A Successful Marriage: Marketing & IT Working Together

Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend the LMA-LA Chapter’s Continuing Marketing Education event where big ideas were brought to life. Our own Jennifer Whittier and Sam Shipley participated in the Cross Collaborations that Work segment of the conference.

Their session A Successful Marriage: Marketing & IT Working Together provided best practices and insights to succeed with technology. By collaborating together marketing and IT departments can identify and prioritize investments that grow into business for a firm. Here are a few best practices for collaboration:

  • Hold quarterly meetings with both departments to discuss projects and road blocks
  • Review the annual marketing budget together before submission so everyone knows what to expect
  • Discuss new large cross department projects at the outset
  • Make sure project plans and timing are discussed and agreed to
  • Communication and documentation are key in a successful partnership
  • Get to know each other personally by having team activities or social gatherings
  • Encourage/invite CIO to participate in committees such as client team meetings
  • Help market each other internally and give recognition and appraisal

The session wrapped up by leaving the audience members in laughter as the differences in the thought process between the two departments were showcased.

Mktg v. IT

For more information on the conference visit their website: http://lmalaconference.la/ or check out the conference tweets #LMACME.

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Developing Powerful Individual Marketing Plans

At last week’s LMA-MN luncheon we had the ability to attend Ross Fishman’s presentation Developing Powerful individual Marketing Plans. Fishman discussed marketing plans, budgeting, differentiation, and marketing best practices.
Here are the five key takeaways from the luncheon:

1. Lack of Focus
The number one mistake in coming up with a marketing plan is a lack of focus.
Focus

2. You CAN’T Do Everything
Marketers should help identify who the right people are to target by focusing on a narrow audience. It is also important to remember that you can do more with less if you try. Fishman suggests using more “creative tactics” to reach your audience as it is cheaper. By being bold the work is more memorable. We loved the example below…Advertisement
Which ad gets your attention for the divorce lawyer? I guess he does look hard
at work in the left and who doesn’t love reading lots of text… NOT.

3. Decide Who You Are Then OWN It
This was a great point that came from the presentation. You can never be everything to everyone, but you can find your niche. For example a firm could say they are the “finance expert” but what does that mean? If there is a specialty such as “aircraft finance,” own it and dominate that market.

4. Do One Thing Well
Fishman brought up a great point… What do you do if you only have enough money to do one thing well? He gave an example Don’t just check a box (we have a blog, check) but determine what is effective and needed to do the project well.

5. Re-Use Re-Make Repurpose
As resources continue to be stretched thin, don’t remake the wheel but rather repurpose it. Content marketing will continue to be a key asset in the future. Repurpose content to maximize your initial efforts.

Old Model: Speak, leave, pray.

NEW Model: Cut it up and spread it across the internet! Re-use the content you worked so hard to create by either using the entire thing or by segmenting it into sections:

  • Videotape: put the content on Vimeo, YouTube, and your website
  • Audiotape: edit the audio into podcasts
  • Transcribe: articles, blog posts, and tweets
  • Remember synergy created powerful SEO

For more information on the topic and to learn more about Fishman visit: http://www.fishmanmarketing.com/

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Part 2 The Continued Evolution

Hats
At the beginning of August we wrote about the evolution of the marketing role in our post: Which Hat Are You Wearing Today. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, has expanded upon the idea of marketing’s evolution as it specifically relates to content marketing.

“Nine in 10 companies create their own content to attract or retain customers.”

This is the same in the legal industry as content is distributed through email, newsletters, and in-person events. Some law firms have also adopted other channels such as blogs and social media sites. In his article Pulizzi challenges marketers to think about content as the asset. He continues the article by talking about the importance of content, as one story can be developed into multiple content assets.

For example, in your firm if you are trying to grow a specific practice area, you want your firm to be seen as the expert. Experts are people who have comprehensive and authoritative knowledge in a particular area, so by having a great story of success (content) it can be shared. By using publications, media mentions, speaking engagements, firm events, blogs, and through social media the content develops an audience. That audience can be tracked in your CRM system allowing you to track  outreach and growth with new clients and cross selling with current clients.

