Law firm marketing in 2013


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A wide-ranging interview by Rupert White, editor of Briefing with Freshfields’ chief marketing and BD officer Elizabeth Chambers.

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Law firm marketing in 2013

  1. 1. F I N A N C E | H R | I T | M A R K E T I N G | B D | M A N A G E M E N T | R I S K | K MMARKETING TOMORROW’S FIRMAPRIL 2013Is your firmbrand X?We quiz the toplegal marketingpeople on whetherfirms ‘get’ brandResearchBriefing jobs:Senior roles inmarketing and BDon our jobs pageRaisingyour profileMashing up BDand CRM data andmuch moreIndustryviewsThis issue issponsored byElizabethChambersInterviewFreshfields’marketing and BDchief on how to winthe marketing gameOn targetHow law firms are learningthe lessons of business byturning client knowledgeinto data, hiring specialistmarketers, going digital,measuring their successand reinventing legal brandsFrom brandnew tobrand youRebrands, personalbrand, marketingmethods, digital...It’s all insideFeature
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  4. 4. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 20134Can law firm brands be better?Rupert White, editor of BriefingBrand is what you wantpeople to think of yourbusiness, but it hasto be based on whatthey already think. It’sincredibly importantto law firms right now,alongside all the other facets of marketing,because the heat is on to capture newmarkets and dominate old ones.That’s why for the first time we’ve made anissue of Briefing about marketing (a more BD-focused issue comes to you in September), andwe’ve researched the top 100 legal marketingand BD directors. Do marketing and brandmatter more than ever, now that everyonewants a piece of your action? Find out on p21.We’ve also got a wide-ranging interview withFreshfields’ queen of brands, chief marketingand BD officer Elizabeth Chambers, a featureincluding thoughts from marketing chiefsat A&O, Ince & Co, Mishcon de Reya,Nabarro and Norton Rose.Plus we have wise words from issue sponsorThomson Reuters Elite and analysis on whoshould be your next hire in the marketingdepartment.I hope you enjoy this issue – and feel freeto email me what you think, good or bad, jobsA range of great marketing andBD jobs on the Briefing jobs page.Pass it on... or perhaps notjump to article page 20jump to article page 7Rupert White talks to Freshfields’global marketing and BD supremoabout marketing the big brands,and who should do itInterview:Elizabeth Chambers, Freshfieldsjump to article page 14Polly Botsford reports on whymarketing is key to the success oftomorrow’s firm, and finding themarketer in everyone in the businessFeature:From brand new to brand youjump to article page 21Briefing finds out what legalmarketing chiefs think about theimportance of the marketing mixin making competitive law firmsSurvey:Does your firm get brand?This issue is sponsored by
  5. 5. One-day conferenceThe only event for practice managersin small to medium law firmsTuesday 21 May 2013, LondonFor more information:Visit Samantha Irvine on 0870 112 5058Email scan this code with your smartphoneSponsored by:
  6. 6. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 20136Industry analysis indexIn Briefing we bring you relevantindustry analysis from some of thelegal sector’s leading voices.This month’s industry views:Combining information from customerrelationship management and enterpriserelationship management gives marketingand BD people unrivalled insight intoclients and their firms’ connectionsto them, according to issue sponsorThomson Reuters Elite.Plus: Where will the marketing people ofthe future come from, and what will theybe like? Marketing/BD recruitment firmTotum Partners gives us an answer.This month’s interview withElizabeth Chambers at Freshfieldswas transcribed by:Photography of Robert Boardman: Jonathan Goldberg page 26Joe Przybyla ofThomson Reuters’BD software team talksabout how law firmscan get more out of therelationships theirpeople already haveBriefing Industry InterviewBetter connected page 28Tim Skipper at marketingand BD recruitmentfirm Totum Partnerslooks at this year’smarketing and businessdevelopment trendsIndustry AnalysisRise of the specialists
  7. 7. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 20137TheBriefingInterviewQueen of brandsRupertWhitetalksbrandfavourability,globallawfirmmarketingchallengesandhiringthenextgenerationofmarketingandBDpeoplewithFreshfields’chiefmarketingandBDofficer,ElizabethChambersRupertWhitetalksbrandfavourability,globallawfirmmarketingchallengesandhiringthenextgenerationofmarketingandBDpeoplewithFreshfields’chiefmarketingandBDofficer,ElizabethChambersbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 2013
  8. 8. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 20138Are people like Elizabeth Chambers thefuture of legal business services?She certainly represents the kind of personlegal needs more of, if it’s to learn how tobehave more like its clients. An Americanby birth, she took a 10-year tour of dutyat McKinsey in the US from 1988 to 1998,then moved to strategy and BD at Readers’Digest. Roles at Bank of America and US firmBingham McCutchen followed, and then thebig move in 2006 to Barclays, as CMO forfirst Barclaycard and then global retail andcommercial banking, where she remained untilNovember 2009.After a career break in 2010, she wentback to legal, joining Freshfields in March2011, bringing experience in managingprofessional services reputation and brands,some corporate directorships under her belt(roles first begun while at Barclays, runningjoint ventures with other high street brands)and consulting stripes. Very much, then, thecorporate figure.Compared to the melee of modernfinancial services, which is at the cuttingedge of marketing methods and technology,legal is often seen as a bit backward – whichmakes marketing the modern law firm thebig challenge of our times, because the needfor really great marketing and BD capabilityis more important than ever. Law firms needto become more like their clients in terms oftechnical capability and in the kinds of peopledoing the work in marketing/BD departments.“Brand is more important today forFreshfields, and for many other firms likeus, because we need to grow in new marketswhere the client base is less experienced ofus – or has never heard of us.”Brand now matters more in legal, buthow the concept of brand is applied andwhat it’s for depends on the market you’rein, says Chambers. “In the markets where
