Consulting

Titans of industry: marketing and publicising your company’s industry-focused teams

By Ian Turvill, Freeborn & Peters LLP

Professional service companies commonly organise themselves along practice lines. For example, accountants offer advisory, audit, and tax services. Alternatively, companies can position themselves within certain industries, including particular niches and segments. A consulting firm might perhaps focus on food, and then specialise further on agriculture, ingredients, manufacturing or food service.

Over the past two years, Freeborn has complemented its traditional practice orientation with an industry-focused approach. We have refined our offerings to serve specific client needs and established clear points of differentiation. This has led to faster customer acquisition, a greater rate of cross-selling and, most importantly, a higher rate of revenue growth

If an organisation wants to step down the path towards industry orientation, we have ascertained five keys to success:

  • Key 1 – Client selection: identify a set of related market segments with a strong strategic fit with your company’s prior experience and greatest strengths
  • Key 2 – Solution orientation: define favourable outcomes in clients’ terms (e.g. “expand borrowing capacity”) rather than your own (e.g. “new loan arrangements”)
  • Key 3 – Thought leadership: invest in the development of intellectual capital to position your company as genuine experts while also building new internal capabilities
  • Key 4 – Cross-selling/share of wallet: consider the many ways in which the relationship with a client can grow, across your practice areas and across the client’s key decision makers
  • Key 5 – Collaboration across companies and national boundaries: bring many complementary services providers together in marketing and delivery efforts

GGI serves a special and unique purpose in achieving Key 5 as its member companies can reach across the network to bring groups with different capabilities and geographies together.

Freeborn achieved growth across several industry verticals, a range of marketing techniques were applied:

  • A new website emphasised industries as much as practices, and gave each industry space in which to share specific service offerings, relevant intellectual capitaland case studies. (See freeborn.com/industry/food as an example.)
  • An extensive media outreach campaign placed by lined articles and commentaries in industry-specific publications, including the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, Seafood Business and Food Safety Magazine.
  • Informative events were organised by partnering with a number of organisations, including Enterprise Ireland, an Irish development agency, with whom we organised a seminar on how food companies can accelerate growth in Europe.

Our efforts have firmly solidified our reputation as a highly capable company across various industries.

While your organisation might have the talent to be a jack-of-all-trades, being everything to everyone will not set it apart. The key to success is to identify client segments, assess skills and then tailor services offered to various target audiences. This will make it possible to create unique messaging that promotes competencies, while also backing up claims with outstanding levels of service. This will make a company truly stand out as a titan next to and ahead of competitors.

Are you interested in taking an industry-approach to marketing your professional services? Download a questionnaire at Freeborn.com/TitansOfIndustry to help assess your company’s target industries, solution offerings, intellectual capital and other key attributes needed to create a successful industry-focused strategy.


Ian Turvill, Chief Marketing Officer
Freeborn & Peters LLP, Chicago, IL, United States
T: +1 312 360 60 00
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Ian Turvill is Chief Marketing Officer at Freeborn & Peters LLP and oversees the company’s marketing functions, including marketing strategy, communications, public relations and corporate events. Before joining Freeborn, he worked in the marketing of professional services and technology. He has dual citizenship of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Freeborn & Peters LLP is a full-service law firm, headquartered in Chicago, with international capabilities. Freeborn supports its clients in the following legal disciplines: Litigation; Corporate Law; Real Estate and Land Use; Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights; and Government and Regulatory Law. While the company serves clients across a broad range of sectors, it has also pioneered an interdisciplinary approach that meets the specific needs of targeted industries, such as food; transportation, including railroads, trucking, and logistics and insurance and reinsurance.


published: March 2014

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