A marketing professional locked behind a desk and not active externally is a huge waste of assets -- a practice all too common among law firms. I have been a professional services marketer for more than 15 years now, and hands down know that if I was not active in business networking and attending events I could never have realized my own success.
Our business (law firm marketing) is both big picture (doing the block and tackle of marketing to present a firm brand) and little picture (connecting people to new relationships). I do my homework on the big picture stuff -- studying and learning what I can about classic marketing skills -- and I also do my homework on the street to learn about the movers and shakers that can propel my partners forward. That last part is pretty important -- "learning about the movers and shakers that can propel my partners forward."
It requires that I go to events, lunches, etc., check out attendees, ask about opportunities and learn about the different players in the market. This one action of exploring relationship opportunities as a neutral player makes all the difference.
From my neutral position I can gauge the quality of a potential connection and create the introductions that will be the most productive without bias.
Marketers are GREAT as observers and catalysts. If you are a marketer, use this skill to benefit your firm. If you are an attorney, allow your marketers the freedom to deliver this most essential service.