  9. 9. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 20139our awareness is very strong – the UK,Germany and Europe generally – we focus onboth awareness and favourability, as strongawareness must be maintained. But the relativeemphasis is on favourability.”Beyond this core audience there arevarying degrees of brand building to be done.Freshfields has had a presence in the US for30 years, but the firm’s still relatively unknownto a large swathe of Fortune 500 GCs, shesays. To fix this, the firm’s investing in brandawareness there to “directly support targetedbusiness development and client-specificoutreach”. Ditto markets such as China, Africa,Latin America or the CIS. “You have to thinkaudience by audience, market by market,” saysChambers. “You have one brand, but the way inwhich you’re activating that brand and bringingit to life in relevant, practical terms is going todiffer based on the starting point.”Chambers separates the concepts of brandand reputation, relating brand to the firmand reputation to its fee earners, echoing thecorporate idea of brand: a business’s reputationis more than the people in it (though growingpartner profile is still a big part of whatmarketing does, she says).This isn’t new to legal, but partners oftenmerely play lip service to it in reality. So it’suseful at Freshfields to make that distinctioninternally, she says, while ensuring that brandand reputation work “in concert”.“What you’re delivering to your clientsneeds to be consistent with what you’re sayingabout your brand, and what you’re saying aboutyour brand needs to be grounded in what yourclients are saying about the service and thework that you’re doing.”Even at a big corporate firm like Freshfields,much of the marketing mix still boils downto the basics. Freshfields rebranded between2009-2011, which was about freshening thefirm’s corporate identity based on clientresearch. “It was vital to connect the brand tohow everyone behaves in the firm,” she says,“to explain very clearly and succinctly to ourpeople that ‘this is what our clients said theycare about, this is where they said we weredifferent and better than the competition, andthis is your role, every single member of thefirm, in delivering that’,” she says. “We’ve had alot of success with that simple approach.”Wanted: a new, digital kind of marketerPerhaps there’s nothing new under the sun,but the legal business still has a lot of lessonsto learn from ‘the outside world’. As Chamberssays, it’s about applying a classic marketingdiscipline. But to get more of that outsiderjuice, you need more marketers and BD peoplefrom other sectors. Better still, you need peoplefrom the sorts of businesses in your client base.You also need fewer generalists to get the bestresults, in some areas, and “be brave enough tobring in different types of talent”, she says.“When you drive a bit of specialisation,you’re able to hire with a clearer brief in mindand attract superior talent in each area. Mysenior people wear many hats, but deciding tohave specialists has enabled us to get a bettercalibre of person in some of the senior roles.”Freshfields is increasingly looking forpeople who can bring in distinctive skill sets,particularly around data analysis, she says.“Increasingly what we’re trying to do [inmarketing] needs to be data driven: lookingat the client base, understanding where we’regrowing our business, getting to see whatresearch is telling us. That relies on peoplebeing fairly analytical.”Up there with analytical people are thosewith strong digital backgrounds. There arestill lawyers in Freshfields’ marketing and BDdepartment, but the firm also needs people
  10. 10. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201310who hail from the client’s world.“People from financial services bring acommercial streak. A lot of our business is withfinancial institutions, so having an underlyingunderstanding of what a bank does, what theproducts are and how a bank makes money isreally helpful.”A critical goal is to hire peoplewho understand client service,says Chambers, because thatprovides a solid base to startfrom. Plus, hiring from bigger,more mature businesses (inmarketing terms), like banks andaccountants, pulls intelligence onnew and best practice into thefirm.“Those folks have seen what‘good’ looks like in other arenas.Even in our digital roles we’rebringing people in who wererunning corporate comms,internal communications andweb development functions inlarge corporates. What’s neededis a knowledge of digital but alsoknowledge of how to get somethingdigital deployed in a large, complexmatrix ‒ a multi-divisionalenterprise. Freshfields has been veryopen and supportive of bringing inpeople with different backgrounds.”Working togetherGetting a better mix of legal and non-legalbackgrounds into business services is noteasy, because partners often resist input fromoutsiders, especially those who want to reformor modernise.Chambers says she hasn’t experiencedthis at Freshfields, perhaps because partnersare heavily involved in marketing and BDrecruitment, she says, and more than theusual amount of time is spent personally on-boarding staff. But, really, it also seems to comedown to making sure your hires already havean inherent ‘fit’ for legal – so some things neverchange.“You’re always looking at how effectivethe person is going to be, not just at theexperience and knowledge they have. Howstrong will their influence be, how resilient arethey? Succeeding in our firm requires lots ofstakeholder management, a healthy amountof emotional resilience, strong influenceskills, a very positive, can-do attitude. Peoplewho rely on command and control or who“People from financial services bring acommercial streak. A lot of our business iswith financial institutions.”Elizabeth Chambers, Freshfields
  11. 11. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201311have an unsophisticated way of puttingrecommendations won’t succeed.”Decision making in most law firms isgenerally not as short or simple as in acorporate business, as Briefing readers knowwell. Chambers therefore wants people withgood “navigational skills” on her team. “Oftenthe map is not laid out in front of you. Theyneed to be their own energysource and get on with it, evenin the face of some sometimesconfusing and mixed inputs.“And we’re looking for reallyeffective communications skills,so it really helps if somebody’sfantastic in written and oralcommunication, becausethat’s what we trade in. Andto be blunt, I am hiring forsmarts – because that makesan enormous difference insomebody’s ability to get on withthe people in this building.”One of the big reasons businessservices leaders like Chambersneed super smart people is tokeep business services influential with feeearners, as well as with other departments.Marketing and BD at Freshfields hasparity with any other business services areain the firm, she contends – good positioningcompared to many law firms. But, she argues,you can’t worry about whether marketingis losing or winning compared to IT or HR,because you have to see business services as awhole, working together with fee earners. It’sone big enterprise, she says, not one functionversus another.Whether this is really true only thoseinside the firm can say, but it’s a mindsetthat Chambers says is vital to making a bigcorporate firm work properly. “It’s probablybecause I’ve had a long career in a corporatesetting, but working hand in hand with otherbusiness services functions is the ticket. Howdo we work really effectively with IT? How dowe deliver communications to all our peopleand stay completely lined up with what HR istrying to do? In a role like mine you’re going tobe more effective if you view things this way.”Market to your clients like they marketto theirsIf only most of legal was like this. But to makeit so, Chambers’ view is that it’s down to thebusiness services leaders themselves to changethings.“You have to be the person to educatethe rest of the management team aboutthe importance of [everything from] brandto client experience, delivering a clearproposition, winning business throughexcellent communications and so on. If you’renot effective at playing that evangelical,educational role with your peers, you’re nevergoing to have the stature that you need to“You’re always looking at howeffective the [new] person is going tobe, not just at the experience andknowledge they have.”Elizabeth Chambers, Freshfields
