In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 podcast, Guy is joined by Dominic Ayres. Dominic is the Senior Client Development Manager at Eversheds Sutherland. He heads up the development and growth of international client relationships and sector strategy. Dominic recently authored ‘How to Advance Your Career in Professional Services Marketing‘ where he speaks about taking a deep inside look into how to go from a junior role to a senior role within the world of professional services marketing. Dominic joins us today to discuss how to manage your career strategically in the world of professional services marketing.
1. Why is this book needed in the industry?
This book takes a deep dive into the professional service industry, which feels niche but actually, a number of professionals are in the industry. The industry is vast and when you enter it you do not get the same kind of guidance lawyers get. A lot of it is relying on yourself and kind of having a really proactive and purposeful career path in the organization. One of the key themes I focus on is aligning with your firm strategy and how marketing contributes to growth. Within team settings, how do we cut down on silos? How do we collaborate more effectively across the marketing team? How do we manage stakeholders? The most important thing is the stakeholders. The last theme is around career management, and how we build our brand. How do we build our network? How do we upscale our knowledge? I think these areas are very vital to our development.
2. How do you see the role of a marketer within professional services evolving?
We operate in a very saturated market with a lot of competition. Over the past two years, we have seen a huge shift to everything digital because of COVID-19. Marketing is fundamental to growth, we work hand in hand with the Chief Technology Officer and the Chief Information Officer. A lot of CMO’s I have spoken to say now they are seen as more accountable than ever. They need to be more data-driven and analytical, finding out what is working and what is not. We see client development roles like the one I am in as more client-facing. All this signals that the role of marketing and professional services marketing is growing. This is exciting because it means we are more of a strategic role now, instead of being there to support a tactical function as some may have claimed.
3. How does data help with aligning yourself with your firm’s strategy?
A lot of times marketers are very good at focusing on the planning elements, but what are the results of our efforts? It is more important to see the lessons learned from our approach. This is so important because we are literally rewriting the playbook around what marketing looks like at professional services firms. With things such as social selling, it has become really competitive for firms that invest in data. Increasingly, as firms focus on growth, what the firm is doing in terms of marketing and where their spending has been allocated will also be focused on. Data enables us to understand but it does not replace the overarching experience that makes us question what the data means in context. This is why a lot of CMO’s have been investing time into building knowledge in understanding data.
4. What do you think are the key skills that every marketing team or every marketing individual should have right now?
Aligning yourself with your firm. Ultimately, this is having an understanding of what your law firm does to help its clients. This is an area I see a lot of junior marketing professionals overlook. A lot of times they don’t focus on why the target audience cares, and that is really important. Moving up to a more strategic role is calling for you to have your fundamentals in place, so why the audience should care is a good place to focus your resources on. Ironically, one of my personal development goals this year is to actually learn a lot of what lawyers have gone through. At least having the basic knowledge of this should help me with my marketing, like I would be able to understand why something is important to the client, how I should position this, and how we can be more competitive than our competitors. Another area that is really important is managing stakeholders. What is clear is that having domain knowledge is important. It is very important to be an expert in the area of marketing you focus on, never stop learning in this field. This will help elevate our position with our external stakeholders, because they will come to us for advice in our area of expertise.
Advancing your career ultimately comes down to aligning yourself with your firm and understanding why they do what they do for their clients. Using data and other sources of knowledge, you can build your career in Professional Services Marketing in this ever-evolving marketing landscape.