Friday, April 07, 2006

Law Firm Marketing and NASCAR

Anyone that knows me well is quite aware of my passion for NASCAR racing (Go 24!). So it's only a matter of time before I write something about marketing law firms and use racing to make a point. The most obvious lesson NASCAR racing teaches is how to be flexible when executing a plan.

Each week the racing teams go to a new track and after a couple of days of racing come up with their strategy for the Sunday race. It's a complex plan incorporating tack conditions, cars, parts, frames, driver capability, and technology more advanced than the space program. By Sunday each team has their plan for success with more moving parts the world economy.

Much of the same effort goes into creating a 'go to market' strategy for a law firm. Months of listening, measuring, understanding, creating, teaching, and planning before the first competitive salvo in launched. With so much invested we can hope that everything will go just as planned....

What every great NASCAR crew chief knows is that no plan will execute exactly as planned. Some crew chiefs are legendary for their ability to adjust their car, driver, and plan from the first lap to the last lap. It is not uncommon for a car to start a race poorly (lagging behind running much slower than the leaders), but by race-end is unbeatable. Constant adjusting of the master plan while in the heat of competition is the key.

Great crew chiefs, and great marketers, never sit on a failing or faltering result because they have too much ownership of the first thing they tried. Everything and anything can be changed. Success does not reward the best plan; it rewards the best execution.

A plan (absolutely essential) is just a starting place. Being able to see the big picture in the heat of competition, and adjust, is how to finish in front.
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