Professional services firms are not like other companies. Their markets are crowded and highly competitive, they are usually owned by multiple partners each of which has its own clients and area of expertise. They offer professional services across a wide range of matters to a broad range of industry verticals.
These factors, and the relative youth of marketing and business development functions within professional services firms offer unique challenges for growth leaders within the industry.
The "best practice approach" for how to market a professional services firm is less well understood than in consumer goods or even other B2B industries such as software. While there are lots of similarities and lessons to be learned from other markets, there is a clear distinction between the way professional services companies grow.
Choosing a fit for purpose solution.
There is a large and growing technology industry dedicated to the unique needs of the professional services sector. This is enabling the firms to avoid the cost and risk of building their own technology in-house and instead purchase a product that is built specifically to address their needs.
By focusing on a single market and building products that are useful particularly for that vertical, legal tech businesses are able to out-compete generalist offerings whilst delivering the savings that are inherent in Cloud software. These companies also understand the wider tech ecosystem and work together to deliver integrations that are in their mutual clients' interest to deepen their appeal and reduce customer churn.
Historically law firms and other professional services companies had a "build it ourselves" approach to software often creating their own proprietary websites and practice management tools. However, much as with cloud CRMs, this practice is looking increasingly expensive and antiquated. SaaS platforms have now evolved and integrated to offer services that simply do not deliver any ROI on a one-off basis but make for fantastic products when built for the entire legal industry.