Professional Services Marketing in the Future
No one knows for sure what is in store for professionals in the future, not even futurist gurus. But the author feels that the professional services market in the next 10-15 years should be characterized by intense competitive pressure as a result of lower entry barriers and a lack of population growth. Quite simply, too many professionals will be serving too few consumers. There will be very few underdeveloped markets, including geographically rural areas. This saturation will lead to even more aggressive promotion as the professional services sector goes through the late maturity stage of its life cycle. However, heavy promotion may not be the solution for many professional services firms. Many will have to rethink their approach to business. Market share management will be the key. Holding on to clients and securing dissatisfied clients from competitors will be the only ways to achieve growth. Emphasis will be placed on the functional quality aspects of service, such as care and empathy for clients, in order to achieve a competitive advantage. As professional services firms become even more marketing-oriented, there will be a greater emphasis on increasing profit margins instead of sales volume. Cost reduction strategies will also be emphasized. There will continue to be much concern over professional liability, not strictly because of the costs of litigation and awards, but because of the public perception created as a result of such activities.