Professional service firms grow faster with online marketing

Online, or digital, marketing delivers faster growth and higher profits for professional service firms. That’s according to Hinge Research Institute and their findings from an online survey of 500 professional service firms.  Their findings include:

Online marketing by professional service firms increases their profitability

Greater online lead generation leads to greater total profitability. The survey found that firms generating more than 60% of new business leads via online marketing are two times more profitable than those generating less than 20% of new business leads online.

Online marketing is widespread and poised for growth

  • The survey found that more than 77% of firms generate at least some new business leads online.
  • 46% of firms have redesigned their website within the past year.
  • About 66% of firms plan to increase online spending in the next 12 months. The average anticipated increase is 56%.

Hinge asks, “Why is it that firms that generate a higher percentage of online leads are more profitable?” Their data was inconclusive, but they suggest that is could be due to online marketing being less costly than traditional marketing over the long term. Once a firm is getting good results in searches, the incremental costs decrease.

To add my two cents, I think another factor is that when a prospect chooses to interact with your firm it is “sold on your ability to deliver the goods,” so to speak. They are comfortable and confident in your firm, to a relatively high extent and less sensitive about the fees. Furthermore they probably have reached a pain point where they are ready to act in obtaining a solution for the challenge.

 Online recruiting is also widespread

• 55% of firms recruit employees online.

• About 1 in 4 firms attract 40% or more new hires online.

Personally, I’ve noticed how the career section on websites has expanded and how some of the larger professional service firms have put together video shows discussing their firm’s culture and the benefits of being an employee. I’ve also seen an explosion in job ads on LinkedIn. And many of them specifically state they only want responses from principals, no agencies.




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