The 5 Domains of Marketing

July/August 2001
The 5 Domains of Marketing

As the mantra of “Client Service Management” sweeps through firms, and as articles appear about it in professional newsletters, people seem to be defining the term differently. To clarify, here are five domains needed for successful business development …

1. Identifying Strategic Markets.

The first key to your firm’s success is your ability to identify “Strategic Markets” that should enjoy healthy growth for many years … and are of interest to your people.

2. Identifying Strategic Clients in each Market.

Your next goal is to maximize the flow of work you secure from each “Strategic Client Organization” in that market. “Strategic” is defined differently by different firms. (E.g. a minimum dollar amount; clients who can award sole source repeat work.) Your goal here is to work for as many Strategic Client Organizations as possible.

3. Maximizing Work from Strategic Client Organizations.

Within each Strategic Client Organization, many individuals, or “Client Contacts,” have the authority to hire you. Your goal here is to work for as many as possible.

4. Maximizing Work from Key Client Contacts.

Each Client Contact may award a number of projects, requiring a variety of services, each year. Your goal is to provide as many services for as many projects as possible.

5. Providing Top Project Service and Results.

Each project, naturally, must be done in a way that: satisfies the technical requirements and goals for that project; keeps the client happy; is profitable; and is a professional growth opportunity for everyone on the project team.

In terms of names and responsibilities …

In the 5th domain …

The leader is most often titled “Project Manager” or “Project Director.” That person must meet deadlines, budgets, client requirements, and goals of your firm … staff development, profitability, solving technical challenges, etc.

In the 4th domain …

The leader is often titled “Client Manager” or “Client Contact Manager” or “Client Liaison.” This person is responsible for maintaining a strong relationship with the Client Contact, including ensuring client satisfaction, and (when the client is pleased) identifying and securing repeat work and referrals.

Because quality control must be done by a third party, it’s the Client Manager who must gather feedback from the Client Contact and help the Project Manager make mid-course adjustments. Success of a Client Manager is measured by the percent of work you get from that Client Contact, and the number of years you sustain the workflow.

In the 3rd domain …

The leader is often titled “Client Service Manager” or “Account Manager.” This person ensures a positive interpersonal fit between your Client Managers and their Client Contacts. At the outset, so your people initiate a relationship. Afterwards, ensuring they maximize the business opportunities from that relationship. Success of the Client Service Manager is measured by the percent of work your firm gets from that Strategic Client Organization, and by the number of years it’s sustained.

In the 2nd domain …

The leader is often titled “Market Leader” or “Market Segment Leader.” This person must identify as many Strategic Client Organizations as possible, and get a Client Service Manager assigned to each. Success of the Market Leader is measured by (estimated) market share obtained by your firm.

And in the 1st domain …

The leader is often titled “Director of Marketing.” That person’s success is measured by the percent of work your firm does in strong growth markets, by your overall cost of sale, and by your marketing system’s ability to help your firm reach desired goals … for growth, diversification, technical challenges, profitability.

Can a Market Leader also be … a Client Service Manager …

and a Client Manager …

and a Project Manager?

On occasion, yes. But it’s rare. The Client Service Manager must be, above all, a “system thinker” … systematically identifying Client Contacts, ensuring that someone from your firm develops an interpersonal bond with that Client Contact, ensuring that each Client Manager gets feedback, monitors project outcome (from a client satisfaction per-spective), and maximizes repeat work and referral opportunities.

The Client Service Manager

need not build a relationship with anyone

in that Strategic Client Organization.

As manager, it’s his or her job to ensure that someone from your firm builds that relationship. If the client organization has eight contacts, no one person can build a great bond with all eight. A few become friends; a few “Clients from Hell,” and few “fair.” The CSM’s job is not to build the bond, but to act like a matchmaker.

Firms often confuse the Client Manager’s role from that of the Client Service Manager. Clarifying the difference, regardless of title, can yield big dividends!

o o o o o o o o

We’ve been receiving a growing number of requests for a Mandeville “Train the Trainer” workshop. In response, we’ve created just such a program. It’s four days. Very intensive. Very small group. And provides both refined skills and experience in coaching others, in hands-on skill-building sessions. Cost is $2450, for: the personally-focused training, a full set of materials for conducting effective training sessions afterwards, and follow-up coaching, to be defined at session’s end by the participants.

We’ll conduct the workshop in Washington, D.C. But … rather than setting a date, if you (or one or two from your firm) wish to participate, just phone or email your interest, along with some dates that would be best for you. When responses come in, I’ll select a date that seems most convenient to most people, and send an announcement.

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