Professional service firms, specifically those in marketing, PR, communications, consulting and digital, are finding it critical to recalibrate their value proposition in today’s social and digital reality.
Simply put, the lines are now all blurred. The swim lanes no longer distinct. The delineation of work and expertise between outside counsel and internal management not as clear.
This self-awareness moment for CEOs of such firms is causing a very important question to be raised. One that strikes at the heart of a firm’s efficacy. One that must be answered by everyone in the organization.
“So, what is it that we do exactly?”
At W2O Group, a network of complementary, progressive and multi-faceted digital, marketing, and communications counseling firms, of which I founded and now serve as Chairman and CEO, we are right in the middle of this new world and actively answering this important question.
The following is a brief overview of the discussion we are having internally:
“What is it that we do?”
Well, some may say we are an integrated communications or PR firm. Others a creative or advertising shop. Still others a social and digital agency. Possibly an analytics and insights organization.
Guess what? You’re all right!
And you’re all wrong.
It’s certainly true that we as a firm provide all of these services and capabilities. But at the end of the day our real value lies in something much bigger. Something much more profound.
As the CEO of one our clients said recently, our value is to help organizations “maintain relevance in a distracted world.”
Think about it. Living and working in a content rich, influence-oriented, attention deficit world where consumers snack on information and form knee-jerk opinions while employees turn off the volume better to watch what leaders do than listen to what they say, is taking a toll on organizational and brand relevance.
This is what keeps CEOs up at night and Boards from enjoying their weekends. It is also what keeps W2O Group a central and important part of the marketing and communications mix for our clients.
What does it take to remain relevant today?
Here’s a start:
1) Meaningful Purpose – Is what you do important and meaningful to the audiences you care about and the world in general?
2) Adaptable Culture – Are your employees and your systems agile and empathetic to the environment?
3) Nuanced Comprehension of Customers, Stakeholders – Are you incorporating data and insight into your thinking and programming to ensure precision?
4) Personal Stories – Do you communicate in a manner that drives interest and conversation that aids learning?
So, the question is simply this: How are you making our clients relevant in a distracted world?
Think about it.
(Note: Engaging in such a provocative discussion with staff is producing some incredible thinking and ideas. Ultimately, clients determine value and bringing the discussion inside raises the bar on performance while solidifying efficacy)
Also posted on LinkedIn