is about implementing the activities to achieve the objectives and strategic drivers. It includes things like the website, events, advertising, newsletters, referrers, social media, branding, networking, presentations, directory entries and internal communications. List the key activities, who is going to do them and by when.

Measurement and controls

If we can’t measure it, we’re not going to do it. This needs to be your mantra. To succeed you have to truly understand what value you are getting for your effort. Start by setting some basic KPIs and targets to measure your success. The ultimate measure of success will be for business leaders to be using the information to correct your course.

That’s pretty much it. You have started and written the first draft of your plan. Your plan should be fluid in the sense it needs to adapt as your firm changes and heads in new directions or reacts to market forces. Build on your plan or even write a full strategy. Remember though, the success will lie in the execution – it’s about getting stuff done, not just strategy.

Email tom.horigan@horigan.co.uk for a free marketing plan template.

How to: Design a successful marketing campaign in 30 minutes

This is a guide to help you design an integrated marketing campaign. By following these steps you will be able to:

  • Raise the profile of your firm
  • Win new business
  • Grow your pipeline
  • Avoid the famine and feast approach to marketing
  • Continuously clean your data

Before you start you will need to understand who your target audience is and how it is segmented. Have another read of your marketing plan and update if necessary.

What is a campaign?Integrated marketing accountancy 222

A campaign is a simply a series of activities used when marketing a service. It is a coordinated series of steps that can promote a service using activities such as social media, PR, thought leadership, sponsorships and tie-ups. It is focused and goes beyond your day-to-day marketing activities.

Sell holes, not drill-bits.

To paraphrase Peter Drucker, clients don’t buy what you sell, they buy what has value to them. So rather just talking about how great your service is, explain what problem you are going to solve. How can you help them save money? What peace of mind can you provide? What sort of lifestyle can you give them? Do you understand the vision for their business?

Similarly to your marketing plan, the campaign strategy has a clear and specific meaning. The campaign strategy combines the core properties of your In this case it is a little more specific. What is the hook for the client, what is it that will make them interested in our service?

Objectives

When we design a campaign we will include measurable objectives. They are usually around communication, positioning, and new business development. Imagine your firm has launched a new service or would like to develop a current one. It is likely there would be two or three objectives, each with a specific set of tactics and actions:

Objective one: Win five pieces of work over an 18 month period

  • Run promotional events with referrers such as accountants, solicitors, and banks
  • Establish formal or informal referrer programmes
  • Measure outgoing / incoming referrals and adapt activities accordingly
  • Undertake joint knowledge sharing events with referrers

Objective two: Build relationships with 4 key media contacts

  • Find 3-5 relevant publications and key media contacts
  • Share content on blogs
  • Create press releases / write articles / draft report or survey etc. and send directly to key media targets
  • Meet with journalists/media contacts, provide quotes, discuss content, invite to events etc.

Objective three: Increase referrals by 20%

  • Drive traffic to website encouraging prospects to sign up to newsletter
  • Email the requested information, invite to events etc.
  • Call the prospect; qualify the prospect further and determine next steps.

Tactics and actions

Successful campaigns are usually integrated campaigns. Integration means using a range of connected marketing activities across a variety of channels.

The idea is to use a range of activities such as social media, partnerships and tie-ups, press coverage, a microsite, and events to promote your service. We’re aiming for maximum penetration across the breadth of your target audience so these activities should be in addition or alongside your usual marketing and promotion, not separate or stand alone.

Messaging and consistency is key for the success for any campaign. It is not the job of an individual but the entire firm. Everyone must be completely clear on what the campaign is in support of. Once the campaign is endorsed and budget has been approved, the tactics can take form.

Measurement

Campaigns are one of the easiest things to measure. You can start with budget. What did the campaign cost as a whole in terms of marketing support and fee earner input? Make some reasonable estimates to use as a benchmark. Add design, print and sponsorship costs too.

You can look at conversion rates. What percentage of targets became leads? How many of these leads became clients? Were some segments easier to convert at others? How did the campaign to compare to previous campaign?

Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets so you can celebrate milestones or amend your campaign should it be needed. Your targets should be realistic yet ambitious and you should always be looking to improve upon previous campaign statistics.

