If you are old enough to remember the Dick and Jane books that were used to teach reading to young children, you’ll recall these stories always attempted to teach an essential lesson. In the business of running a law firm, marketing alignment is an essential for even the most esteemed law firms.
A challenge that many professionals in law firm leadership face is ensuring that firm’s strategy aligns with capabilities and staffing of the marketing department. If not, someone is bound to fall off the seesaw.
Some of the issues have straightforward solutions.
1. Divergent Expectations
Do you want a marketing and business development department? Hint: it’s best when marketing and BD are working hand in glove or under one cohesive umbrella. Or are you more interested in operating a sales function, a person or group of people who are qualified to cultivate leads and make introductions? Without having leadership and clarity around this issue, no one will be happy, and expectations will never be met.
2. People Business
Marketing is a people intensive discipline. Good technology to track and analyze experience and contacts (thank you to the Intapp‘s of the world) are the basic building blocks of a professional firm, yet without the proper staff, no matter how shiny and grand the technology, nothing will work. Staff is needed to develop and carryout marketing strategy, produce quality materials, help guide individual lawyers and communicate to the outside world. Without experienced staff, you’ll see turnover, partner frustration, and bad marketing.
The partner who decides two minutes before a new business meeting that he wants “some materials,” will never be satisfied with the result. Project management and communications are essential skills that should be possessed by both marketing professionals and lawyers. Lawyers should be taught the skills of project management, and marketers should be given the support to train partners as to their department’s resources.
They should also be given the support to say “no” to requests that go against the firm’s culture or to provide options that exceed the department’s abilities.
Many of us who read these books did not look like Jane. At the time, the official Jane was very blond with manageable hair and ivory skin. She always wore a frilly dress and excelled at roller skater. Fortunately, they stopped using the Dick and Jane books in 1973. Curly and dark-haired girls like me finally had their day.
Created with Shutterstock AI (I still can’t roller skate, but I can play with AI.)