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Marketing Review 2023

Back in January, we explored several key marketing trends to focus on this year – artificial intelligence (AI), social initiatives like equality, diversity and inclusion, and the power of brand ambassadors.

The robots are coming…

AI has certainly been a hot topic all year, with originality, truthfulness and credibility being at the forefront for professionals. There are AI tools that can be used to improve the accuracy of repetitive tasks or to improve efficiency, but the conversation around generative AI and authenticity has left some fearing that they will be out of a job “when the computers take over”. Marketers and the creative industry have not been immune to this worry either. Ensuring common sense and the human touch prevail will be important for all businesses and help your customers and clients stay loyal to your brand.

Where has all the talent gone?

Throughout 2023, professional services business owners have been cautiously optimistic that the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind them, but many have had concerns that the cost-of-living crisis and high inflation rates would continue to impact day-to-day working. This seems to be stabilising, at last; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all your sleepless nights!

There has been a real worry about an increasing skills gap, with reports saying recruitment will continue to be impacted for the next few years. Thankfully, as we have seen with our own growing clients, there is a significant appetite to recruit among professional services businesses, however, finding the right people can be challenging. In September, we examined the importance of a recruitment marketing strategy to attract the best talent to your business. It has never been more important to let prospective new recruits know what sort of an organisation you are like to work for and if their beliefs and causes align with yours. Our recommendations included:

  • Reviewing your online presence regularly to keep ahead of the competition
  • Using social media to help demonstrate what sets you apart from other firms in your sector
  • Making the most of your employee brand ambassadors
  • Not ruling out paid advertising
  • Outsourcing to a recruitment marketing specialist if necessary

Colleagues with superpowers

The most valuable allies of your business are your employees. As brand ambassadors, they are already ‘walking the walk’ – they know your company inside out, and they know your clients. According to one Forbes article, employee brand ambassadors not only positively impact recruitment and staff retention, but they are also good for building customer trust in your brand.

Thought leadership need not just come from the top; colleagues of all levels in your organisation should be encouraged to join in. Those with niche expertise can share their stories – in November, we explored maximising thought leadership opportunities through LinkedIn and other professional networks. What better way of adding value to your target audience and building brand awareness?

Social Proof for the win!

We love talking about Social Proof and the power of endorsement and testimonials from your happy clients and industry collaborators. In October, we highlighted some of the many ways to keep the momentum going so that you never run out of new ideas, including sharing milestones, sending out client surveys and adding new case studies to your website.

Not only does up-to-date social proof enhance other people’s views of your brand, but the search engines also love it, something we investigated back in March when we talked about Google’s Search Engine Results Page rankings.

Are you ready for 2024?

Google’s acronym E-E-A-T, centred around Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust, might primarily relate to its search quality guidelines, but these are certainly the buzzwords to keep front of mind going into the New Year.

It’s time to get all your marketing ducks (or baubles!) in a row for 2024… Partner with us and we can tailor-make and deliver a marketing strategy that suits your needs and budget – helping you focus on getting on with what you do best.

Contact us by calling 0333 050 6015 or emailing

About the author

Alison O'Neill

Account Manager, Alison, is a former Forensic Scientist who moved into professional services marketing in 2008 and is a Chartered Marketer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

Marketing for Professional Services

Cal Partners

The go-to strategic marketing partner for ambitious professional services