Next steps

When planning your next campaign, think about what you want to achieve – profile raising, lead generation or new business. What value are you offering to clients? What problems can you solve? Good execution of the campaign will guarantee clarity and consistency helping to achieve your objectives. Finally, no matter how strong you think your campaign is, the effectiveness is ultimately determined by measuring its success. Set your own metrics – you can measure anything from reputation and awareness to market penetration and market share through to conversion rates, referrals and new business.

Contact us to talk about what goals you have.

12 Days of Christmas Planning: marketing and business development

As Christmas approaches, there is always a lot to get done. Many of us will be attending Christmas Parties and work events so it is well worth giving your activities some thought in advance.

1. Clients, clients, clients. As always clients should be your first point of call. Make a note of the clients you haven’t been in touch with for a while. Invite them out for a drink or take them as a guest to an event. If your firm sends a Christmas card, think about personalising some, or all of them. Don’t forget to contact 12 Days of Christmas Solicitors Accountants Marketingthose clients who you may not have done work for this year.

2. Review and measure. Look back over the past year to review what has gone well and what could be done better. What were the challenges or blockages that stopped you from doing something? Do you need to re-prioritise your activities for next year? Do you have systems in place to ensure you are working efficiently and effectively? Were your activities focused and targeted or did you just do the easy stuff? Do you need to plan more ruthlessly?

3. Get your pipeline in order. As you check through your Christmas card list and receive invitations, make sure the contacts on your CRM are up-to-date. Who has moved jobs or changed employers?

4. Happy Christmas and goodbye. Some clients are simply not profitable for the business. They demand too much and want to pay too little. You need to raise their fees. They may stay, they may move on. At least they’ll be profitable.

5. More goodbyes. Remember the recession when we realised we were doing things we shouldn’t be doing? Review marketing costs such as subscriptions and memberships and reduce waste.

6. Set up meetings for 2016. Give yourself a head start and line up a few meetings for January. December is notoriously busy so if you can’t catch up with everyone, pencil something in your diary for next year.

7. Internal contacts. Give some thought to colleagues in your firm who you don’t know so well. Make an effort to speak with them at the Christmas party or take them to a client event. If they offer a different service to your own, ask questions to find out how it may help your own clients.

8. Social media. Use social media to thank clients and anyone who has helped you over the past year.

9. Plan to work smarter, not harder. Give some thought to how you can really make an impact in 2016. What are 2-3 key priorities that will have the most impact?

10. Competitors celebrate Christmas too. What have your competitors been doing over the past year and what do you expect they’ll do next year. Don’t put your head in the sand, they certainly won’t.

11. Tidy the website. Ensure your website is up-to-date. Take a look at your profile, does it send out the right message? What about a particular service or practice group you’re involved in – when was the last time the copy was reviewed and updated?

12. Take a break. Put on your out-of-office message, divert the mobile, spend some time with your family, and take a well earned rest.

We enjoying hear from our clients and learning about their ambitions and challenges. If you are a professional services organisation, let’s talk. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you and your people improve the results they get from their business development activities. Book your no-obligation one-hour consultation with one of our marketing experts to discover just what we can do for your firm.

Four ways to improve marketing effectiveness.

How do firms maximise the chances that their marketing and business development efforts deliver the expected value on time and within budget? In our experience, the key to success lies in mastering four broad elements, which when combined make up a methodology for successful marketing that improves ROI (Return on Investment). And we’re not just talking leadership and marketing teams, the entire organisation has an important role to play:Accountancy Marketing Solicitors Business Development Barristers

1. Share a common vision

While outputs and deliverables are obviously important, you need something that captures the hearts and minds of your people and your clients. To have impact, you need a strong foundation and an integrated approach. A vision enables everyone to understand their role – they know what to do and why they are doing it.

2. Focus on strategy instead of exclusively concentrating on budget and deadlines

Marketing and business development initiatives tend to over-focus on budget and deadlines rather than strategy. There is also a tendency to focus on what we are trying to sell, rather than what value we are giving clients.

The process should begin with business alignment. Once this is achieved, marketing objectives should be defined, challenges identified, and target audiences determined.

3. Master technology

High-performing marketing teams embrace technology and use it to create efficient processes to achieve their objectives.

