February 18, 2020 (Reston, VA) – High-growth professional services firms grew 3X faster than average and were 2X more likely to be highly profitable than their no-growth peers, according to the Hinge Research Institute’s 2020 High Growth Study: All Professional Services Edition. How do they achieve this growth? By doubling-down on digital marketing strategies.

The study analyzed the marketing habits of over 1,000 professional services firms with a combined $70 billion in annual revenues and over one million combined full-time employees. It found that the firms that generated more than 66% of their leads from online sources grew more than 2X as fast as those that generated fewer than 33%—and were twice as profitable as their no-growth counterparts.

More specifically, high-growth firms were 2X more likely than their low-growth peers to prioritize marketing technology and automation and favored several digital and content marketing techniques – being 3X more likely to use digital ads, 2X more likely to use video and podcasts, and 50% more likely to use downloadable content and SEO.

“We’re seeking to understand what drives extraordinary growth in professional services,” said Lee Frederiksen, Managing Partner at Hinge. “Despite shifts in buyer behavior, a challenging recruiting environment, and technology advances that overwhelm marketing departments, some firms still grow and thrive. These high-growth firms are getting in front of today’s market changes by conducting frequent research on their target audience, investing more in digital marketing techniques, and building the skills of their marketing teams.”

Other notable findings include:

  • High-growth firms were 3X more likely to conduct frequent research on their target audience and saw 30% more impact on average from conducting and publishing primary research.
  • High-growth firms were 75% more likely to have a Visible Expert on staff. In expertise-based businesses, having highly visible subject matter experts can be a massive branding and marketing asset.

Study participants represented a wide range of professional services industries including consulting, accounting and financial services, government contracting, software/technology, marketing/communications, architecture, engineering & construction, human resources/staffing, and legal.

Access the Report: Download the free executive summary of the research here.

About the Hinge Research Institute: We conduct and publish independent research on professional services firms to uncover the marketing strategies of high-growth firms and give B2B companies and associations the data and insights they need to understand and profit from the professional services industry.

Contact: For media inquiries email Lana Sansur at [email protected].