I just finished reading Mike Schultz and John Doerr's new book, Professional Services Marketing, and I liked it. It's not perfect and I don't necessarily agree with everything Mike and John say, but then if I did, one of us would be redundant.
From a positive side, my favorite parts offered advice for building your brand. This is often difficult for professional service providers to do and too many end up using the same old words and pablum that every other professional services company uses. As I often say in my own articles and speeches, markets tend to develop a central strategic orthodoxy. The authors invest a good portion of the book (six chapters) for why it's important to invest time in building your brand, how to define your own brand, and how to communicate that branding proposition to your marketplace. Good stuff for newbies and good reminders for us old dogs.
I do part ways with the guys in Chapter 13, On Being Unique and Other Bad Marketing Advice. Here's an excerpt:
The need for being different is so well accepted, it’s considered simplistic
to even make the case for it. Why make a case for something everyone
already knows? Many conversations on being different thus center more on
how to be different and how radically to be different.
That we need to be different at all . . . accepted without further thought.
Well, put some further thought in it. The pursuit of being unique and
different has done disservice to many a service firm.
Actually, I'm not convinced Mike and John completely believe their own argument. Maybe they're looking to say something a bit against the grain of conventional thinking that will get people talking. (It's working. I'M talking about it!) And I'm okay with that. Nothing wrong with stirring up a bit of controversy.
Another good thing about Professional Services Marketing for me will be it's shelf life. I can see using it as a reference tool in the future, rather than donating it to Goodwill, where most books go after I'm done.
So good job guys. I give it thumbs up!
(BTW, if you do buy the book soon, go to this page after your purchase, <http://professionalservicesmarketingbook.com/bonus-materials>. The authors are offering some bonuses to early buyers.)