Doing business online with consultants - #6

With so many products to choose from and even more recipes to use them in, peanut butter brands actively coach their customers to find what they need. Most prominent are the filters the brands apply to narrow down the customer's search. They can filter on occasion (school, weekend, holiday, a festive day), the audience (family, kids, adults), dietary requirements, availability of other ingredients, preparation time, and several other factors. Customers can often submit their recipes. As peanut butter also serves the gym-loving and body-building adults, peanut butter brands must simultaneously cater to widely different audiences' needs.

Consultancy firms face a similar challenge. They have to help a wide variety of clients (like multinationals, government clients, niche players, and mid-size firms) to navigate through a maze of knowledge and experience. The first and most crucial step is to help (potential) clients scope their business issues. Remember the neurologist who will not ask: "How would you like to be operated?" That's not how hospitals do it. But that is how consultancy firms do it. Say, a client has an internal issue with individual managers because their product innovation level doesn't support the transformation the client has to implement in his industry sector. Does he need to talk to the HR practice, the innovation consultants, the digital transformation partners, or the industry specialists? You would think a simple chatbot would do the trick of helping the client to start his journey where he should.

Think again. While peanut butter brands offered extensive filters to help their customers navigate, the consultancy firms did not. Approx. 80% had examples of their projects scattered around, so if the client does recognize his situation in one of these, he's fine. These projects examples were always – and on all websites – limited to a specific practice—there was nothing about more complex cross-practice client problems. Consultancy firms could offer a chatbox, pilot questionnaire, or a simple set of interactive qualifying questions to help with the scoping. None of them did. The only websites that indicated various 'quality levels' of consultants were consultancy firms that specialize in consultants' brokerage (like Comatch).

The peanut butter firms do not win because their filtering is advanced compared to consultants. They win because a scoping alternative was utterly absent on the consultancy firms' websites.


PRAIORITIZE is the world’s first SaaS platform for Virtual Consultancy. We use artificial intelligence to help organizations digitally transform in a smart, efficient and science-based way. PRAIORITIZE is owned and operated by Transparency Lab, a Dutch employee-owned company. We started in 2008, understood patterns around 2016 and started with generative A.I. in 2020.

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