Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Big Picture of Law Firm Marketing

In the big picture there are two areas that marketers can focus on at a law firm, or any professional service firm. The first is creating or changing the identity of a firm and the second is helping what already exists to work better.

Creating or Changing the Identity of a Firm
This process is about discovering the essence of a firm, creating a brand, and translating it into look, feel, and words; It’s building what has not been built before. The tasks in this process are focused on:
  • Discovering the truth of a firm and its people
  • Creating words and messages that match that truth
  • Understanding what needs to be totally different from anything prior
  • Turning words and messages into color and images
  • Gaining the agreement of many to how the firm is represented
  • Introducing something new to the market
  • Helping the internal audience adjust to major change and keeping the culture calm
Helping What Already Exists to Work Better
The firm is already well positioned within a marketplace with no need to change current messages, look, or feel. What is needed is an acceleration of effectiveness in the marketplace. The tasks in this process ore focused on:
  • Improving relationship networks of partners and business developers
  • Filtering and selecting sponsorships and alliances
  • Mentoring and training of client/market-facing people
  • Fine tuning of marketing materials and processes
  • Discarding unproductive programs and projects
Every firm needs one or both of these things to get from today to tomorrow. Sometimes a firm can’t know which is what they need most just because it (the firm and its people) is too close to its own identity. It is up to the people in marketing roles to step outside the firm and see it as it is seen in the market, and then pick the right area to focus on.
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