Discount or Die? Marketing Services in an ocean of hungry piranhas
The Professional Services marketplace in a slow-growing economy is much like a pond full of piranhas. In fact, it could be likened to a hungry, swarming marketplace full of piranhas trying to eat the same meal as the fish next to them in the pond. They clamber over one another trying to get to the food first, jumping at the food with their ragged teeth, trying to out-jump each other to reach it first.
Competition is fierce out there at the moment. With government work abating, little capital flowing into private property markets, and the infrastructure sector “on hold”, less money is finding its way down the food chain to the consultants that provide services to our core Aussie industries.
Industry functions and events are full of hungry services providers, looking for new clients, new information, or an edge that might get them the next job. Directors are pushing their staff out the door, compelling them to bring in revenue, and find new business. But how can they when the work simply isn’t there? The marketplace is so overloaded with services providers that the angst can be seen at every industry function, event and topical luncheon. People are lining up to build relationships. Are you?
From a marketing perspective it is delightful to see. There was a point where relationships got “lost”. People didn’t need a relationship to win work in the boom… all they needed was availability and the ability to see the project schedule out. Even price rarely mattered.
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Just two years ago, people would throw a tender response together, add 20% to their top price, and wink to their junior as they submitted a cut-and-paste catastrophe of a submission with minimal effort. And they would win the bid! This was simply because everyone was so busy that many chose not to submit, or simply had no resources.