Lawyers (and most other professionals) are not marketers. The two pursuits demand radically different skill sets and attitudes. Our role as consultants is to bridge this gap – to help clients view their practices from a marketer’s perspective, and to help them build marketing programs that get results. Results, after all, are all that matter.
We work with individual attorneys, practice groups, or entire firms. We operate on whatever level the client requires, from the development of high-level strategic plans and positioning to more in-depth, detailed analysis of clients, markets or individual opportunities. Typically, this involves asking questions, followed by more questions, to understand what the firm needs to say and the client needs to hear.
We have a definite bias toward action. We do not prepare reports, drop them on the client’s desk and send in an invoice. We create programs that do things, with measurable goals and specific steps. Ideally, we eventually make ourselves redundant – developing processes that the client can eventually execute without us.
We also strive to come up with innovative approaches. Professional services marketing, especially for law firms, has a definite tendency to recycle the same old stuff over and over. This is a mistake. Every client is unique. Markets and situations change. Our solutions are custom-developed for each client’s needs, and often incorporate thinking, technologies or ideas from other disciplines. We take pride in that.
Marketing audits are a specific variation on this approach. In an audit, our role is to review of the law firm’s current marketing efforts and provide an assessment and identify problem areas – what’s working, what’s not, and why. The end result is to establish priorities directions, tied to specific recommendations whenever possible.
Finally, and again, we are all about results. Marketing and business development have to bring in new business, or they’re pointless. Marketing’s role is to pave the way for business development, and without concrete, tangible evidence that a marketing approach is working, it’s not. We never forget that.