Despite the fact that technology networks are the foundation of much of modern society, the services provided by technology companies and utilities have been a relatively neglected area of study. Books and conferences have been held on the marketing of consumer services, hospitality services, financial services and professional services. Very little, though, has been said about marketers who routinely deal with the work of engineers. Yet they include some of the largest and most famous businesses in the world: IBM, BT, Fujitsu, Ericsson, Michelin, Virgin, Nokia and HP. Marketing in technology sectors has been generally erratic and inconsistent. In some businesses it is depressingly tactical. Marketers with little experience, and even less professional training run around presenting PowerPoint decks to each other, chasing after the latest fad and throwing erratic, changing activities at the market each quarter. Many work on an unchallenged assumption that markets are fast changing and that customers only want least cost. Yet this industry has liberated human imagination in the internet and convinced the world that they must have a pc and a mobile phone. Some of the leading firms in it are now turning their attention to services.
Laurie Young, MBA, DipM, FCIM, is an internationally recognised specialist in themarketing and selling of services, and one of the few independent advisers to the professions who has himself been a partner in a leading firm. Laurie’s career has included senior positions with BT, Unisys and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and he has also founded, built and sold his own consultancy company.
Laurie now divides his time between consultancy work (including teaching on the Executive Education Programme of Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania), public speaking and writing. As a consultant he assists senior executives and marketing professionals, providing guidance with the resolution of strategic marketing issues, brand strategy, new service design and client care programmes. Amongst Laurie’s recent assignments he has Chaired Fujitsu's ‘Customer Experience Management’ panel and is on the Innovation Board of Allen & Overy. Over the years his clients have also included Russell Reynolds Associates, Deloitte, Phillips, Lucent, Clifford Chance, Ericsson, Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft, the BBC, Cable & Wireless, American Express, Nokia and BDO Stoy Hayward.
A popular presenter, Laurie speaks at a range of events every year from in-company seminars to larger international conferences. He also enjoys writing and, in addition to contributed articles and expert comment in the national press, Laurie has had over a hundred articles on service marketing published in various trade journals.
Laurie has written chapters for edited books on the IT industry and has had three books published to date. Of these, Marketing The Professional Services Firm (Wiley, July 2005) combines deep knowledge of the professional services industry with sound service marketing theory, whilst From Products To Services (Wiley, April 2008) draws on case studies of many leading international companies to trace the steps manufacturing businesses go through to become successful service providers.
Laurie’s work is attracting increasing interest in Asia, with a Chinese language edition of From Products To Services being published in March 2009. His latest book,Marketing the Technical Services Firm, has been published in early 2010.