Friday, November 04, 2005

Living With a Marketing Committee

Tom Kane lamented recently that he, "had the dubious honor of having a marketing committee to work with." I am a huge fan of just about any words that Tom shares, including his words on the difficulty of working with firms that market by committee. But, being a CMO living with a marketing committee I am finding unexpected sunlight in the process.

My marketing committee includes the current lead partner from each of the practice groups in the firm, one member of the executive committee, plus a few additional interested volunteer partners.

The advantage I have gained because of the marketing committee includes:
  • I am new to the firm with little or no initial understanding of the internal politics and culture. Members of the committee have done an excellent job of both schooling me about the culture and have acted as ambassadors to their groups with regard to choices being made.
  • The leader of the BDC (my firm calls the marketing committee the Business Development Committee) is very respected within the partnership and has incredible internal savvy.
  • The marketing committee is made up of partners (by rank or interst) that have an aggressive attitude about marketing, programs, and making a difference.
  • My marketing preferences get challenged intelligently. Reasonable questions require reasoned answers. My committee members have asked reasonable questions.
I know that not all law firm marketers have committee members similar to mine. But I must say, the challenge of building a good business case for each recommendation I make has been incredibly refreshing. At least for me the opportunity to be challenged is incredibly satisfying. I am not "winning" every challenge but the pace of change is rewarding.