  12. 12. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201312shape the agenda or command investment.”Fortunately Chambers has some useful tipsfor marketing heads who want to create changein their firms: demonstrate strategic thinking,become a measurement guru to bring hardfacts to your marketing arguments, build lotsof relationships across the business where youcan show demonstrable, practical value, and be“functionally excellent”.“One of the things a lot of law firmmarketers should invest in is being functionallyup to date. They should understand what thelatest thinking is around digital marketing toconsumers, for example, because even if theydon’t need to use it every day they need to beable to think about the lateral impact on ourbusiness and its possible impact on clients. Youhave to be current.”This leads to a point that other marketingleaders can muse on if they want todemonstrate strategic thinking: market to yourclients like they market to theirs. “Many ofour biggest clients are international pharma,telecomms, retailers, banks and insurancecompanies. They expect digital. They expect tobe communicated with in a highly personalisedway, and in a way that recognises how time-poor they are.“If you’re in a bank and you see veryprofessional marketing there, customerintelligence, large-scale data analysis and so on,you want your law firm to bring some of thosethings to you. You want to feel like [your firmis] operating at, or at least aspiring to, the samelevel of excellence.”This is one of the big drivers towards hiringmore specialists. Financial services businesseshave to be great at understanding customerdata, data protection and how to get the mostfrom the latest marketing techniques, saysChambers. And, because digital marketingis measurable marketing, clients want youto measure their behaviours and respondaccordingly.Our digital (marketing) futureThe web has transformed many business areas,marketing more than most, and leveragingdigital communications is fundamental toFreshfields’ ability to reach new markets andtake market share from competitors.But it’s not just changed the way a firmmarkets its services. In line with Chambers’views on why marketing must work hand inhand with other business services areas, oneplace where marketing and HR collaborate is ingraduate recruitment. Chambers says the firm’sefforts on Facebook have made an “enormousdifference”, but that traditional channels havealso been freshened and updated with digitaltools.Another example is in working with KM.Freshfields has an “expansive” content-basedapproach to engaging clients, distributingthe firm’s latest thinking to them. This willincreasingly be done digitally, says Chambers,which is “both appealing to clients in terms ofwhere, how and when they want to consumemedia, and it allows us to get things out thedoor in a way that’s timely, efficient and verymeasurable”.In the near future, Chambers also wantsto see the digital revolution have moreeffect inside the firm through more effectivecollaboration and knowledge sharing, and shesays the corporate social networking systemYammer is used internally as part of this effort.“Freshfields has projects that cut acrosspractices and sectors and offices, anddigital/social media-style tools can make ahuge difference there. We’re putting evenmore investment in the next year intocommunicating among ourselves internally.I’m not talking about having an intranet, I’m
  13. 13. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201313talking about really innovative ways of gettinginformation in front of the fee earners sothey’re better informed, have simple toolsfor cross-selling, for example, and can trynew ways of getting this [knowledge-related]stuff in front of their own clients, often moreinformally.” Chambers mentions that the firmis working on an app to enable better secureknowledge sharing in the firm for just thispurpose – something itself enabled by therise in use of tablets and other mobile mediaconsumption devices.Freshfields is also embracing use of socialnetworks such as LinkedIn, she says, refreshingin an age when some firms see LinkedIncontacts and activities as owned by the firmor, worse, something to be avoided altogether.While most client decision makers occupy ademographic a little outside the bracket mostin touch with social media, she says, this ischanging fast, and the firm has to adapt.“This is the best possible way ofstaying in touch with your clients.When clients move, when theyget promoted, when they havechanges in their life, you’ll findout about it and you can reachout ‒ that’s great client service.We’re also trying to educatepeople about what it can do andwhat it can’t do, and what some ofthe pitfalls are. We rely heavily onpeople having a good professionalsense around confidentiality.”This is strategic marketingthinking – delivering marketingfrom every corner of the firm,seeing past the challenges of socialmedia to its long-term benefits.Chambers says she’s nowlooking at making more of thefirm’s digital output interactive,to create more conversationsand enable Freshfields content toevolve and be less static. Thereare inherent challenges in that,she says, such as around whatconstitutes legal advice and staying“robust and fully authoritative”while the conversations happen.“Do I think that’s going to happen overnight?No, But I think offering that facility andfostering the ability to form little communitieson the back of our content is probably the nextplace we’ll be going.”Let the Freshfields conversation begin… l“Freshfields has projects that cutacross practices and sectors and offices,and digital/social media-style toolscan make a huge difference there.”Elizabeth Chambers, Freshfields
  14. 14. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201314From brand newto brand youFeatureBrand is back in fashion in legalmarketing – but it’s not what it was.From rebrands and refreshes to therise of the power of the personal brand,marketing tomorrow’s law firm is atougher game than ever. Are you ready?Polly Botsford reportsbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 2013
