To support my training courses and workshops, I keep an eye out for interesting marketing and business development case studies. Today I summarise professional services marketing/BD case studies – Moore Kingston Smith, Mazars, Fladgate, Travers Smith, Mills & Reeve. There are case studies of thought leadership, branding, pricing and strategy. As well as professional services winners in brand and reputation awards.

Moore Kingston Smith (accountants) – Real estate thought leadership

This campaign comprises a series of seven opinion articles (“The state of the global real estate industry”) exploring investment opportunities in UK real estate sharing economic data (inflation and global growth forecasts).

  • “Investment in the global real estate market was nearly $11.5 trillion in 2021 and is projected to increase to over $30.5 trillion by 2031”.
  • It includes research from leading real estate experts like JLL: “Among all real estate sectors, JLL’s data shows that the living/multi-housing sector made up the largest share of investment in 2022, at 32%, dropping slightly to 30% in 2023. The office sector now stands second at 23%, with industrial and logistics at 20%, the retail sector at 14%, and the remaining 12% being made up by other investment categories” and Savills. So packaging up useful information and getting onto the radar of potential referrers.
  • It raises the profile of the firm’s Head of Real Estate and Construction, Guy Richardson

The state of the global real estate industry in 2023 – Moore Kingston Smith ( 2023

Mazars (accountants) – C-suite barometer thought leadership

Insight from 800 executives across 27 countries to learn what business leaders think amidst a backdrop of inflation and economic instability, growing regulations and geopolitical tensions.

There’s web and social media content about the key findings (e.g. 90% of UK C-suite executives have a positive outlook for growth in 2023). There are infographics of top trends and insights on key issues (e.g. digitalisation, sustainability, diversity and talent).

It supports the firm’s core markets with separate content on topics of potential interest including mobility, consumer and public sector.

You can download a 27-page report (did they miss a trick by not asking people to enter email details beforehand?) Mazars C-suite barometer 2023 – Mazars – United Kingdom

 Although not specific to professional services, there was a helpful article on unlocking thought leadership through great interviews in June – with insights from former FT and Times writers. Finding the stories: unlocking thought leadership through great interviews – FirstWord Media.

Capsticks (lawyers) – Four pillars of strategy

The three-office firm’s third five-year plan was presented during a “Quarterly tea break” to over 600 staff (74 partners). The firm has a sector focus on health/social care, emergency services and housing. There are 15 people in M&BD – eight in BD and bids and seven in marketing, communications and events. The firm achieved 11% growth (year end April) taking revenue to £56 million.

The four pillars for strategic growth:

  • Smart growth that’s good for business
    • A Local Government team was formed in June 2023. Campaigns are run on the big issues facing clients. For example, a “first 100 days” campaign was launched after the NHS introduced its new Integrated Care Boards in summer 2022. The campaign comprised webinars, videos and insight and resulted in 2,900 points of contact with people
  • Go-to advisors that clients want by their side
    • Its third client survey measuring the same things so that a benchmark is formed. Satisfaction rates continue to rise (from 2019 to 2021 surveys from 85% to 88%).
  • Connected expertise – to help us perform as one team
    • 67% success rate in tenders
    • The firm offers two diplomas – in clinical risk and claims management (established in 2000) and in housing which is endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (from January 2023). Capsticks is the only firm to offer these courses
  • Motivated teams – who thrive and succeed
    • The head of marketing is one of the firm’s mentors, regularly meeting six individuals who are new partners or other highfliers

There was an article in the July/August 2023 PM Forum magazine (members only PM Forum)

Fladgate (lawyers) promoting brand with relationships

The BD Consultancy worked with the Director of Strategy at Fladgate to develop a training intervention. Having conducted a rebrand, the firm was looking for tailored, interactive training sessions that would help lawyers embed these unique values in relationship development.

Workshops brought to life the proactive and personal approach in client conversations. This improved the effectiveness of networking events. They used actors and client case studies so lawyers could practice in realistic scenarios.

80 partners have been trained in relationship development. And they have increased confidence to drive BD activity.

