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To compete effectively, professional firms need to ensure that marketing and sales are integrated into every function. But there are two big barriers getting in their way: how firms are structured and their existing culture, including the way they define the scope of marketing and sales.


Figuring out what the barriers are is the obvious first step. Do you know which structural and cultural barriers exist at your firm? Do you know how they're causing significant marketing and business development disconnects? Here's a shortcut to get you started:
Instant Feedback
In conjunction with The Integration Imperative, I created two short web-based tests that help firms anonymously assess their structural and cultural barriers. I'm challenging readers to take the assessments and give me their thoughts on the results. You can let me know as an anonymous comment, email me, or, if you want to share and you have a blog, you can blog about it and send me the link. If you're amenable, I'll link to your blog or website in a follow-up post here on the Daily Fix.
How will your firm benefit if you complete these tests? Professional firms are challenged by the complexity of their marketing and business development silos. It's hard to know where to start in the quest for marketplace effectiveness! Our research revealed a number of distinct organizational barriers that exists in professional firms, regardless of sector, size, or marketplace lifecycle. Your answers in each test will help your firm identify the exact areas to address in building a more productive, integrated marketing and business development engine.
Take the Assessment Challenge
Click the links below to take the assessments. And hey, it's fine if you decide don't want to share your thoughts after you take the tests. But I hope you do!
Assess Your Firm's Structural Barriers to Marketing and Business Development Integration
Assess Your Firm's Cultural Barriers to Marketing and Business Development Integration

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Lowe is founder of Expertise Marketing, LLC and author of The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos – Once and For All – in Professional Service Firms and Marketplace Masters: How Professional Services Firms Compete to Win. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix and her own blog, the Expertise Marketplace.

Before founding Expertise Marketing in 1996, Ms. Lowe spent more than a decade leading the marketing programs for top-tier management consulting and business-to-business organizations. Before that, she spent more than a decade managing and implementing strategies for political candidates and organizations.

She spearheads the only widely disseminated research initiative on strategic marketing perceptions, practices and performance of professional service firms around the globe.

In addition, Suzanne Lowe has written or been quoted in nearly 100 articles on the topic of professional services marketing strategy. Her work has appeared in the a rel="nofollow" href="https://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b01/en/hbr/hbr_home.jhtml">Harvard
Business Review, BusinessWeek.com, CMO Magazine, Harvard
Management Update
, and scores of profession-specific magazines and journals, including MarketTrends, Marketer, Marketing the Law Firm, Accounting Today, Engineering, Consultants News, Structure, Journal of Law Office Economics and Management, The Practicing CPA, Environmental Design and Construction, Massachusetts High Tech, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and the Legal Marketing Association’s Strategy. She is a contributor to the second edition of the book Marketing
Professional Services
, by Kotler, Hayes and Bloom. She has also been instrumental in the development, writing and publication of five books and nearly 50 articles and book chapters for her consulting clients.

Suzanne speaks regularly around the world to leading trade associations, industry groups and in-house firm audiences. Her work has also been presented internationally, most recently at the American Marketing Association's annual Frontiers in Services conference. She facilitates a Roundtable of Chief Marketing Officers from some of the world's largest and most prestigious professional service firms. She has guest-lectured at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and designs and delivers customized executive education programs in marketing for professional service executives.

She advises the leaders of professional service firms, from small start-up practices to large global organizations.

Ms. Lowe received a B.A. from Duke University.