A Market Assessment and Strategy Sets the Stage to Reposition a Big Four Practice Group

A leading human capital intelligence practice of a Big Four accounting firm engaged Broderick to assess market needs and trends and provide direction for an integrated sales and market approach. The firm had evolved from providing a low-priced product to a complex consultative service offering and needed to appeal to a more sophisticated, broader market. They wanted to assess the market perception of the firm, test service offerings, and develop a deeper understanding of the buying process in order to more effectively position themselves and sell their services.

Engagement Plan

The Broderick team began the engagement with an external market assessment. We worked together with the client to develop a target interview list of clients and non-clients in mid to large size companies. Our client wanted to test buying propensity in two functional areas — finance and human resources — so the target interview list contained a mix of HR and finance executives. We developed a survey questionnaire to gather feedback on current and future needs, perceptions of capabilities and services, purchasing processes and opinions of specific service offerings.

Broderick conducted 60 in depth interviews, analyzed the data and developed a detailed report on the findings. Based on the market feedback, we developed a profile of the highest opportunity buyers mapped by needs and service offerings. We then developed a strategy and plan that focused activities on three key priority areas:

Brand Awareness — Feedback indicated that the firm’s brand was beginning to show signs of erosion. Broderick developed a new value proposition for the firm and launched a multi-channel, integrated marketing and sales approach to reposition the firm as a market leader.

Client Relationship Management — The firm received high ratings from its clients. However, feedback also indicated that the firm had transactional customers rather than long-term client relationships. The interviews also indicated that clients were open to developing deeper relationships with the firm. Broderick developed a client relationship program designed to transform transactional customers into loyal clients.

Key Themes and Recommendations

Service Offerings — The interviews indicated that the firm’s service offerings showed a lack of innovation. Feedback also reflected that the market was receptive to new and enhanced service offerings. Broderick identified opportunities to bundle services into more attractive offerings, recommended upgrades to current services, and suggested several new innovative offerings.

The Bottom Line

Broderick’s recommendations validated some of the firm’s assumptions, challenged others, and clarified the target market and highest opportunity buyers. Our client was extremely pleased with the market feedback and is planning to continue to embed the “voice of the client” into their strategic planning. Broderick is working with the firm to implement the revitalized market and sales strategy.

An Executive Leadership Firm Determines its Direction

Advising a team that coaches Fortune 500 CEOs and top executives is a tough challenge. When this Oregon-based firm needed to position itself for an acquisition with a global company, they turned to Broderick to develop a client relationship strategy to strengthen and cement their base prior to the transition.


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