In today's knowledge-based economy, service professionals, such as consultants, lawyers, accountants, architects, advertising agencies, IT specialists, and financial advisors, face a dazzling array of opportunities and challenges. In order to compete effectively, they need a disciplined approach for detecting market shifts, harnessing their competitive advantages, and developing service offerings that will attract the most profitable clients. Drawing from a five-year study covering thousands of firms, Suzanne Lowe presents the three building blocks of a market-driven infrastructure—looking out, digging deeper, and embedding innovation—and identifies eleven core skills that any service firm can apply to master the marketplace and achieve lasting competitive success.
Integrating insights from the fields of marketing, service management, planning, and entrepreneurship, and showcasing the successful strategies of such firms as Towers Perrin, DDB Worldwide, and Egon Zehnder International, Lowe shows service professionals how to gather intelligence about their clients, competitors, and marketplace; promote a market-driven culture throughout the organization; and engage in continuous research and development to introduce new services. Mastering these skills will enable readers to be better prepared to face changes in the market, and make decisive, informed decisions about opportunities that will prove right in the long term.