The truth is, your clients and prospects don't care how your firm is different. Potential clients only care how your firm is a better choice for their needs, their situation, and their resources.
Your positioning and brand are critical, but they're the tail rather than the dog.
Many hard-charging professional services firms skip the strategy step and move directly to tactics such as putting up a website, developing content and creating email campaigns. Your website / logo / visual identity might be just fine. These tactics-without-strategy easily become oppressive masters distracted by shiny objects and fads rather than servants focused on delivering the Revenue, Profits, and higher quality Clients you need.
If the market is getting more competitive, why would you expect your marketing to become less hands-on?
While there's a lot of new marketing technology, at its core, professional services marketing is about helping potential clients make the decision to work with your firm. As in most cases where focus is vital, less is usually more.
Why do clients select your firm above other, often excellent, options?
Getting to the core of why clients select your firm requires you to set aside your own biases. This makes it hard. You need to learn why your best clients select your firm. Not why you would select your firm. Not why they ought to select your firm. Not all the valuable things you can do for them after they select your firm. Not why average clients select an average firm. Why your best clients select your firm over other options.
The answer is revealing, and in my experience, often surprising. Think of it as your firm's "Secret Sauce."
Your secret sauce is what truly sets you above other providers in the eyes of your best clients.
Even firms at the top of their game are often blind to their secret sauce. While they may be really good at what they do and bursting with professional expertise, why their best clients select them over and over again is more subtle. The impact of under-utilizing your firm's secret sauce echoes across: Revenue, Profits, and Quality of Clients.
How important is acting on your secret sauce? Really important.
Coming face-to-face with why your best clients select your firm changes how you see marketing, the role it plays at your firm, and those ever-important metrics of Revenue, Profits, and Quality of Clients.
Unless you understand The Why, best practices are merely things you ought to do. You take action hoping for results. When you understand The Why, you take action because you know what will happen.