As the year comes to a close, firm marketing departments should be taking account of their successes and struggles. After all, if you don’t know your strengths and weaknesses, it’s hard to develop a roadmap for the next year. But how do you identify what worked and what didn’t?

There are a number of ways to assess your firm’s marketing plan and whether existing strategies should be revised or new strategies implemented. Here are a few tactics you can use to identify gaps in your current marketing strategy.

  • Look at the data: Ideally, your firm uses some form of marketing technology that provides quantitative reports. That might include the back end of your website, inbound marketing platforms like Hubspot or CRM software. Generate reports from these sources and review the numbers. Are there positive or negative trends? Do they correspond with certain times of the year or certain lines of business? Perhaps they coincide with specific marketing initiatives your firm deployed, such as a firm-hosted event for clients and prospects.
  • Follow the money: Similar to analyzing marketing data, you will want to pore over the financials to better understand how your firm generated or lost revenue. Did certain practice areas or lines of business see significant increases in revenue? If so, did these correspond with any specific marketing and public relations initiatives? Did some practices or services remain stagnant or even lose revenue, and, if so, what could you do in the new year to help boost their numbers?
  • Interview the marketplace: It can be helpful to survey your clients periodically about your firm’s marketing function. Responses can give you insights related to whether your clients appreciate the type of marketing your firm uses or find it a nuisance. For example, if you use client alerts, ask whether your clients find them useful, and solicit respondents for feedback about how they can be improved. This is also a good opportunity to inquire about the frequency of communications, since pushing too much content onto your clients can be a big turnoff.
  • Talk to your colleagues: In addition to going outside your firm for input, you should also consider conducting a similar survey of your internal clients — your firm’s service professionals. What do they feel was most effective at supporting them in gaining new business or retaining clients? Were there any tactics that they feel were unsuccessful? Do they have suggestions for other strategies you could incorporate to help support them?

Once you have a sense of your gaps, you can begin to set priorities based on costs, impact and urgency. Consider investing in a combination of strategies that will provide both quick wins and long-term gains.

How Can Jaffe Help You with Marketing Strategy?

Assessing your own marketing strategy can be time-consuming, and many professional services marketing departments find they do not have the bandwidth to support the simultaneous tasks of analyzing and executing marketing tactics. Jaffe’s experienced marketing and business development consultants can help by serving as your firm’s trusted third-party evaluators. We can review your firm’s data sources and revenue trends, and interview outside and internal stakeholders, to get a full, 360-degree picture of your marketing function’s strengths and weaknesses. We also can help you set priorities and assist with implementing new tactics so you can continue to concentrate on your firm’s day-to-day marketing needs.

If you’re interested in learning how Jaffe can work with you to assess and improve your firm’s marketing strategy, contact Terry M. Isner, CEO/Owner, Marketing & Branding, at