The fact that KPMG is one of the most recognised brands in professional business services does not mean that marketing is somehow less needed. Nevertheless, marketing is very different for KPMG, more than anything, it comes down to building meaningful relationships. As the head of marketing and communications, Lita has been with the company for nearly five years and can share the ins and outs of what it means to market a brand that everyone already knows.
What’s the role of marketing in KPMG? What are the main KPIs?
As many are probably aware, KPMG provides a wide range of professional business services like tax and business advisory, legal services and auditing. And in order for us to deliver on those complex tasks, we need to have the best talent in town, meaning that employer branding is a very important topic for us.
On a more general scale, our role is to build brand awareness and promote our experts and services. Content marketing plays a very important role here. We run publications on our own channels (website, social media) as well as external media. These include market research, industry analysis and trend reports which are linked to specific KPMG experts in particular fields. We also organise various business events and conferences.
Compared to B2C, the sales cycle is much longer in B2B, hence it’s difficult to measure the impact of a singular marketing activity. The decision making can take months – so many activities can happen during this period that it’s hard to pinpoint the one with the biggest impact. Saying that, we do measure reach, engagement and participation level at our events.
How do you convert that reach or engagement to actual business? As you said, it’s very hard to track.
I think it’s about having a clear strategy with set priorities and a more holistic approach to marketing. For instance, digitalisation has been a crucial topic for businesses all over the world. You take that topic and you stick to it for a longer period of time. Or recently, it was all about cyber security, so we did a lot of content around that. Our cyber team tripled in the span of three years. Our goal is to bring insight and share knowledge with our existing and potential clients.
Interested in learning more about content marketing at KPMG? Lita is one of the speakers at our upcoming seminar in Riga.
What about promoting your experts? How do you know that, for example, Janis from KPMG is more respected than Arturs from company B?
Again, it’s about setting priorities. If you work consistently on content, creating insightful pieces for media, ensuring your experts share their knowledge on key industry trends – it’s just a matter of time when they become recognised by media, clients and other relevant stakeholders like conference producers. It might not happen in two or even six months, but if you work diligently, the results will follow.
KPMG is a global brand and surely, they create valuable content for their offices all over the world. How much content is produced locally and how much is adopted from global initiatives?
KPMG operates in 145 countries and territories and there’s a lot of valuable content, especially when it comes global tendencies. However, we need to find the local angle to be relevant for our market, a lot of content is produced locally. Otherwise, we will lose relevance with the media, clients and other local stakeholders.
How do you motivate your experts to provide content? It’s a big problem for many companies because these pieces are produced on top of their main tasks.
Sounds very familiar indeed, especially with specialised media where expert pieces are needed. As mentioned, it’s about prioritising. Sometimes you have to decline the less important pieces and put all your energy in that single priority piece.
Actually, there is something I can recommend to help motivate your experts. When it comes to specialised media, I ask for the statistics behind published articles. And when it turns out that instead of just 20 people, thousands have actually read the article, it’s very motivating for them to keep writing. Especially considering that readers have bought subscriptions, meaning that they are genuinely interested in the content.
Do you use ghost writers or junior staff to help produce those articles?
With some very important pieces we do join forces from time to time.
Considering the long sales cycle, how do you align marketing and sales operations?
It’s a bit different with us. We have a holistic approach and we don’t have a separate sales team. The people working with clients are also doing sales and producing content. We do have sales meetings where all aspects are discussed, including possible touch points for collaborations. Of course everyone’s busy and it’s often up to marketing to push and encourage them to do specific tasks.
KPMG, EY Baltics, Omniva, New Black Latvia, Tele2 and Printful are just some of the brands we'll be speaking about at our upcoming seminar. Click here to learn more about the programme.