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Marketplace Masters: How Professional Service Firms Compete to Win Hardcover – April 30, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0275981198 ISBN-10: 0275981193

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Marketplace Masters: How Professional Service Firms Compete to Win + Law Firm Strategy: Competitive Advantage and Valuation + The Lawyer's Guide to Increasing Revenue
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275981193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275981198
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

.,."[A]n incisive view of why professional service firms truly are different, especially in the strategy and new business arenas. It offers revealing insights on why these firms often struggle with the challenges of strategy, marketing and business development--in ways that are unique to the realm of professional services....It demonstrates the positive impact of foresight in strategic market implementation, and it backs up its conclusions with hard research and proven trends. Marketplace Masters is a must-read for any principal or new business leader in a professional service company that wants to improve itself or grow."-Al Potter, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Gilbane Building Company

Book Description

Shows service professionals how to understand their shifting markets, organize to compete aggressively, and stimulate new business opportunities.


More About the Author

Suzanne Lowe, the founder of Expertise Marketing LLC, is a highly regarded consultant, author and speaker on professional service marketing strategy. She is the author of Marketplace Masters: How Professional Service Firms Compete to Win (Praeger Publishers: 2004), and The Integration Imperative: Erasing Marketing and Business Development Silos -- Once and for All -- in Professional Service Firms (Professional Services Books: 2009). She also publishes a blog, The Expertise Marketplace(tm).

Lowe serves as a corporate advisor for the marketing department of the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She also speaks for leading trade associations and in-house audiences, and writes for premier publications, including the Harvard Business Review and BusinessWeek. She facilitates Roundtables of Chief Marketing Officers from some of the world's most prestigious professional service firms.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael McLaughlin on March 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lowe's book is hard to ignore. It's a fact-based, in your face assessment of how poorly most profesional service firms market themselves. The data for Lowe's work was developed over a five year period, and she created an imperative for service firms to embrace the concept of Marketplace Mastery--and a way to do it.

Using a series of case studies, and research data, Lowe suggests that success for professional service firms requires a market-driven infrastrcture, which she maps out in the book.

Lowe is entering marketing territory that most professional service firms are just beginning to embrace, like data mining, the use of culture to compete and embedding innovation.

The book is well-written, but it's not a beach read. There's a depth of thought and analysis that practice leaders should review and find the parts that fit into their market strategy.

This is information that deserves to be widely heard in the market. I think the publisher and amazon should get together and find a way to offer a discount on this book, like they do for so many others. If they did that, the book would fly out of the warehouses.

Michael McLaughlin, coauthor with Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants.
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Format: Hardcover
Too many professional service firms compete by trying not to fail rather than by trying to win, according to Suzanne C Lowe in this book. They are engaged in a never-ending game of catch-up, rarely allowing themselves the time to try to gain an understanding of the entire marketplace context in which they compete, and avoiding real innovation by sticking to small improvements on existing products and services.

To become true marketplace masters, according to the author, firms need to build a "market-driven infrastructure", taking the small continuous steps needed to master their competitive arena so that they achieve competitive advantage on a daily basis, while being ready to make decisive, informed decisions about marketplace opportunities. The three elements of a market-driven infrastructure are:

* Looking Out: Researching clients, competitors and markets to detect market shifts and opportunities
* Digging Deeper: Doing targeted organisational and analytical work to discover unmet needs of clients and prospects
* Embedding Innovation: Deliberately incorporating support of innovation into a firm's practices and policies

While I agree that these three elements are useful components of a professional service firm's marketing program, I am not entirely convinced that they are the key elements, and I struggle to understand the demarcation between the first two elements, "looking out" and "digging deeper", both of which seem to relate to analytical research.

The book is now ten years old. Some of the examples now appear to be superseded, and some of the examples do not look highly convincing even in retrospect. The Internet and digital marketing have caused significant dislocation in the field of professional services marketing. Nonetheless, there is still a substantial amount of wisdom to be gained particularly by reading the first four chapters of the book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Hard hitting and compelling reading, it offers a brutally accurate assessment of the Professional Services Industry, as well as a cure."
Tom Markert , Global Chief Marketing Officer , ACNielsen
"Any professional services firm that makes the corporate commitment to embrace the practical concepts detailed in this book will leapfrog ahead of its competition by better understanding its markets and clients. The factual research and case studies eliminate the excuses for avoiding that commitment."
George Friedel, Senior Vice President, Director of Strategic Sales, Parsons Brinckerhoff
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nick Noyes on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This thorough and well-researched book addresses the Achilles Heel of most professional service firms: how to successfully market themselves. It dispels the myth that rigorous, systematic marketing disciplines cannot be appropriately and effectively applied to professional service firms. The eleven competencies are well-detailed, researched, and supported with credible data. The case studies should provide almost any PSF with a peer company to whom they can relate. This book will help you focus on real solutions to the unique challenges of marketing professional service firms.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Finally, a marketing book written about a subject (competition) that has been brushed aside by professional service firms for way too long. Lowe's call for firms to adopt a market-driven infrastructure is right on. "Infrastructure" is a mouthful, but this concept is exactly what our company needs. Lowe's book is refreshingly different in its specificity (tells us exactly how we can compete more effectively) and its practicality.
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