Monday, April 04, 2005

Marketing Help for Smaller Firms

A firm contacted me recently to discuss their marketing options. They number less than 60 attorneys and have an established book of business in specific areas of corporate practice yet feel their firm isn’t as marketing smart as it could be. They knew a full-time marketing director was not a practical answer… so what to do?

One answer of course is to reach out and ask someone like me to help them with choices, ideas, and actions. An EXCELLENT choice I might add. But educating the partners, helping them arrive at a plan, and even jumping in to make it happen may not be enough.

I went to their website to sniff around and get an initial impression of the firm and attorneys. What I found was not too bad, but it did point to a marketing problem that needed immediate thought.

The problem: Lack of attention. The evidence: The site didn’t work well in Mozilla or Netscape, lots of underlined links everywhere to make reading confusing, messages on pages that did not fit content, links to pages still needing content, very austere, etc.

By the way, this is a good, old-line firm. I checked. So how could their website not reflect the quality of the firm. We come back to the problem (lack of attention), and how to fix it.

Websites, like everything else require constant attention. As standards and technology changes so will your users experience. The same can be said of collateral, the firm boilerplate, messaging standards, proposal language, and all of the other parts of the firm that touch clients and prospects. Designating ONE person to pay attention to all of these things could be the answer.

Hiring a marketing coordinator with just few years under his/her belt could have huge benefits with minimal cost. One person who spends his/her time focused on keeping all things marketing in balance and up-to-date. They don’t need to be the idea person, just the support that keeps all of the pieces in play. Having this central character will improve a firm’s ability to respond to RFPs, generate marketing/sales letters, coordinate team sales activities, and more.

So if you find yourself wondering what your choices are with regard to marketing, putting a coordinator in place could be a great start.

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