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AGENCY AND SUPPLIER NEWS: Consultants lost for words, says survey

Finding something distinctive to say is proving the biggest single challenge for the UK's £8 billion consulting industry.

Sourceforconsulting.com, in conjunction with Dow Jones, surveyed marketers, managers/partners and consultants from the consulting industry and found the challenge to find something different to say increased as firms get bigger.

Nearly two thirds of those surveyed see the role of marketing as more important to the consulting industry than it was five years ago. In larger firms, this figure rises to almost three quarters. However, the increased importance amongst larger firms is not translating into increased marketing expenditure.

Ed Haigh, report author and head of content and marketing at Sourceforconsulting.com commented: "Consulting firms' attempts to shout ‘pick me!' louder and in more exciting ways than their competitors - as well as their declining belief in the effectiveness of marketing as firms get bigger -  hints at the need to do more than simply increase investment in their marketing function."

The report also found marketing priorities for firms of all sizes are set to shift, with more time spent on developing online content, thought leadership, case studies, PR, planning, market/client research and industry-specific marketing, while less time will be spent on developing brochures, advertising, sponsorship and direct mailings.

The survey also found that marketers feel unloved in their companies. While consultants revealed themselves to be the biggest believers in marketing, only 38 per cent of marketers felt consultants valued their input. Likewise, while managers were unequivocally supportive of marketing, 24 per cent of marketers felt that it was not the case.