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| 1 minute read

The "Global Mega-Trend" in Professional Services marketing

The other day, I was talking with a Private Equity investor about the professional services industry and he observed that they were seeing a "Global Mega-Trend" that they were keen to capitalize on. 

This trend was the professionalization of the business services functions of these firms. He noted that there was a broad shift that started as a response to the working-from-home new normal, toward hiring professionals, from other industries who are every bit as well-educated and experienced as the fee-earners, to run functions like marketing, and business development. The expectation was that this would drive a move to a more efficient and digitized marketing function with larger budgets for online initiatives and a commensurate decrease in live events and expensive offices. 

His reasoning was both rational (why would you spend on an office that fewer people are visiting?) and observational - the number of commercial law firms with a truly C-level marketing lead is increasing all the time. 

We have seen this shift ourselves here at Passle; I met an extraordinarily impressive new legal CMO in New York recently, who had been brought into their firm with a mandate for change. She moved into a team of five, of whom only two remained, and had grown the team to twelve seasoned professionals, mainly from outside the legal industry: very much not business as usual. 

To be fair, some parts of the professional services industry have been leading the way for a while, notably the big four and the strategic consultancies like AlixPartners and McKinsey. However, it is commercial law that is changing most markedly, with big-name new hires becoming much more commonplace and the lateral hiring of entire teams happening in marketing, just as has been seen in fee-earning roles in the past.

Whether this shift deserves to be referred to as a "Global Mega-Trend", I'm not sure, but that it is happening is, without question, a fact.


e2e, professional services, marketing