Jennifer Whittier Writes on 2019 Legal Marketing Trends in Industry Report

In the recently released 2019 Legal Marketing Trends from FSquared Marketing, Jennifer Whittier from ContactEase  shares why she thinks 2019 is the year of the bridge when it comes to CRM data.  Jennifer joins other leading law firm marketing experts to share insight on important trends for 2019.

Law firm leadership is experiencing data overload when trying to make decisions for the future. While the law firm business model is based on relationships, the financial data that drives firm management is often disconnected from the relationship data.  It isn’t just financial data we struggle with either. Data resides in many places besides the CRM system: ERM systems, eMarketing systems, social media, and experience databases. 2019 will be the year of the bridge–between the data silos and the CRM database,

Jennifer Whittier in CRM in 2019: The Year of the Bridge.

Trends identified for 2019 include:

  • Using tech to productize legal services
  • Replacing random acts of content with a data-focused approach
  • Threats & opportunities in web accessibility
  • The rich opportunities of local search marketing
  • Bridging data sources through CRM
  • An increase in budgets, hiring, and specialization within legal marketing

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Click here to read the 2019 Legal Marketing Trends from FSquared Marketing.

Playing the Relationship Game in Today’s Connected World: Insights from the LMA Annual Conference

John Simpson, CEO, and Kalev Peekna, Managing Director of Strategy for One North Interactive lead an engaging session during the LMA Annual Conference entitled: Playing the Relationship Game in Today’s Connected World. The session focused on the effects relationships have and how they can impact a firm’s business and opportunities.

John and Kalev showcased how other businesses are using interactive marketing to reach their clients at every point in their decision-making experience. They also shared how essential it is to align your digital marketing and business development efforts along “The Relationship Cycle.”

Relationship Cycle

From the session, the key lesson that resonated with me was that in the relationship cycle many firms are not participating in the “Active Evaluation” phase. It is in the evaluation phase that you can really learn about your business; then by following-up on the feedback, it formalizes a relationship and creates loyalty.
My favorite quote from the session reinforces this:

 “Loyalty counts more and costs less than awareness.”
– Harvard Business Review

It shocked me to learn from the session that only 1 in 8 (12%) of firms always meet up with their clients to see how satisfied the legal department was with their work and 18% NEVER meet with their clients to discuss satisfaction. By engaging your clients and asking for feedback it opens the dialogue so that in future situations if an issue arises they may feel more comfortable coming forward with issues or input. Client retention should be a key part of the marketing and business development plan.

INTERACT: Does your firm actively seek feedback?

Leadership, Change, and Driving Innovation: Insights from the LMA Annual Conference

The LMA Annual Conference kicked off this year with an inspirational keynote speaker, Kat Cole, President, Cinnabon Inc. Kat’s presentation “The Difference – Lessons in Leadership, Change, and Driving Innovation” provided concrete leadership examples while tying them back to practical applications within firms.

During the session Kat shared her inspiration as she moved up from working as a hostess at 17 to becoming one of the youngest executives in the hospitality industry by the age of 26. Throughout the session she discussed the importance of partnerships in building brand reputation. Here are a few of the key snippets from the session:

Partnerships

  • What Makes Sense
    You should be thinking about what strategic partnerships make sense to expand your business and brand. When being approached for a partnership, you should always ask “will I be a competitor or a collaborator,” make sure it is the right fit.
  • Build Relationships
    You need to be building relationships or the competition will. Think about how you can partner with the people who can help your business grow.
  • Key Advice
    You should be looking for partnerships, not waiting for them to knock on your door or you will miss out. Lastly, no matter what, none of the above matters if you are not making a positive impact on the people around you!

Branding

  • First Things First
    You need to know how your brand got started… what got you to where you are today? Cinnabon focused on relevance and differentiation to build their global brand and firms should too! Products have to be differentiated to stand out in the market, services are no different.
  • Value
    In order to build your brand you need to deliver value to those you serve. Cinnabon’s goal is to WOW their guests. Kat listens to feedback, reads tweets, and completes searches to see what people are saying about the brand. That’s how you innovate and create new products or offerings. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to your biggest critics and ask them “how can I help you?” They may become your biggest supporters!

Kat’s transparency and authenticity made her an amazing speaker at this year’s conference. The way she linked her personal and professional life experiences to practical business applications was spot on. With that, we will leave you with our final favorite advice from Kat:

The Hot Shot Rule: Think what would a hot shot do in this situation? You have to be willing to do things differently! Bring new ideas to the table and don’t be afraid of change.

Settling and just being grateful for what you have can also lead to complacence. Make sure you are always evaluating yourself and striving for excellence.

Question yourself and listen to others, make the call to make a change.

“If you don’t do it someone else will. That should be enough motivation to innovate and create.” – Kat Cole

INTERACT: If you attended the session or have seen Kat speak in the past, what were your favorite key takeaways?

Insights from the LMA Annual Conference

If you weren’t in attendance of the LMA Annual Conference last week don’t worry!

Over the course of the next two weeks we will be recapping the key sessions and takeaways from the conference in our new blog series: Insights from the LMA Annual Conference. Tomorrow’s post will recap the keynote presentation from Kat Cole, President Cinnabon Inc: The Difference – Lessons in Leadership, Change, and Driving Innovation.

During the conference we also asked attendees what they would suggest others do to continue to keep their firms moving forward this year. We will be posting a new suggestion each day. Make sure to check out our Twitter feed and follow us www.twitter.com/contactease.

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Part 3

Continuing our series “Which Hat Are You Wearing Today” we literally took it to a new level at the New England Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Amber Elliott, our ContactEase Director of Implementations, and Chris Fritsch, President and Business Development Consultant, Clients First Consulting presented the session Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Balancing Marketing, Business Development and Client Services.

During the presentation Amber and Chris took turns actually wearing different hats to represent the different functions marketing takes on from a day-to-day basis. Below are the different roles and associated tasks:
Fire Fighter & Builder Traffic Cop & Miner

Stop back as we will cover the technology that can help streamline the tasks and make success a possibility.

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

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today

Before defining your marketing role within a firm you must first understand what marketing is. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines “Marketing” as: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market; or the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. The definition is vague and includes every function possible within a firm (which is accurate in my opinion). The Urban Dictionary’s definitions are insulting, but probably more in line of how traditional firm members outside of marketing think of it.

When I originally thought of marketing, before I started my career, I thought of it as the traditional items – communications and branding. However, I have since learned that marketing is so much more. Marketing has evolved to include:

  • Client Services
  • Business Development
  • Event Management
  • Strategic Firm Planning

An individual’s role can really be shaped by their drive, expertise, ability to convey success, and by understanding and appreciating all aspects of marketing. In this blog series we will dive deeper into each of these different functions of marketing. Learn about each function and how to really showcase ROI to gain a seat at the table within your firm.