Sitting on my desk is a copy of the Marketing Handbook for the Design and Construction Professional, 3rd Edition, published by SMPS, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, based in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
Since its publication in summer, this enormous tome (it runs to over 600 pages with 64 chapters by 72 professional marketing experts) has been selling like hot cakes, and I’m indebted to Senior VP of SMPS, Lisa Bowman for making it possible for me to get hold of a copy. Marjanne Pearson, who asked Lisa to send me a copy, told me stories about how every time Lisa got my copy on her desk, someone snaffled it up for another reviewer or contact.
So what makes this book so popular?
Firstly it is the bible of marketing professional services in the US – SMPS has local chapters all over the US and Canada, and has its own qualification, Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM). The handbook acts as a useful reference guide for students of certification in particular, as well as students of marketing in general.
Secondly, it is comprehensive, with six sections covering what SMPS calls the ‘six domains of practice’:
- Market Research,
- Strategic, Business and Marketing Planning,
- Client and Business Development,
- Proposals and Qualifications
- Promotional Activity, and
- Marketing and Business Performance management.
For example, the section on Planning contains sixteen chapters on a huge range of issues including:
- Defining who you are and positioning your firm for success;
- The Niche Strategy; Strength through Focus (I’m a strong advocate of this);
- Developing and implementing a clear Marketing Program(mme);
- Marketing internationally;
- Evidence – Based marketing (using original research to position your firm as an expert);
- How Marketers can help prepare for the risks associated with Construction Projects;
- Revenue Risk Management; and
- What must you say to the Media during a Crisis?
The SMPS sees the Handbook as representing industry best practice in Marketing Professional Services, and as I read more, I’m hoping to share with you just a few of the ideas and issues which express what the leading US thinkers in professional services marketing have to say.
In the meantime if you would like to get hold of a copy yourself, wing over to the SMPS website where you can buy a copy online.