Bringing a London law firm’s brand to life in client interactions | The BD Consultancy

Mills & Reeve (lawyers) pricing strategy

Mills & Reeve, which has strongholds across Cambridge and the Golden Triangle, increased turnover by 12 per cent to a record high £147 million for 2022-23. The result topped the firm’s ambitious planned growth target of 11.4 per cent. The firm also announced a record all-staff bonus pool of £2.6m, meaning staff received between £2,327 and £2,676 depending on length of service.

Multiple strategies and initiatives contributed, one of which is pricing strategy and execution. But improving revenue and profitability through pricing sophistication isn’t simply about the firm. The client perspective is also crucial. Clients expect:

  • Greater price transparency
  • Greater budgetary certainty
  • Frank and honest pro-active initial discussion and exploration of options around the inevitable trade-offs between what a client needs, what they want, what is necessary and their budget
  • Better and more timely ongoing communication as projects and costs morph
  • A more refined understanding of the cost/value correlation
  • Performing to a very high level on these criteria sets firms like Mills & Reeve apart.

Travers Smith (law) rebrand

This was a case study from Passle (I first wrote about Passle in 2016 Passle for content creation and distribution – Grow your experts ( It’s the story of a successful rebrand by Julie Stott who is CMO at leading law firm Travers Smith. The summary shows:

  • Where do you start?
    • Identify what the firm wants to be famous for and how it can differentiate itself from other similar firms
    • Identify the brand gap. Look at what the firm currently is and stands for and what your clients think the firm is and stands for.  This gives you the brand gap.
  • Decisions and challenges:
    • Educate partners and fee-earners alike on what a rebrand actually is – the whole brand experience including recruitment and talent
    • Choose a creative agency partner carefully and preferably one that totally understands your industry and structure of the firm
    • Build a brand steering group that includes people in all sorts of roles and backgrounds at the firm
    • Build the mother of all project plans
    • Remember this is not a marketing project but a full firm initiative
    • Your success metrics will be quite intangible
  • Getting buy-in:
    • Engage with key stakeholders from the outset. This can be the managing partner and members of the board
    • Look to appease everyone all the way through the process through inclusion. Senior level all the way down to junior and include those that are already onboard but also the trickier ones to convert as well.

Julie concluded with the fact that this was not a small or short project.  It took two years in total but they have had brilliant recognition and her team at Travers Smith have received the ultimate reward through positive internal and external feedback as well as winning multiple awards

Brand Management and Reputation Awards – 2023

While talking of awards, there were numerous professional service winners in these awards including:

  • Gold:
    • Stewarts for best blog/podcast of the year
    • Best Overall PR – Kingsley Napley (Bronze for Collas Crill)
    • Mishcon de Reya for Best Social Media Marketing (Rawlinson & Hunter Silver award)
    • RBC Brewin Dolphin for Best Marketing Strategy (Mills & Reeve Bronze award)
    • Career achievement for Louise Willows at Rathbones (Silver for Claire Farrely at Forsters)
    • Ellie Stuchfield of Watson Farley & Williams for Best Marketing Executive (Bronze Josephen Bauermeister, RSM International)
    • Sophie Lawson of Fladgate for Best Digital Marketing Individual
    • Best newcomer Gold for Ella Blampid, Carey Olsen (Silver for Matthw Melhuish at Hodge Jones & Allen)
  • Silver:
    • Withers for Best Events Programme of the Year
    • Best Marketing & Communication Director – David Wilson at Irwin Mitchel (Bronze for Samantha Maher, Stewarts)
  • Bronze:
    • Kingsley Napley for Best use of LinkedIn (Silver Hunters Law and Gold Irwin Mitchell)
    • Pennington Manches Cooper Corporate thought leadership – Crypto
    • Kristina Engesaeth, Savills for Best CRM individual
    • Hayley Duggan, Wilberforce Chambers – BD/Relationship Manager of the Year
    • Lydia Buckingham, Stewarts for Best Marketing & Communication Manger/Associate Director

Brand Management & Reputation Awards 2023 – results (