By writing about the 10 Challenges of Marketing Professional Services, my intention was two-fold.

One element was to identify some of the marketing challenges that face those of us who market our professional services. And having identified these challenges, the other element was to offer suggestions for responding effectively to these challenges.

Now, having reflected on the response to this series of blog posts, there is a very clear and undeniable conclusion that can be drawn.

Ironically, this conclusion is reflected in the title of the March 27 blog post: What To Do When You Love Serving Clients But Hate Marketing, which attracted the most visitors of the series.

For the most part, service professionals really do love serving clients. As for marketing, it’s one of those things that we all know we should be doing…but realistically few of us enjoy it, even a little bit.

Instead of trying to overcome service professionals’ general dislike of marketing, it would be more helpful to re-frame marketing as an extension of client service. As part of this process, let’s consider what marketing is…and what it is not.

Here are 12 factors that help clarify what marketing is, together with the opposite factors that clarify what it is not.

  1. client-focused …. not standardized ‘one-size-fits-all’
  2. building and maintaining relationships … not adversarial
  3. continuous … not isolated or one time only
  4. conversation…not a speech, monologue, lecture or one-way conversations
  5. marketing as education offers new information…not the same old same old message
  6. investment for future benefits … not throwing resources at a problem
  7. mutually beneficial interactions… not one-sided win-lose scenario
  8. proactive … not reactive
  9. strategic … not just problem-solving
  10. transformational … not maintaining the status quo
  11. your best stuff … not bare minimum
  12. unique ‘one-of-a-kind’ interactions.. not marketing to the masses

Following the same approach followed with 10 Challenges of Marketing Professional Services, in and of themselves, these factors will help redefine marketing as an extension of client service.

Now the task is offer suggestions for applying these factors in such a way that marketing professional services become a logical and comfortable expansion of serving clients.

Stay tuned…over the coming weeks, I will prepare weekly blog posts about just that…helping you redefine and integrate marketing as an extension of your client service.