As law firm marketers already wear multiple hats and have been doing the above in various forms for years, Pulizzi suggests a shift in key business roles marketers will be challenged with filling and thinks of the below as the new competencies that will need to be accounted for across a firm:

  • Managing Editor: half storyteller and half project manager
  • Chief Listening Officer: “air-traffic controller” for social media and other content channels
  • Director of Audience: monitors audience personas and is responsible for building subscription assets
  • HR for Marketing: works with HR to make sure that employees understand their roles in the marketing process
  • Channel Master: responsible for getting the most out of each channel
  • Chief Technologist: sole purpose is to leverage the proper use of technology into the content marketing process
  • Influencer Relations (role formerly known as media relations): manager of influencers, develops a “hit list” and integrates them into the marketing process
  • Freelancer and Agency Relations: negotiates rates and responsibilities as reliance on freelance talent and other external content vendors grow
  • ROO (Return-on-Objective) Chief: responsible for ensuring that there is an ongoing return on marketing objectives and for communicating to all teams why the firm is developing content assets in the first place

The way services are sold is changing faster than anticipated and in legal, clients are demanding more than ever. This means that content will become more of an asset than ever and the “hats” marketing wears will continue to multiply. What do you think of “The New Roles of Marketing” and how they will impact the legal industry?

>>> Read Pulizzi’s full article: 10 Marketing Roles for the Next 10 Years

What Happens in Vegas… Shouldn’t Stay in Vegas

With hundreds of high quality sessions and record breaking attendance, this year’s ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) conference was a success. With four days of back to back sessions plus the social outings it is hard to retain everything you learned and remember everyone you met. After being out of the office for that long all of the inspiration and insight can quickly be lost once getting back in to the routine of your day to day tasks. The question becomes how do you retain what you learned and keep the conversations going with the new friends you have made?

Here are my top three suggestions post-conference to make the conference last more than the week you were in Las Vegas:

Keeping the Fire Alive
While at the conference I become so emerged into the new technologies, insightful case studies, and the innovative ideas I feel like I could come back to the office and change the world. What really happens, unfortunately, is I come back Monday overwhelmed trying to get through the 100s of emails and making sure my projects are still on track. To keep the innovation and passion post conference I will take the following Friday and block off time to go through my conference notes. I know if I try and do this earlier in the week my heart won’t be in it as I am really thinking about all of the day to day stuff I need to get done.

With my coffee in hand, I go through and create a list of the things that really stuck out to me. The list should be no more than 20 items. These are the items you want to build into your plan or goals. Then start to add them one by one to your routine or into your plan for the year. Monthly, review the list and add additional items as you are able to check others off. This makes the list accomplishable and showcases that the conference really did have an impact on the business. This also helps to justify your attendance the next year as you were able to take what you learned and integrate it into your work.

Continued Education
The content and education doesn’t stop just because the conference ends. Attend your local ILTA Post-Conference Recap event and share your inspirations and insights with attendees and non-attendees from your area. This also helps to spark things you might have already forgotten. To keep up with current discussions and education post conference, schedule time once a week to read review conference materials, read the blogs, and check out the news feeds.

A Friendship Doesn’t End Just Because You Go Homes
With the sheer number of attendees and my outgoing nature, I tend to meet a lot of people at a tradeshow. During a show I will write notes about the person on the business card themselves. These are both business and personal items such as “struggles with analytical reporting” to “wants me to come out to NYC for their birthday.” After the show I will go back through my cards prioritizing them. I do this based on the business, the projects I am working on, and the personal connections that were made.

After prioritizing the cards I select 10 people from a show to write a handwritten card to. You would be amazed at the impact a handwritten card v. email can have. Then based on the prioritization, I will block off an hour once a week until all cards have been entered to complete the following as appropriate:

  1. I input the contact information and notes into my Contacts. I enter what we talked about and something personal to help me better remember the person. I have also created segmentation in my Contacts and will sort them accordingly. For me this is things like service providers, mentors/industry leaders, leads, etc.
  2. Connect. I will connect via LinkedIn, Twitter, and depending on level of friendship and trust Facebook.
  3. Lastly, I will create a calendar reminder three months out with a list of the top contacts to check-in with. It could be something personal or a simple hello but keeping that point of contact throughout the year helps to maintain the relationship and build a better connection.

This year’s conference was a huge success and it was great to meet so many new people, I can’t wait for next year in Nashville! In the meantime if you have other ideas on how to keep the conference alive or best practices you use please feel free to share them, we look forward to hearing from you!