Welcome to the first quarterly newsletter for 2018! In exploring “The Rise of the Legal Marketing Technologist,” we were lucky to be able to sit down with Rachel Patterson, Digital Marketing Technology Coordinator at Crowell & Moring, who shares how she came to the role and offers great advice for those considering the career path.
Rachel describes herself as someone who was “always interested in computers and the Internet.” She shared that before finding her legal marketing career, she traveled extensively, keeping a blog along the way to document and share her adventures. Technology has always been available to further the reach of her communications and marketing appetite! She says that the intersection of marketing and technology is inescapable — saying the intersection is a must have in order to maximize the reach of any message.
In her first legal marketing role, she was responsible for a wide range of marketing initiatives. She found herself naturally gravitating towards the technology and delivery side of initiatives, seeing how different platforms and modes of communicating allowed for more effective delivery of the message. Rachel’s move to Crowell & Moring allowed her to focus her talents on the technology side of marketing, a move that has been professionally fulfilling and personally satisfying. In her current role, she contributes to the content and message, but a focus of her responsibilities rests in packaging and delivering with help of various technologies. One more recent example is the firm’s launch of a podcast program under her supervision.
Technologist roles are relatively new and vary from firm to firm. Digital marketing technologist, or martech, roles represent a blend of marketing and IT/web development and are more likely have a hand in developing the code of websites and require highly technical skills. A digital marketing specialist, while certainly knowledgeable about technology, is more focused on strategy, content development, SEO, etc. The titles can be interchangeable; examining the role’s requirements will let you know what the hiring firm’s expectations are.
Rachel identifies two main challenges in her role. The first is resistance to adopting new technologies. She says that developing trusted relationships with the attorneys she supports by delivering quality work product and showing the results is critical. And the second, one all marketers know too well, time to get to everything! Rachel says that technology has opened up many possibilities for a single piece of content that they are always on the go with awesome marketing initiatives. She loves the pace and wouldn’t trade it for the world!
For those who may be contemplating a role in the technologist space, Rachel has a few pieces of advice.
1. Attend LMA tech programs – They are full of pertinent information about what industry is currently doing and what trends are to be followed.
2. Volunteer to spearhead technology driven initiatives in your firms – Most firms are still trying to figure out how to use technology to drive their marketing & BD efforts. Step up to investigate, make recommendations and lead an initiative’s roll out.
3. Use the robust number of online resources available to help you figure out how to implement the technology at your firm – Rachel says “Google is your friend!” She also points to Lynda, Coursera and the Wharton Business School for more lengthy lectures and explanations.
In Rachel’s words, “Nobody who wants to remain relevant can ignore technology; the sooner you get familiar with it, the better.”
By Michelle McWhinney, Founder, Navigate Recruiting for the First Quarter 2018 LMA Mid-Atlantic Region Newsletter