Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The 4th Level of Bloom's: Analysis/Synthesis
Now don't get too excited over the title to this blog post. I know you are all dying to read what I have to say about the 4th level of Bloom's taxonomy, but I actually want to tie together a little bit about how WOM realtes to the consulting business. On Tuesday, we had a guest speaker come to our Consultation Skills class and talk to us a bit about the consulting business. His name was Dr. Devin Smith, a manager with The Frankel Group, a consulting firm with offices in Cambridge. He touched upon a lot of different subjects; what working as a consultant is like, how time consuming the job can be, what ranks there are in most consulting firms, how much people in the business make. But what really drew my attention was the talk about marketing a consultant firm and its services.
Just like we've learned in our WOM class, word-of mouth was the best way Dr. Smith suggested to market a consulting firm. Someone is often looking for some outside help, brings it up in conversation with a friend, then that person refers you to a firm their company just had success dealing with. The key here is keeping current customers happy. Where have we heard that before? The best thing to do is to stick with the clients who appreciate your services, and continually come back to your company for help. In our consultation class, we've been reading Sue Dewine's, The Consultant's Craft. She too mentions word-of-mouth as being a really effective way for consulting firms to market themselves. She refers to this type of marketing as "indirect marketing". According to Dewine, "the first principle of marketing for consultants is to satisfy current customers." Just like what we've learned in our WOM class, you need to keep current clients happy. Special, VIP treatment can do wonders for an organization. Repeat customers can be social influencers and hopefully consumer loyalits to your company. With a solid group of satisfied customers, positive word-of-mouth will spread quicker than you think.
Now I know it'd be tough to develop a WOM marketing campaign for a consulting firm. I mean think about it, is the consulting business really all that interesting? I guess that depends who you ask, but for most of us probably not. However, this is one of those examples where a company can take advantage of really simple, traditional WOM aspects. There's really no need for product seeding, or an advergame, or a online community with team specialists and viral media players. All a company needs are a few important things: a good product, loyal customers, and people willing to share information about the company with others.
Pulling together information from both the Consultation Skills and the WOM class is no easy task, but it's interesting to see those few times when the two subjects actually relate and intertwine to one another. Anyway, that's my best shot at the 4th level of Bloom's Taxonomy, I hope Professor Dallimore is proud.