The Annual Half Day Program Review - Our Clients: How Do We Help Lawyers Move the Needle?

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On October 26, the Capital Chapter held its 2016 Annual Half Day Program – Our Clients: How Do We Help Lawyers Move the Needle?  The event was moderated by Joe Calve, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at McGuireWoods. The panel of guests included: Cynthia Cherry, Chief Human Resources Officer at Ober|Kaler; Adrian Lürssen, co-founder of JD Supra; Tony Kim, Partner at Orrick; Erin Corbin Meszaros, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at Sutherland; Mahvesh A. Qureshi, Partner at Hogan Lovells; Lori Zukin, founder of Zukin Leadership and faculty at Georgetown University; Paul Malanowski and Mark Simpson, Director of Client Relations and Partner at Saul Ewing, respectively.  

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The morning began with a discussion led by Joe Calve on how to improve the lawyer-marketer relationship so that we, collectively, can better service our clients. He encourages us to eliminate the often transactional nature of the lawyer-marketer relationship, i.e., where the lawyer gives the assignment and marketing completes it. Tony Kim suggests treating your marketers like partners.  For example, when a new marketer joins the team, have a “hope and dreams” day to integrate them into the practice. Let them get to know your clients and the hopes, dreams, and goals of the practice.  Mahvesh Qureshi suggests being intentional about building the relationship between attorneys and marketers.  That is, instead of always “drinking from a fire hose,” and taking orders, try to schedule face time to strengthen the relationship.

The biggest concern of our attorneys’ clients is that their attorneys know their business. The same is true of our internal clients: our attorneys. Mahvesh Qureshi suggests marketers dig deeper and get to know an attorney’s personal practice, how it fits into the broader practice group, and how that practice group fits into the firm as a whole.  She notes that marketers make great silo busters because they how to bring together different practice groups.

Business Development and Marketing is now sales-oriented, so it’s also important to know “the business.” Attorneys should include marketers on pitch calls and meetings so the marketers can figure out what works and what doesn’t. As marketers, we should know our attorneys’ strengths and how we can connect those strengths with the proper client. Mark Simpson explains that the proactive marketer adds value to the practice by thinking outside of box. For example, Mark was conditioned to taking routine trips to the UK to see clients. Paul Malanowski suggested that Mark integrate client interviews into a trip; an idea that was a hit with the clients.  

The final takeaways from the morning panel are:

  • Be inquisitive: Get to know attorneys – and their clients – on a personal level
  • No attorney left behind: While rainmakers are great, don’t neglect relationships with other attorneys who do not seek out marketing
  • Analytics: Have a discussion with attorneys using data and analytics

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The next part of the program included six TED-style talks from industry thought leaders. Lori Zurin discussed the habits of effective leaders.  One such habit is remembering that leadership is a public act and deciding your priorities. Moderator, Erin Meszaros, led the conversation on disaster recovery. She emphasized the importance of anticipating problems before they happen.  Cynthia Cherry addressed the importance of working with HR and practice groups to incorporate marketing into the lateral recruiting process.

Paul Malanowski examined the achievement business development victories. Research and knowing what success looks like for a particular client are key to successful client meetings. Adrian Lürssen facilitated the discussion on social media. As marketers, instead of reacting to the question of “what,” we need to be asking “why”? Why do you need a profile on particular social media platform? 

In-depth takeaways from all of the speakers can be found here.

We would like to say a special thank you to our host, Hogan Lovells and to all of our guest speakers. We would also like to thank our event sponsors: The Deal, Herrmann, The Ad Answer, JD Supra, RubyLaw and Saturno.

By Kamaria Salau, Marketing Manager at Jackson & Campbell, P.C. for the September/October issue of Capital Ideas.

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