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Top priorities for leading professional services firms

In a phrase, the singular priority of leading professional services firms is profitable growth.

So when some 50 invited CMOs and CBDOs of the world's leading PSFs gathered for the inaugural Gro Pro conference in Baltimore recently there were no surprises in the issues on which they focused.

In the pre-meeting poll and throughout the discussions brand-building, business development and CRM dominated the thoughts of leading marketing and sales practitioners from accounting, law, management consulting, search and several other professions. Some insightful case studies in the use of social media lit up imaginations, but the hard yards were done on these main themes and the associated issues of accountability and ROI. The panel discussions and keynote addresses led to the participants' realisation that deeper-than-mostly-exist insights into how clients buy and how they perceive providers are needed. The inadequacy of current data and methods was acknowledged.

The reasons for this intense quest for profitable growth are not hard to fathom in a post-GFC world of universal hyper-competition, ever-more demanding clients, pervasive price-down demands, and talent-driven cost pressures. Firms are all wrestling with the 'how'. This ground-breaking Baltimore meeting sowed seeds of emerging solutions.

Beaton Research & Consulting was represented in Baltimore by George Beaton who was invited to give the opening key note address.

By George Beaton, is a director of Beaton Capital and Beaton Research + Consulting. You can find George on Google+ at +George Beaton.

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