Philadelphia Local Group member John Witts is the Senior Marketing Technology Manager at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. He’s also been serving as the co-chair of the LMA’s Marketing Technology Special Interest Group for the past few years. In this member profile, learn more about his career path, how he got involved the LMA and his musical talents.
How did you get into the legal marketing field?
I graduated college during the recession and my first job out of school (a sales role for a communications and technology company) was eliminated three months after I started. I turned up at Fox Rothschild LLP a few months after, hired as an entry-level data coordinator as part of a CRM deployment they were kicking off at the time. I had never even considered the existence of legal marketing before that first interview, but my education in marketing, information systems and data analysis played well in that first opportunity. As colleagues, responsibilities and jobs have shifted, I’ve spent the last decade or so making a home in legal marketing technology. I got involved with LMA early on, which has really cemented things for me over the course of my career. I couldn’t imagine working in any other field.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I like that legal marketing is really accelerating at a fast pace and, particularly within my world of marketing technology, there are constantly new products and ideas to explore. It’s been awesome to see the advances in legal marketing technology over the past few years, where it’s now a real driver for innovation and advances in marketing and business development. I love that the industry is so close-knit that it’s easy to pick up the phone or shoot off an email and get ideas or feedback on new tools and processes. I’m constantly inspired by colleagues at other firms, the many great service providers in the industry and the work everyone is doing to move the ball forward.
Any advice for someone who is looking to get involved in the LMA?
Dive in! The members of this organization are so open and helpful, and always looking for new voices and ideas. There are so many opportunities to get involved at all levels of the LMA, but don’t be afraid to suggest new ideas if you identify something that you think would help the organization. A few years ago, after working in legal marketing technology for a while and having attended many technology-related LMA programs and conferences, I knew there was a big audience for technology content and discussion. However, the LMA didn’t have a group focused on marketing technology. I suggested the formation of a Marketing Technology SIG, and I’m now in my third and final year co-chairing it. So don’t be afraid to speak up and make suggestions! This organization is driven by volunteers, and new or unexpected opportunities pop up all the time.
Tell us about how your LMA volunteer work has benefitted your professional development.
Volunteering with LMA takes the organization’s education and networking benefits up tenfold. I’ve now co-chaired the Marketing Technology SIG for a few years and was previously involved in local committees and SIGS in the Philadelphia City Group. These volunteer opportunities introduced me to so many people and gave me the chance to learn so many new things about the industry. They also provided me with the opportunity to build my own professional brand. I’ve been approached for comment in news items, asked to speak on panels and webinars and given space to publish blog posts and articles because of my involvement with the SIG and its impact on my professional reputation in the industry.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Most of my time outside of work is spent in fun and adventure with my wife and three boys. You can usually find us on or near a hockey rink, baseball field, karate dojo or local playground. If not coaching or spectating one of my kids’ sporting events, I’m probably at the local brewery sampling the latest craft beers or playing guitar in my basement as part of the Witts Family Band. I’m joined on guitar by my four-year-old, my six year old takes lead vocals and the baby is an excellent, though volatile guitar tech. We crush early Bon Jovi (Jersey!) and can bang through The Greatest Showman soundtrack in its entirety. We’re available for your next BBQ or partner retreat. Book today!