Refresher for Q3 and Q4 2018: Things to Remember from Our First Eastern Canada Region Conference

As we move into the second half of the year, it’s a great time to refocus on maximizing our value as legal marketers.

The Legal Marketing Association Eastern Canada Region’s Conference in November 2017 delivered an exciting full day of discovery and networking for legal marketers, business development professionals and lawyers.

From the rich and varied content of our 10 sessions, we look back at a sampling of the most constructive and innovative ideas to inspire us as we support and build business for our firms and their practitioners.

THE LOYALTY SWITCH - James Kane, Speaker, Author, and Researcher

Satisfaction is the past; loyalty is the future. Winning the loyalty of your clients means going beyond the customer’s expectation of exceptional expertise and service. You need to prove you have the ongoing capacity to understand and exceed their needs as they evolve. Reaching this level of insight demands that you commit to knowing your client on a personal as well as a business level.

A NEW WAY TO TEACH LAWYERS MARKETING -  Allan H. Colman, The Closers Group

As advertising has taught us, humour can be a powerful motivator. “The New Colors of Law Firm Marketing,” the first law firm marketing colouring book, presents cartoons depicting amusing insights by lawyers and marketing professionals on marketing and business development. Consider using it as a tool to help you convince your lawyers that business development is everyone’s job, not just the marketing department.

RECALIBRATING FROM NON-LAWYER TO REVENUE ENABLER: ELEVATE YOURSELF TO ELEVATE YOUR FIRM - Jennifer Scazli, Calibrate Legal

We need to “operationalize” what we do at work to enable gathering of meaningful metrics that prove our worth. Consider tracking your marketing department’s time over 30 days. Information gathered will help you justify future expenditures in time and money and improve the allocation of resources.

HOW PROCUREMENT IMPACTS LAW FIRM SELECTION - Nancey Watson, NL Watson Consulting Inc.

Panelists:

Richard Brzakala, Director, External legal Services, CIBC

Nicholas Cerminaro, Director, Legal Services, Bombardier

Agnes von dem Hagen, Vice President, Infrastructure Ontario

Lisa Conway, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, InnVest

Cost certainty, not necessarily lowest cost, is a growing priority in assigning work to outside legal counsel. Winning proposals need to show clearly what work will cost and provide assurances against surprises. With a growing demand among clients for AFAs (alternative fee arrangements), law firms need to move away from billable hours and find ways to blend risk/reward or contingency models into their pricing: clients want to see value for cost. When asked about red flags, the panel agreed that proposals should avoid presenting a law firm as top-tier at all things. Instead, pitches and proposals should be developed strategically to provide a bespoke solution reflecting the real strengths of the firm.

FIVE TECHNOLOGICAL TRENDS THAT WILL CHANGE LEGAL MARKETING IN 2018 - Adrian Dayton, ClearView Social

With the emergence of artificial intelligence and big data, organizations including law firms need to engage in technology simply to survive. Lawyers are competitive by nature, so combining gamification with solid analytics will encourage them to leverage social media, leading some of them to become super users who can generate massive exposure for your firm.

EXCEPTIONAL CLIENT SERVICE SHOULDN’T BE THE EXCEPTION - Morgan MacLeod, Cubicle Fugitive

Delivering great client service is about attitude, insight and commitment as much as it is about process. By focusing on clients and asking meaningful questions, we will understand the needs, preferences and challenges that are key to their businesses. With this intelligence, we can visualize what success looks like to them, and work with them as partners in reaching their goals. We also need to remember that the client relationship is dynamic, and that we should ask for feedback regularly to ensure we are always doing what it takes to go above and beyond in providing true value. 

HAVE WE FINALLY REACHED THE TIPPING POINT FOR SUCCESS FOR LEGAL CRM? - Michael Warren, Stanton Allen LLC

Panelists: Celine Gilmore, Director, Client Development and Operations, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg

Adam Draper, Consultant, Introhive

To break down the notion lawyers hold that managing client-related information is the job of the legal assistant, we need to show them that CRM goes well beyond collecting and recording contact information. Ask lawyers for insights on their clients and the work they do for them on an on-going basis. Help the practitioners collect information, not just when the file is opened and closed, but at every stage in between.

IT’S TIME TO RETHINK LAW FIRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Melanie Trudeau, Jaffe

Panelists: Farzana Crocco, Director, Marketing and Enrollment Management, Osgoode Hall Law School

Hugh Mansfield, CEO Mansfield Inc.

David Perry, Manager, Content Marketing and Social Media, Fasken

As crucial as engaging our lawyers in social media, is targeting our communications efforts. Lawyer hours are precious, so let them concentrate on the platforms on which they are most comfortable, i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. Monitor social media in your target industries to stay on top of trends, and encourage your lawyers to address client needs to ensure that they are providing real value: information that helps the client. Lawyers need to look outwardly, beyond their own expertise, to address the client’s priorities. Help them develop a meaningful dialogue with the audience. For instance, inviting responses to social media posts helps monitor traction, improves reader engagement, and can inform the content of future posts.

WORLD CLASS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: HOW MICRO-ADJUSTMENTS MATTER - Michael Moriarity, WinningNewBusiness.com

A small but powerful adjustment your lawyers could adopt is to focus less on selling services and more on letting the client buy. Making a sale is a process requiring multiple steps just to establish need. Buyers have already decided they need something, so helping someone buy is much easier. Suggest that lawyers pose provocative, high-gain and open-ended questions to their clients. Responses may reveal areas where the client can be challenged on pre-existing notions or where an unknown need is identified for the first time.

CLOC SPECIAL OPS — THE NEW COOL KID ON THE BLOCK - Jennifer Brown, Managing Editor, Canadian Lawyer

Panelists:

Jean-Francois L. Denis, Director of Operations/Legal Affairs, SNC-Lavalin

Richard Stewart, COO, Legal Department, BMO Financial

To manage risk and cost-efficiencies, organizations are placing growing importance on the chief operating officer (COO) and/or a legal operations (legal ops) team in developing strategies that drive decisions on the outside legal spend. While the GC (general counsel) still makes the go or no-go decisions, the input of legal ops carries significant weight. More than ever, law firms need a deep understanding of the client’s business strategies and risk tolerance to provide optimum service. With increased emphasis on data and metrics, law firms can support the GC and legal ops by providing data that will help them optimize their job performance.

 

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