  15. 15. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201315If possession is nine-tenths of the law, brandmight be nine-tenths ofsuccess.Why? According to global research companyAcritas the combined revenue growth of theleading legal brands over a five-year periodto 2011 outperformed the remainder of theglobal 100 by more than 50%.So far, so impressive. But there’s more:star brands – firms whose brand reputationis proportionately much higher in relation totheir size – reached revenue growth levels 80%higher than the rest. In a nutshell, if a firm hasa strong brand it will punch above its weight –potentially far above its weight.As competition bites and consolidationincreases, gaining competitive advantageis high on partners’ agendas (alongsideovercapacity, a volatile economic outlook andnew entrants to the legal market, to name justa few key issues). For firms with ambition, orsimply those that want to survive, that meanswinning a marketing war.Law firms recognise this, and to talk aboutbrand is common nowadays, particularly inhigh-ranking legal businesses. And despitethe downturn none of the firms spoken to forthis article was cutting its marketing budget ormarketing resource. In fact, marketers say thedownturn has opened the door of the partners’meeting room – they now see the point, withmore urgency.Laura Shumiloff, group director of corporatecommunications and marketing at NortonRose says: the downturn “has made ourjob easier. We have a stronger hand”. Theonly marketing trend that shows a level ofcost sensitivity is the lack of enthusiasm foroutsourcing parts of marketing, such as to PRagencies, external publishers and so on (thoughfirms tell us this is more to do with qualitycontrol than cost).Proof of the importance placed on brandand marketing also lies in the emergence ofindices and other external measures, suchas the Sharplegal Index compiled by Acritas.Sharplegal was only started in 2007 but it, likeothers such as Superbrands, have become partof the way firms benchmark themselves.Getting the brand back togetherBudgets aren’t limitless, even if they’re notbeing cut, so it’s a question of how to use thoseresources. Marketing strategy is about decidingon emphasis and priority – do firms want tofocus on building a brand to find new markets,or do they want to strengthen relationshipmarketing with existing ones – or both ?Ince & Co’s strategy is to focus on “makingthe most of our market share” says Jane Biddell,director of marketing there. She says the firmis “interested in developing our message ratherthan creating a new message”, and says workingon existing relationships is key for manyreasons, such as the fact that clients oftendevelop new business lines for which a firmmay not have been considered.But a fair number of the top firms have re-branded through the downturn to find a ‘newthem’. Allen & Overy embarked on a brandrefresh in 2009, which meant getting to gripswith what its brand meant to people internallyand externally, what the firm wanted it tomean, and working out how to close the gap.As part of the research phase of the refresh, alist of A&O brand assets as perceived by clientswas compiled, then benchmarked against whatclients really wanted from a law firm throughan interview process. Out of this gap analysisemerged a brand.“It was about being bold, being an advanced
  16. 16. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201316law firm. That underlies everything we do,” saysRichard Grove, director of marketing, BD andcommunications at A&O.Mishcon de Reya also looked at their brandin 2008 and undertook a four-month brandpositioning exercise. Elliot Moss, director ofbusiness development at the firm, explainswhy: “What we aim for is that when you meeta Mishcon lawyer, you knowwhat that means. [So] we talkedto people inside the firm, toour clients, to the board. Weput it all together and we cameout with what Mishcon standsfor. Then and only then canyou work out what the externalarticulation of it is.“For us, we wanted to conveythe fact that 90% of our businessis businesses, even though wewere famous for the famouspeople we represented. So wechurned it all up. What cameout was our strapline: ‘It’sbusiness. But it’s personal.’”The current level of mergeractivity (Herbert Smith Freehillsbeing a recent example) is likelyto carry on pushing rebrands onthe legal market.Those marketers who emphasisethe importance of brand arguethat once you know what you really are, ratherthan what you think you are (thinking aboutyour brand is a course in firm self-awareness),it’s easier to communicate it to the world.The right range of platforms and channelsshould then present themselves. Tried andtested are seminars and training – both great‘contact points’ with targeted clients. In themost recent Acritas survey, GCs said these twoelements (along with referrals) were law firms’most effective marketing tools.As an example, Ince & Co runs a series ofglobal seminars on specific sectors and hasmade them into regular, social and meaningfulevents. Biddell says it’s the contact that comesout of those that matters most.These two platforms have developedquite considerably: becoming more targeted,with built-in longevity, often with a thoughtleadership piece to run alongside an event, orwith accreditation.Nabarro has been training clients’ GCs since2009 – but not on technical points, as ClareJones, BD and marketing director at Nabarro,explains. It’s coaching, behavioural skillstraining and networking for them and theirteams. “It’s about their career ambitions andthe challenges they face. GCs have a pivotal“We talked to people inside the firm, ourclients and the board [to find out] whatMishcon stands for. Only then can youwork out the articulation of [the brand].”Elliot Moss, director of BD, Mishcon de Reya
  17. 17. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201317role to play in a corporate, but they want to uptheir game. We are helping them achieve that.”This year’s programme focuses on influencetraining, novel in itself. “It’s about them, not us.We want to ‘get’ their world,” says Jones.Are you a thought leader?More risqué ideas involve advertisingand sponsorship. Norton Rose put out anadvertising campaign in Australia on billboardsto and from airports, focusing on the firm’senviable global reach. When Freshfieldssponsored the 2012 London Olympics it brokea taboo, stepping on to ground where onlyhousehold brands have trodden before.But the biggest growth area is thoughtleadership, with most firms doing it orplanning to. A&O’s ‘50˚ east’ report, forexample, is three dense but accessible, stylishpublications based on interviews with 1,000business leaders. The report received 250pieces of press in 30 countries, generating30,000 requests for copies.Grove at A&O eulogises about thoughtleadership as a platform. “To be invited into aclient’s boardroom you need to be able to talkabout the business at a strategic level. You needto have something to say. That’s what thoughtleadership does. It is a talking point – as longas it is genuine insight. It also plays to lawyers’strengths, who are clever and articulate people.”Though it can be expensive, Grove arguesit’s money well spent, because the reports havea long shelf life of potentially one or two years(‘50˚ east’ was launched back in 2011). And thebest ideas for thought-leadership work is often
