I saw a quote by the Chief Marketing officer of GE this week. She said:
“Fear doesn’t create great marketing. It creates safe marketing.”
It resonated because I’ve been saying the same thing (or similar) for years.
There’s a tendency, particularly in B2B marketing, and even more so in professional services marketing, to play it safe.
Most ‘advertising’ from professional services firms is bland, turgid stuff.
There’s a ‘herd’ mentality.
Remove the logo from most accountants’ websites and replace it with another one – and you probably wouldn’t notice the difference.
And it strikes me as odd, because surely the point of advertising is to stand out from the crowd, not become a part of it?
So what prevents these businesses from thinking creatively?
Is it fear?
Or something else?
Accountancy firms are run by accountants. Solicitors firms run by solicitors.
Most professional services firms don’t give marketers a seat at the table. Marketing is often treated as an operational function. A cost.
And in a recession, businesses want to keep costs down.
But when really intelligent marketing has the power to transform a business from an ‘also ran’ to a leading light, is it really a risk to invest properly in marketing?
Or is it too risky not to?