Professional services firms are struggling to land new clients by failing to "engage the right people" through marketing campaigns, new research suggests.
While some firms are able to secure lucrative recurring contracts, many others are dependent on one-off wins.
Analysis of responses from nearly 400 accountancy, IT and legal firms indicated more than half (51 per cent) were dissatisfied with either the quality or quantity, or both, of referrals they receive.
Nearly a third of firms do not measure how many new business enquiries are converted each month, or do not convert any. Financial services firms were worst in this regard, with over half not recording, or not converting, new business enquiries.
James Noble, a partner at Propero Partners which produced the research, said: "Bad quality or a low number of leads can point to a firm which isn't doing enough to engage with the right people."
However, Big Four accountants KPMG highlighted winning new work was not simply a result of marketing campaigns.
“It’s important to remember that professional services marketing is all about relationships," said KPMG marketing director Sam Burns.
The research revealed the professional services sector is very social media savvy. Some 82 per cent of firms surveyed had a LinkedIn page and 64 per cent used Twitter to promote business. The legal industry had the greatest percentage of active business social media profiles.