  18. 18. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201318what’s about you – SJ Berwin sits its BD peoplewithin practice areas to get that proximity andfamiliarity, for example.You don’t always need to come up with thePR, though. Sometimes the firm is the story.This can play badly, but it can also deliver goodPR. Norton Rose has discovered that its mergermania (the imminent integration with US firmFulbright & Jaworski will be its fifth in threeand a half years) has been a story that couldwork for the firm – it did, after all, make it intothe Financial Times. As Shumiloff explains,“thanks to the hard work of our team on thisand a strong rapport with the board, we gotsome fantastic coverage”.The rise and power of the personal brandBut there’s a new rising legal marketing star –the lawyers themselves.Getting everyone in a firm to think abouthow they present to the outside world, onsocial media and the real world, is highlyreminiscent of a new buzz phrase on thesales and marketing circuit: ‘non-sales selling’.Coined by the American Dan Pink, author ofthe bestselling book To Sell Is Human, it’s aprocess whereby every human being at somelevel engages, influences and persuades othersinto certain behaviours all the time – we are allselling, and selling ourselves.This is a very useful proposition for lawfirms, because one of the stumbling blocks forthe legal marketer is trying to convert oftenintrospective and private lawyers into visibleand visual brand ambassadors. The ‘non-salesselling’ idea means that lawyers can be moreconfident that they can sell themselves and thefirm ‘as they are’, and don’t have to become asalesman to do it.This is arguably even more important inan age of the personalised brand, as Jones atNabarro explains (though she points out thisis her opinion, rather than her firm’s strategy):“Personal marketing is absolutely vital in all ofthis. If you look around, the personal brand iswhere it is going. LinkedIn membership hasgone from three to eleven million in the UK inthe last year, for example. We are all becomingour own brand, and that cannot be more truethan in professional services. In legal services,we talk about the trusted adviser, and this ishow we want to be seen.”Jones has identified a level of intensity socialmedia brings that can be useful to a firm. “Thisis the age of the individual. Firms have avoideda star culture because they fear such peoplewill quickly move on – but you can’t help that.Firms need to take more risks with individuals.”Whether it’s about big brand or personalbrands, law firms usually create a uniqueculture, whether deliberately or not, whichgives them an inherent advantage – if they canturn it into something usable.With marketing’shelp, the best firms are fostering that cultureand demonstrating its value to the world. l
  19. 19. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201319Mining the client mind: Turning marketing into dataData is how the marketing function can increase its own credibility within a firm(blind them with science!) and there are some natural points at which informationis gathered during the marketing pipeline. Here are some of the facts that matter• Data about the firm Brand positioning is partly about firm self-awareness.When firms are rebranding or strengthening their brand, they need data on whatthe firms’ lawyers think, what the clients think, what partners think, and evenwhat other firms think the firm represents and should represent• Data about the client The client’s business, the client’s sector, it all matters.Client listening is a key function of business development and marketing (onefirm’s client listening is so sophisticated that it uses fee earners to carry out clientlistening about other fee earners)• Data about the future But to properly strengthen a brand, Acritas,the global research company, advises garnering data on thebigger picture as well: “a firm should evaluate globalmarket trends and the growth plans of its client base.Determine how prepared the firm is to respondto these trends and opportunities as this willhave fundamental implications for its brand’spositioning in the marketplace”• Measuring success Marketing demands sometangible measures to benchmark the successof campaigns and initiatives. There are manyways to achieve this. A firm can monitor presscoverage (globally). It can monitor success ratesin pitches. If it rebrands, it will usually followthat up with an externally executed evaluation.Mishcon have a number of ‘tracking systems’ asit calls them, including using external sources suchas Mergermarket. Elliot Moss, director of businessdevelopment at the firm, says he has: “Six sets of datapoints about whether our strategy is working”• Monitor the brand Acritas also suggests regular brandhealth checks because brands become out of date with theirsurroundings: “brands are constantly changing status, particularlyin a highly competitive marketplace. It is critical to keep a regularcheck on a firm’s brand health as well as that of its competitorsand to review its marketing strategy in the light of emergingtrends, competitor activity and the firm’s offering”
  20. 20. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201320Communications manager London In this PR and communications manager role you will support the headof communications on firm-wide communications, issues management and socialmedia. Challenging role with a real opportunity to progress to senior manager.Go to to learn more about this roleClick here for more legal business jobs: with BriefingSend me job alerts Upload your CV Create your free profileBe the first to hear about our newjobs, tailored to youGet found by law firms andrecruiters todaySave your searches, manage youralerts and control your careerTOPJOBSenior business development managerUK-based At this top 10 firm you will provide strategic andtactical marketing advice and support to the practice grouphead and their management team in achieving the group’sprofitable growth development executive – FFW London Reporting to the BD manager and working within an18-strong marketing team, you will be involved with strategyand planning, research and analysis, new business/tendersand client relationship bids executive, corporateLondon Great opportunity for a seasoned bids professional tojoin an international law firm. You will provide support withthe generation and delivery of high quality credentials andtenders, primarily focusing on the corporate designer – FFW London Working in a creative team of three (with the digital& brand marketing manager and online marketing assistant)you will take a lead role in the firm’s creative output. Excellentgraphic design and software skills your next career move
