Since the new millennium, professional service firms have faced increasing pressure to become more effective in differentiation, positioning and branding. I am struck by how hard firms are working to "get it right" in creating unique value for their clients, in positioning themselves for having the most favorable capabilities, and in branding themselves as delivering the most competitively potent attributes.

And I am struck by how internally focused the job of professional service marketing has become.

Here, if anything, is a situation crying out for a "doing things differently" approach. Paul Dunay of BearingPoint is a marketer who embarked on an independent quest to vividly demonstrate differentiation, positioning and branding to his global enterprise. His professional bravery has sent an electric charge throughout his firm.

Dunay is a director of global field marketing for BearingPoint, a global management and technology consulting company. Traded under the ticker symbol BE, BearingPoint has 17,000 employees who provide strategic consulting, applications services, technology solutions, and managed services to government organizations, Global 2000 companies and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. and around the world.

I met Dunay in May 2006, when I heard him make some provocative remarks about technology and marketing at a Boston chapter meeting of the PM Forum. I was intrigued by his unabashed expression of opinions, to which I took some exception in a post on the Marketing Profs Daily Fix blog. I thought, "Isn't it refreshing to encounter a marketing thought leader who says something 'controversial'?"

Since that time, I've watched as Dunay has steadily ramped up his presence in the field of what he calls "Buzz Marketing." I began tracking his blog, Buzz Marketing for Technology, in which he discusses innovative ideas for B2B technology marketers, specifically how to leverage Web 2.0 tools to create "Buzz."

I thought, "How rare to see a senior marketer from any professional service firm—even one as prominent as BearingPoint—leading a series of cutting-edge conversations that do not appear to be directed at just his internal colleagues." (The vast majority of B2B or professional marketing observers and commentators are like me: analysts, authors and consultants.)

Imagine my delight when I checked in with Dunay and learned the extent to which he has intentionally begun to "do things differently" and how positively it has benefited BearingPoint. Here is his story:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Lowe is founder of Expertise Marketing, LLC and author of Marketplace Masters: How Professional Services Firms Compete to Win. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix and her own blog, the Expertise Marketplace.