Adding Value 2011

Are you spending too long on low value activities?

19 business activities were prioritised by respondents according to their contribution to commercial success, and the extent to which marketing ‘should’ be involved in the activity. Drilling down into the various roles and locations produced minimal variances in views. The key message from the chart (below) is that business and marketing priorities coincide over the client experience and collaboration between management and fee earners; that marketing should pay more attention to needs, commerciality, behaviours and relationships; but less attention to social media, and brand values.

Perceived priorities

19 business activities were prioritised by respondents according to their contribution to commercial success, and the extent to which marketing ‘should’ be involved in the activity. Drilling down into the various roles and locations produced minimal variances in views. The key message from the chart (below) is that business and marketing priorities coincide over the client experience and collaboration between management and fee earners; that marketing should pay more attention to needs, commerciality, behaviours and relationships; but less attention to social media, and brand values.

Actual involvement

Marketing’s current level of involvement across the same 19 business activities is seen as consistently lower than ‘should’ be the case, especially for three of the top business priority activities: ‘shaping the client experience’; ‘developing relationships with targets’; and ‘clarifying needs’. As a consequence of being prevented from participating in many of the perceived high value activities, marketing’s current involvement is mostly in low priority activities:

  • ‘Messages & materials that reinforce brand values’ was 1st for marketers’ involvement, but 16th for business priority
  • ‘Collaboration between management and fee earners’ was 2nd for both
  • ‘Harness online media’ was 3rd and 19th
  • ‘Clarity over brand values’ was 4th and 15th
  • ‘Align your messages and delivery’ was 5th and 13th

This is likely to lead to de-motivated and even delusional marketers, given heads of marketing consider themselves to be materially more involved across the 19 business activities than their team members believe to be the case.

Responsibilities

Marketers are most involved in ‘conducting client satisfaction surveys’ followed by ‘being part of pitch teams’, ‘talking to clients’ and finally ‘talking to targets.’ As quality marketing insights are much more likely to be generated from talking to targets than from gathering yet more client feedback, this suggests a further cause for de-motivation.

adding value 2011 

Relationships

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the strongest relationships are seen as being with fellow marketers at the same firm, followed by senior fee earners, other management experts (finance, HR, etc), and junior fee earners. It is depressing that relationships with marketers at clients remain at the bottom of the list in spite of the importance attributed by clients to close links between the management teams at clients and those at advisers, as per the findings of the FT/MPF annual studies into effective client-adviser relationships.