  21. 21. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201321Brand and marketing are more importantthan ever as firms try to steal market shareand lever open the newest markets. Butdo those most senior at the best firmsappreciate this is really the case?For our latest top 100 director researchon the top 100 law firms’ marketing heads,sponsored by recruitment firm Ambition,we asked people to agree or disagree withthe statement: ‘As competition for top workincreases, differentiation moves towards valuenot capability, and client decision making shiftsaway from the GC, a firm’s marketing effortsand its brand are now more important thanthey’ve ever been.’The results were overwhelmingly inagreement – though a fair few respondentsargued that GCs aren’t losing their power, andin some cases are becoming more central in thelegal purchasing process.Across the top 100 marketing chiefs (see theend of this article for our sample stats), 47%strongly agreed with the proposal that brandand marketing are more important than ever,34% agreed and only 15% answered ‘don’tknow/it depends’. Just two people disagreedwith the statement.Brand is vital to cracking and dominatingmarkets. One magic circle marketing head saysthat their firm’s leaders “see this ‘brand moreimportant’ point in different terms: they viewit as more important because we are trying toDoes your firmget brand?How important are brand andmarketing in a more competitiveworld? And do law firms’ leadersunderstand their importance?Rupert White finds out what lawfirm marketing chiefs think aboutthe importance of the marketingmix as part of the LSN Top 100Director Research59%35%6%StronglyAgree00%9080706050403020100Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(bottom 50 law firm marketing directors)90%10%StronglyAgree00%9080706050403020100Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(top 25 law firm marketing directors)00%908070Brand is more important than it’s ever been(top 50 law firm marketing directors)Brand is more important than it’s ever been(bottom 50 law firm marketing directors)Brand is more important than it’s ever been(top 25 law firm marketing directors)Brand is more important than it’s ever been(top 50 law firm marketing directors)Strongly AgreeAgreeDon’t knowDisagreeStrongly DisagreeStrongly agreeAgreeDon’t knowDisagreeStrongly disagreeStrongly Agree59%90%17%3%10%35%6%Brand is more important than it’s everbeen (top 25 marketing directors)briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 2013
  22. 22. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201322grow in new markets and to know and havestronger brand and reputation in them”.And it’s in the top 25 firms that agreementwas strongest – there wasn’t a single personwho answered outside the ‘strongly agree/agree’ categories.Not many respondents took issue with ourstatement about the decision-making centralityof the GC – though those who did were firmin their opinions. “Our law firm’s leadersdon’t believe that ultimate decision making ismoving away from the GC, in most cases. Isuspect the GCs don’t agree with that premise,either!” says one top 10 marketing head.But more than one respondent pointed to achange in the firm-client relationship having aneffect on how firms must sell themselves. Onemarketing head at a top 50 firm agrees thatGCs are now part of the buying process, notthe whole of it.“There is strong anecdotal evidence thatindividuals other than the GC are involved inthe procurement of legal services. It followsthat relying on a single, strong relationshipis no longer enough. A firm must ensure itsbrand is recognised by those decision makers,and that marketing initiatives are designed todevelop relationships with the wider ‘C-suite’and other key stakeholders,” he says.This leads some to argue that law firms needmore contacts across more areas within clients.“There’s a recognition that relationshipsneed to be institutionalised and spread broadlyacross many people in a client’s organisation,”says one top 50 law firm marketing head.“We also appreciate the need to finddifferent ways to help our clients beyondday-to-day legal advice, and we differentiate byleveraging our insight, network and innovativeideas in our sectors and within our clientrelationships to do that.”13% 17% 3%StronglyAgree0Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagree47%34%15%4%Stronglyagree50%403020100Agree Don’tknowDisagree StronglydisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(top 100 law firm marketing directors)6%StronglyAgree100Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagree90%10%StronglyAgree100%9080706050403020100Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(top 25 law firm marketing directors)66%13% 17% 3%StronglyAgree100%9080706050403020100Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(top 50 law firm marketing directors)47%34%15%4%Stronglyagree50%403020100Agree Don’tknowDisagree StronglydisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(top 100 law firm marketing directors)59%35%6%StronglyAgree100%9080706050403020100Agree Don’tKnowDisagree StronglyDisagreeBrand is more important than it’s ever been(bottom 50 law firm marketing directors)
  23. 23. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201323This demand for more value springs out ofour research. Many respondents said value nowrules the roost, and that client decision makershave much more sophisticated demands.“I’m not sure if I agree that client decisionmaking has moved away from GCs, it iscertainly however the case that GCs are muchmore sophisticated today than in the past andtheir demands of their law firms have becomemore exacting,” says another top 50 marketingchief, for example. But capability is still key,argues another: “Value without capability isnot value. A brand must not only stand forsomething – it must deliver.”It’s interesting to note that much further downthe top 100, things are a little different. Seniorlawyers don’t seem to be quite so connectedwith marketing, and still think they sell purelyon the capability of lawyers.Some examples of this include: “Decisionmakers do not appreciate this, no,” and “No, itis still assumed that capability is king. Partnersin many cases still believe that their abilityalone will win them the work.”And the most amusing answer we got: “Ihave seen it said that ‘lawyers are to marketingwhat Julian Clary is to cage-fighting’. I hopethat is no longer true, if it ever was. Successfulsenior decision makers in law firms recognisethe need for good quality marketing practicesalongside and part of the firm’s broaderoffering of expert legal services.”But this view isn’t all from the bottom ofthe top 100. One magic circle chief says that“in general there is a long way to go for manyfirms” to appreciate the importance of brandand marketing.It’s a view shared across the responses,but often not at anyone’s home firm. In otherwords, law firm leaders in general ‘don’tget marketing’, but they do wherever therespondent is.Andrea Williams, Ambition’s managingdirector, says of the research results: “Morefirms are investing in the future and hiringhigh-quality marketing directors. Some firmshave even been brave enough to bring in newblood from outside the industry.