David Maister - Professional Business, Professional Life
David’s ResourcesAbout David
NEW! Browse my materials by topic of interest:StrategyManagingClient RelationsCareersGeneral

Passion, People and Principles

Marketing the Marketing Consultants

post # 349 — April 6, 2007 — a Careers, Client Relations post

There are now a HUGE number of consultants who advise professional firms out there, and probably the specialty with the largest number of practitioners is advising professional firms how to market themselves.

Which, of course, raises the question of how these marketing consultants go about marketing themselves.

As an author or blogger, I receive a large number of requests to endorse or review books being published by these marketing consultants, and it’s very hard to be selective. Most of them are eminently sensible, but I have to confess that few make me sit up and say “Wow, I never thought of that!”

But then again, perhaps I’m not really the target audience for these books. Many of the authors are trying to serve people NEW to thinking about marketing, not observers, practitioners and consultants like me who, for better or for worse, have been trying to make sense of it for a long time.

So, I’m actually not in a position to evaluate how effectively these books serve their marketplace — what may strike ME as simplistic and familiar may actually be a very useful way of presenting really useful ideas and suggestions. It’s just that I’m too jaded to tell.

As a result, if I don’t review your book or give you an endorsement, it may be a GOOD sign that you have written your manuscript well, for a completely different audience.

One of the problems of being around for a while is that an idea needs to be really new or counter-conventional to stand out, while the truth is that the need out there is not for new ideas, but for old wisdom communicated in better ways that can command attention in ways as the old ways lose their effectiveness due to familiarity (or from the simple fact of being old.)

But then, that’s probably what all consultants have been doing from time immemorial.


Andrea said:

As one who is exploring the world of web site creating and blogging, I find you are very consistent in your marketing. The letter “P” pops up regularly: Passion, People and Principles as your blog title and Practice What You Preach as your book title. I, too, like that letter and use the words passionate, practice, etc. I am grateful for the knowledge, wisdom and inspiration you provide your readers!

posted on April 6, 2007

Ashutosh Wakankar said:

It is really tragic that the word marketing has been corrupted beyond recognition. The very mention of the word conjures up images of inveiglement and deceit and being forced to do buy something that you don’t need. About 20 years ago a gentleman named Stephen King (not the fiction writer) at JWT, the ad agency wrote some seminal stuff on the theory of how marketing and brand building works. I am yet to come across a more cogent theory of how marketing works. Increasingly it has come to symbolize the bells and whistles to be added at the end of the process to provide the gloss on the real substance.

In that context, your thoughts on what marketing really means provides a highly humanistic perspective which is again a refreshing one.

I wish there was an effort at reinventing this discipline in a manner that brings back the pride of place it commanded at one point in time. Essentially it means being focused on a caring for your customer but increasingly managements across the board are so self-centred that the capacity to listen and relate to what the customer wants is hardly there. They will spend hours analysing data which has very little to do with real concerns of their customers and all the energies will be spent in coming up with some clever techniques by which a few customers can be tricked into buying their product or services.

If you ahve not been reading books about marketing, my submission to you would be that there is hardly anything worth reading in that space and it is not even old wine in new bottle. It is old wine in old bottles with once again clever packaging.

posted on April 8, 2007

listr said:

along with all this.. there is a nice little index page i use as a bookmark to quickly read thru every morn. http://www.netreputation.co.uk/pr

the page lists everything PR and saves me an hour everyday

posted on April 9, 2007

Priam said:

I liked the title of your article. LOL:)

posted on May 15, 2007