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Event report | Professional Services Marketing & BD Insights: 2017 Mid-Year Review

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Last week, the Ambition BD, Marketing & Communications team hosted the latest Boardroom Series Event on the topic: “Professional Services Marketing & BD Insights: 2017 Mid-Year Review”.

Attended by Senior BD, Marketing & Communications professionals from the professional services industry, the event was facilitated by three of the profession’s leading figures, namely; Jamie Wallis, Susanne Pugsleyand Owen Williams.

Market Overview

We kicked off the event with a recruitment market update which touched on job numbers, skills in demand and some of the reasons why marketing professionals are both joining and leaving firms.

Points of discussion included; the consistently high job numbers despite market uncertainty, the increasing pressure on firms to find the right people and skillsets in a very candidate short market, the challenges of competing with increasing salary levels as well as the need for firms to sell roles effectively.

We then highlighted some of the other trends that are currently impacting managers in professional services, including M&A activity, outsourcing / onshoring, A.I. and pricing to name a few. We then proceeded to drill down into three specific areas; Client Relationship Management, Agile working, and Brexit.

Client Relationship Management

Jamie led the discussion around Client Relationship Management, highlighting some of his own experiences, particularly at Addleshaw Goddard, before facilitating some healthy debate around some of the key challenges with CRM.

There was much discussion around the current disconnect between partners and their clients, the need to change fee earners’ mindset from a transactional approach to a “bigger picture, connecting the dots kind of value add”, getting more client airtime, and ultimately getting more buy-in from the top.

Agile Working

Susanne stepped up next to talk about agile working, what this meant to people, the benefits of agile or flexible working and some of the things that were holding firms back from having a truly agile workforce.

We discussed benefits of talent retention and attraction, different workforce demands, the impact of millennials and some of the more obvious commercial benefits such as reduction in real estate costs and the opportunities to mirror clients and their working practices more effectively.


Finally, Owen led a discussion around Brexit and shared some of his own experiences at Herbert Smith Freehills, discussing how Brexit has really come into focus for BD & Marketing professionals, particularly when considering content and thought leadership. Owen then led an interactive exercise on Brexit – What is keeping our clients awake at night?”to discuss the key factors that were most concerning to clients.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended as well as to our fantastic panel Jaime, Susanne and Owen.

If you would like to discuss any of the areas raised at the event, please do get in touch with the team at Ambition and watch out for future events later in the year as well as our latest Market Insights report which is due out next month. 

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