“As to client relationships, partners haveconflicting opinions on brand value versuscapability value, but we are seeing a growingconsensus about the value of sharing clientrelationships across a business to take fulladvantage of the clients’ business potential.“And being able to measure the successof marketing campaigns is an increasinglyattractive element of the marketing functionfor partners, and highly effective marketingfunctions are totally aware of this.”Maybe lawyers are finally getting marketing– all that’s left is the residue of when theydidn’t, the echo of a more conservative time.Or perhaps they don’t yet ‘get it’, but marketingchiefs have lowered their expectations... lSample: 48 responses across the 100, with twice as manyresponses coming from the top 50 as the bottom 50 firms.Find the list of the top 100marketing/BD directors
  24. 24. SPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201324INDUSTRYANALYSISINDEXRaising the profile of lawBriefing Industry InterviewBetter connectedjump to article page 26Joe Przybyla of ThomsonReuters’ BD software teamon getting more out of therelationships your peoplealready haveIndustry AnalysisRise of the specialistsjump to article page 29Tim Skipper at marketingrecruiter Totum Partnerslooks at the big marketing andBD trends, especially hiring
  25. 25. SPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201325Briefing talks to Joe Przybyla of Thomson Reuters’ business developmentsoftware team about how law firms can get more useful revenue-generatinginformation out of the relationships their people already haveBetter connectedBriefingIndustryInterviewSPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 2013
  26. 26. SPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201326For international and global firms, winningbusiness and marketing the firm have tobe global concerns – not easy in a firmwith thousands of people and millions ofpotential connections.Law firms think they win all their businessbecause of the strength of their relationships,but there’s a lot more to it than that, says JoePrzybyla of Thomson Reuters Elite.“How does a firm realise who theyknow in the marketplace? You canhave a fairly good idea of work thatwas done by your lawyers in HongKong, say, and you might assumethat those lawyers are the ones whohave all the best relationships inHong Kong. However, there maybe other people within the firmthat have relationships in HongKong – you just don’t know it.That’s going to be the differentiatorfor many firms: to have access to thenecessary information to go after anewer market.“You need to be able to gain thisinsight without effort, to identify thecritical information that goes beyondthe ‘relationship’, towards who has therelationship and how strong they are.”It’s about understanding thenetwork of relationships that alreadyexist among people in a firm thatusually remain hidden, or invisibleamidst a lot of other information.And this should work as seamlesslyas possible with a firm’s customer relationshipmanagement system, says Przybyla – it’s simplynot effective enough to be really competitive ifyou think of those two areas as separate.Delivering that data mix in a usable wayisn’t easy, but when it happens you can buildmarketing behaviours that specifically supportBD activities.For example, using a combination of anenterprise relationship system like ContactNet(CN) and a CRM (Thomson Reuters Elitemakes Contact Manager, but CN can beintegrated with other CRMs) a firm can analysethe strength of relationships with potentialclients, understand a lot about what thosetargets are interested in, host very tailoredevents or deliver highly targeted content tothem, and track and measure their reactionsand interest.Many firms claim to be able to do this, butmingling the knowledge of people at potentialclients the firm knows best (latent ties to thefirm) and customer knowledge (the potentialfor usefulness to the client) can only be“You need to be able to gain thisinsight without effort, to identify thecritical information that goes beyondthe ‘relationship’, towards who has therelationship and how strong they are.”Joe Przybyla, Thomson Reuters Elite
  27. 27. SPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201327achieved with the right tools, says Przybyla. “Indoing that you’ve leveraged actual informationaround the real relationships within the firm.”It’s also easier to relate which activities turnedinto what business, because you’re not justusing CRM data, he says. It’s the benefit, in away, of a ‘mash up’ of BD and marketing tools.The inherent inability to always completelyprove which activity turned into revenue mightbe something that keeps marketinga little further down the valuechain in some firms, says Przybyla.But using the right tools andcombining relationship data withcustomer information improvesthis, and can deliver hard evidencefor marketing’s success.And as Elizabeth Chambers,chief marketing and BD officerat Freshfields, says in our maininterview in this issue of Briefing,law firms need more people who‘get’ analytics, who want to createmore data out of marketing todeliver much more value to thefirm’s internal clients and to createbetter, more successful marketingand BD activities.More data behind marketing might proveto be a disruptive force in legal, because it hasa disruptive influence on the autonomy oflawyering. To make corporate-style marketingand BD work in law firms, information needsto be shared, which is fundamentally disruptivein some law firm environments.“It can force transparency within the firm,which is very uncomfortable. Some lawyersbelieve that their relationships are theirs, whilethe firm believes otherwise. So you have thisstruggle to move to a more sophisticated typeof marketing in legal right now, where youneed that data in order to do anything.”Firms sometimes struggle to get the datathe business needs out of lawyers – but usingtools that understand who knows whom as wellas who knows most about what in a firm canbypass this problem.The real trick, says Przybyla, is then toget all this information in front of peoplein a coherent, usable way. “You need to seeevery thing a lead is doing, and I think we areprobably developing those tools faster than thecompetition is right now. It’s about being ableto put as much relevant information in frontof the lawyers and BD and marketing, becausethey need to consume that data, analyse it andthen execute on it.“So just like in your personal world, such asusing Flipbook or Twitter to aggregate yourdata, you’re getting information from a widerange of channels but you only see or hearwhat’s relevant to you. Our approach is nodifferent, and that’s where legal is going.”Find out more aboutThomson Reuters“It’s about being able to put as muchrelevant information in front of thelawyers and BD and marketing,because they need to consume thatdata, analyse it and then execute on it.”Joe Przybyla, Thomson Reuters Elite
