The world of professional services marketing has had little coverage. But, says Professor Malcolm McDonald, this books fills the gaps.
The concept of marketing in the professional services domain reminds me of a desert, with lost souls seeking any kind of oasis. Recently, a Marketing chief in a major professional services firm said that, in trying to undertake a PhD course of study, he was unable to find any scholarly papers/ research into what constitutes best practice marketing in his sector.
This is, of course, not to imply that marketing best practice isn't prevalent in professional services. It is just that no one to date has studied best practice and developed structures and frameworks in the way that has been proven to work in B2B markets.
This is a major weakness in the academic community, as the professional services sector is a major contributor to the UK GDP. Not only can lessons be learned from the leaders of this community, but more importantly, those who lag behind the leaders can be brought up to world class standards and add even more to the commercial welfare of the United Kingdom.
This book--- Professional Services Marketing Handbook--- goes some way to filling this knowledge gap. Although it contains contributions from professional service firms, it is organised in a way that takes the reader through several themes, starting with the international context ---- surely vital to the UK economy--- through to creativity and innovation, then on to client relationship management .
What is evident to a seasoned reviewer of books is that most are 'pimply little me-toos', rehearsing old concepts. What strikes this reviewer in relation to this book is that there are many original, thought-provoking chapters. For any professional seeking ways to develop relationships by crafting market offerings in such a way that benefits are translated into monetary terms based on an in-depth understanding of the client's business, this book is a must read. Value creation as an academic topic is still very much in its infancy. This book makes a great contribution to this domain.
Professor Malcolm McDonald MA( Oxon) MSc PhD D.Litt DSc is Emeritus Professor, Cranfield University School of Management.