Marketing technology in the professional services arena appears to be on a five-year evolutionary cycle. We looked at four areas:
CRM, marketing automation, contacts management and brands. In CRM, marketers now have options for cloud-based services that they didn't have five years ago, when most CRM Systems were housed on hard drives and local servers.
Marketing automation wasn’t actually possible five years ago! Today, marketing automation is an embedded capability with most CRM systems, and, supported by data analytics, is becoming a normal process at leading professional service firms.
For contacts management, we see a shift from a gatekeeper approach (“MY contacts! Don’t touch them!”) to one that is more digitized, centrally managed and crowdsourced (clients voluntarily offering their contact details on social networks).
Regarding brands, professional service firms are shifting from being named after their founding partners to shortened names, even acronyms, that are more appropriate for a digital environment.
Professional service firms that want to compete effectively must take notice of these five-year cycles -- and anticipate the next marketing technology wave five years from now. In five years, the best professional service firms will use marketing technologies to mine their individual buyers’ perceptions and purchase choices. The most astute professional firms will use marketing technology to push their traditional B2B boundaries toward a stronger B2C approach.
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