  28. 28. SPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201328It’s now clear that client need is one of thekey drivers impacting law firm marketingand BD. Finding new business and winningplaces on panels remains vital, but there isgrowing recognition that more is requiredif firms are to meet a host of sophisticatedclient requirements.Key items clients require of their firms nowinclude:l Offering alternative pricing arrangements –fixed, blended rates, and so onl Project managing more effectivelyl Understanding clients’ commercial drivers(including appreciation of P&L and so on)l Managing relationships proactivelyl Fully understanding the client’s sector, andwork with the client as a business adviserThese are interrelated – you can’t offerinnovative pricing if you’ve no clue how toproject manage or improve efficiencies. Butthe last point is perhaps the critical startingpoint for meeting these needs. If you don’tunderstand your client’s sector, it’s very difficultto manage the relationship effectively.External pressures and the rise ofsector-specialistsMany firms have responded to this byimplementing a more sector-focused internalstructure that sits alongside the practicegroups. As a result we’re also seeing theemergence of many more industry-focused,sector-specific marketing roles.We’ve recently worked on several rolesspecifically dedicated to ‘clients and markets’,a clear indication that to focus on deliveringa client relationship programme you cannotsit in isolation from a firm’s focus on moreeffective sector-based marketing initiatives.Many firms are now looking for candidatesThe world’s gone specialist, it seems.Tim Skipper at marketing and BDexpert recruitment firm TotumPartners looks at 2013’s marketingand business development trendsIndustryAnalysisSPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 2013Rise of thespecialists
  29. 29. SPONSOREDEDITORIALbriefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201329with experience in certain sectors rather thanpractice groups.A good example of this is in energy/infrastructure, which often sees a role in afirm dedicated to this sector as well as theproject finance practice group in a combinedrole. When searching for candidates, sectorknowledge is a big plus in someone’s CV.These sector-specific roles are veryappealing to our candidates, offering them theopportunity to be the eyes and ears of theirmarket, to drive the agenda and adopt therole of specialist adviser. The rewards can beappealing too: specialist knowledge tends tocommand higher salaries. We’re also seeingcontinued need for generalists, particularlyin smaller firms that do not have the budgetor capacity for specialist teams, but we thinkthese trends are significant enough to makedeveloping some specialist knowledge, even inthe remit of a broad role, a key advantage.This view is reinforced by the fact that morefirms are also employing specialists acrossspecific skill-sets, for example, in projectmanagement, key account management orpricing. These roles may still be relatively new,and sit aside from the development of thesector-focused positions, but it is another trendthat demonstrates the extent to which theworld of legal marketing and BD is becomingmore specialist.Internal pressures and the returnof brandLegal marketing is evolving against thebackdrop of growing consolidation andcompetition. UK firms are embroiled insomething of a merger frenzy, while boutiquefirms are constantly launching. Most recentlythis has been characterised by the launch ofboutique firm Signature Litigation by twopartners (and several associates) from HoganLovells. More are in the offing.With pressure from all angles, firms arerealising that they need to have a compellingbrand proposition, to maintain profile andposition in a tightening market.In pre-recession years we would haverecruited marketing specialists who focusedon advertising and events for practice groups,as well as PR and internal communications.Such marketing activities would not have beenparticularly targeted, and ROI would have beendifficult to measure. Perhaps not surprisingly,such roles disappeared when the marketdeteriorated.Instead, the downturn brought with it arising interest in BD/bid management roles –people who could target new areas of businessand also manage the increasing complexityof competitive tendering. The chief objectivebecame maintaining top line revenue andemploying marketing/BD people who made atangible difference in a tougher market.These roles are still in demand, but there’sa rebalancing occurring as classic marketingskills – profile building, thought leadership,brand development, PR, media relations, digitalmarketing and so on – make a comeback.This is reinforced by the measurability of suchmarketing activities.In this environment, there may be a senseof the marketing/BD division splitting entirelyinto different skills, sectors, and specialisms.But ultimately, the objectives of all suchroles remain the same: to add value to clientrelationships and give lawyers the tools tounderstand competitors and clients moreeffectively.Learn more aboutTotum
  30. 30. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201330LSN’s networkpartners areTRI STAR COSTSK-Cloud
  31. 31. briefing on: Marketing tomorrow’s law firm April 201331We don’t just place advertorial in Briefing – wework with sponsors to edit, refine and reinventtheir stories to make them relevant and useful toBriefing readers. Otherwise, why should they readthem? Find out why many others have come backto Briefing time and again by contacting LSN.Advertise in BriefingBriefing gives you brand visibility and anauthentic voice in the legal sector.Contact Matthew at Briefing on0870 112 5058 or at connectedto your communityJoin LSN’s main LinkedIn group to discusschallenges, solutions and plain old gossipabout legal business services Practice Management – for everyone inpractice management in SME law firms Firm Outsourcing – does what it says onthe tin. For everyone interested in LPO/ Legal Users – are tablets the future forlegal IT? Find out here we are…Briefing is published by Legal Support Network,the only media and events business focused onevery legal business services roleRETURN TO THE INDEXRupert White is editor ofBriefing, and head of contentand community for Davies is Briefing’s editorialassistant. She also helps write ournewsletters and maintain our Callard is LSN’s head ofcorporate partnerships – contacthim about recruitment Armstrong is LSN’s newsales guru. Contact him for Briefingcommercial