A professional services firm wanted to implement a new CRM system. The leadership team saw it as an information database instead of the end goal, which was to successfully manage the firm’s interaction with current and future clients. With milestones and launch dates constantly being pushed back, the CRM implementation ground to a halt along with all business development activities.

In contrast, another firm was able to re-scope and upgrade its current CRM system quickly and efficiently even though many internal stakeholders thought doing so was impossible. To ensure success, the project team introduced rigorous internal testing and rollout plans helping to gain stakeholder support. It invited support from across the firm to iron out issues at the outset and listened responding to the needs of individual teams. It also introduced clearly defined project stages which meant the team was able to test, understand issues and implement fixes before full implementation took place.

4. Use proven methodologies and processes

While no two marketing initiatives will be identical, most share certain characteristics. And because no two people or teams will approach a solution in the same way, a firm will benefit from standardised processes that will improve effectiveness and efficiencies.

Process-led marketing enables for adjustments and optimisation. It drives consistency and quality saving time and money and maximising ROI. Good management distils a firm’s processes as a proven approach which works.

Next steps

There are lots of good tips available on how to improve your marketing effectiveness. Some will focus on theory and some will more practical. Our view is that you need a system. A replicable, efficient system distinctive to your firm. One that helps your marketing activities to continually improve and deepen the impact of your brand.

Contact us for a no-obligation review of these four areas.

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We are experienced in the full spectrum of marketing strategy, implementation and delivery. 

Where needed, the core team is supplemented by the most able consultants, whose expertise is enlisted on a project-by-project basis.


Tom Horigan BW

Tom Horigan
T. +44 (0) 7816 292 451
E. tom.horigan@horigan.co.uk 

Read more about how Tom can help here. 


 

 

Tom Horigan BWTom Horigan
Founder and Managing Director
T. +44 (0) 20 3637 3958
M. +44(0)7816 292 451
E. tom.horigan@horigan.co.uk

Tom is the founder and managing director of Horigan Professional Services Marketing. He is a qualified marketing consultant and an experienced professional services specialist who has built a strong track record helping his clients put marketing at the heart of their business strategy. With a strong network and a wealth of experience, Tom is passionate about providing professional marketing services to ambitious firms.


He brings a wealth of insight and expertise to his clients, having worked with some of the world's leading professional services firms. Using his 15 years' experience, his particular area of expertise is to work alongside leadership and marketing teams to design and implement a strategy that will increase market share and drive business performance. Tom oversees every aspect of the process, ensuring solutions are well planned and strategically sound.


A professional services industry expert with global experience


Tom has worked on numerous multi-million pound proposals and successfully led bids to provide services to BT, Rio Tinto, Cobham Plc., Toyota Plc., GTL Resources Plc., AES Corporation, Standard Chartered, Peugeot Citroen, Invensys Plc., and the British Council. Many of these were multi-jurisdictional with up to 120 countries and fees ranging from £5k to over £1m.


Tom has held senior roles at Vinson & Elkins, RSM Tenon, Baker Tilly as well as working at ACCA, the professional accountancy body. Whilst working at these organisations his areas of responsibility included audit and accountancy, litigation, government and public sector, management consultancy, retail, technology, and international services. He has worked in Asia, Australia, USA and the UK.

 

He is a frequent social media commentator and writer on professional services marketing issues. Tom holds a BA (Literature and Philosophy), and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing – the world's leading professional marketing body. 


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“We have enjoyed working with Tom... He gives honest, straightforward advice. He is also professional and has some very good ideas that have assisted us with our marketing and business development plans.”

Simon Turner, Managing Director, Seymour Taylor Chartered Accountants

“Tom is someone who gets the job done.”
Stephen Braham, Partner and Head of London Accounts and Business Advisory group, Baker Tilly

"Tom is a strong communicator… He worked through some challenging situations for us in a determined fashion - he was seen as someone who got things done.”
Harry Capewell, Partner, Baker Tilly

"Tom is a true marketing professional with great attention to detail. He approaches complex tasks with enthusiasm and is not afraid to get his hands dirty in the pursuit of excellence in his campaigns."
Tim Tansley, Senior Marketing Manager, Data & Digital, RSM Tenon Chartered Accountants

"Tom had a very clear vision of the direction he wanted to take marketing within the firm, and was passionate about seeing this through."
Katie Fitzsimons, Senior Business Development Executive, Chantrey Vellacott