2018 Winners – Marketing Management and Leadership: Internal Marketing

First Place

Morse Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC

Incentivize to Maximize: Driving Whole-Firm Engagement using the Carrot not the Stick!

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Summary: The primary goal of the Marketing Incentive Program (MIP) is to drive firm engagement in marketing, BD, PR and social media. The secondary goal of the MIP is to enhance analytics reporting capabilities of the marketing department. Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton predicted that if an attorney earns rewards for their marketing actions, they are more likely to report it. Everyone in the firm – from lawyer to staff – can market, so all employees needed to be eligible for the program. The firm is pleased to report that both goals were met.

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Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton was in need of an incentive program that would boost marketing participation but wouldn’t break the bank or require extra staff. The firm wanted to reward firm members for reporting the marketing they’re already doing and encourage them to set new goals. It needed a tool to help us track points and balances. Enter LiveSchool, a customizable application that provides an easy way to track, reward and improve behavior. The firm loads its own goals, customizes rewards and produces individual reports. For roll-out, the firm provided employees with a list of goals, a guide to earning points and the initial order form. LiveSchool is app-based, so we give points on-the-spot, reducing the administrative burden. Payroll is run on Friday mornings. Everyone who has earned points that week receives a paycheck. Once they’ve earn enough points, they may redeem for rewards. Orders are placed once a month. In order to keep the program fresh, the firm edits the goals regularly and swaps out rewards seasonally.

Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton sees improved participation in several areas. The firm’s average retweets per month increased from 23 to 95, and its LinkedIn page saw a 78 percent increase in average monthly page views. As a whole, the firm earned 5,568 points, with 1,401 of those earned by staff/para. The top goals achieved by attorneys include sharing LinkedIn posts (105), having coffee/meal with a prospect (76) and bringing a colleague on a pitch (63). For staff/para, some of the most popular goals attained include retweeting (366) and sharing LinkedIn posts (345). Attending industry (e.g., ALA) events (26) also saw a boost. Of the 5,568 points, many have been redeemed for rewards such as totes, vests and golf towels. One paralegal has used her points to purchase journals. She writes a note inside and sends them to clients. Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton's ability to report on everything from social shares to BD lunches has been strongly improved by motivating the firm with this program.

Second Place


Quick Start Lateral Integration Program

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Summary: Dykema developed a business development-focused lateral integration program with the goal of achieving a smooth and profitable transition of a lateral’s current book while capitalizing on opportunities to cross-serve firm clients. The firm's strategy is to systematically promote laterals through the implementation of a Lateral Business Development Plan, scheduled check-in calls with business development and “Laterally Speaking” videos posted on the firm intranet. To date, the goals have been met.

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Shortly after joining, Dykema's laterals have an initial call with the Hiring Partner, Practice Leader, Department Director and Business Development Manager to discuss the integration process and the Lateral Plan. Six follow-up calls are then scheduled at set intervals (30-day, 60-day, 90-day, 6-month, 9-month, 12-month). The business development manager works with the lateral to update the Lateral Plan. During each call, Dykema uses the following four areas of focus to lay the foundation for the Lateral Plan: Client Retention and Growth, Prospective Client Targets, Internal Promotion/Cross-Selling, and Other Issues to Ensure Integration. Upon joining the firm, Dykema coordinates with a PR firm to identify media opportunities. It also produces “Laterally Speaking” videos by filming its laterals as they speak on their practice and background and post them to Dykema’s main intranet page. After 12 months, the formal process ends and the practice leader will identify any additional support needed.

In the past, the firm’s lateral integration was ad hoc and mainly focused on transferring client files, bios and announcements. Business development now drives the process in a systematic fashion across all offices and practices. Within the submission timeframe, 19 laterals have been a part of the integration process.

  • On average, billable hours were 44 percent greater for laterals during the first six months at the firm, compared to the laterals who joined before the program began.
  • “Laterally Speaking” videos are broadly viewed by firm attorneys and have the highest click rate for any item on the firm intranet.
  • Within the first six months, laterals that have gone through the program are featured on average in 5-plus media publications, and have opened an average of 7.3 matters outside of their home office.
  • Feedback from our attorneys has been positive, such as, “The lateral integration program has held both the firm and me accountable for my development following the transition."

Third Place

DLA Piper

Events Process Improvement

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Summary: DLA Piper's goal was to more effectively deliver client-facing events. The primary objectives were: 1) to develop the tools and resources needed to enable effective and consistent event planning by the marketing team; 2) to provide DLA Piper lawyers and staff members with more clarity and consistency when engaging marketing support for an event; and, 3) to establish a meaningful, consistent set of metrics for measuring the return on investment and use those metrics to influence better event programming.

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DLA Piper created an online Event Request Form. In addition to logistical questions, it requires information on goals, target audience and how it supports practice/sector business plans. A committee of senior marketing personnel meet weekly to discuss submissions. No marketing support is provided until the committee approves. Each event is assigned a tier, which determines the level of support. An Event Planning Toolkit and self-help materials were developed for use when there is no marketing support. The firm also developed a comprehensive Policies and Procedures document to clearly outline the new process and provide the weight of official policy to support committee decisions. Finally, the firm mandated the tracking of attendees for all supported events. Using the firm's CRM, DLA Piper developed a report that shows collections on all matters opened by attending companies in the 12 months following each event, which the firm compares to the actual cost of the event to determine revenue for every dollar spent.

Centralizing all requests and asking “why” questions up front has moved marketing from order-takers to strategic advisors. Using the cost-to-revenue ROI data, DLA Piper has proven successful events have four key elements: clear goals, a targeted audience, showcase of expertise and engaged lawyers. Leveraging this information, the intake committee has been able to influence better programming and allocate firm resources to events with the highest potential for return. Event expenditures from January–November 2016 to January–November 2017 have gone down by 39.1 percent (a $500,000-plus savings), while median cost-to-revenue has gone up 309.5 percent from June 2016 to September 2017. All utilizing existing resources with no hard costs. The weekly meetings are a large investment of time by the committee members, but having a small team of senior staff making the decisions means getting the events allocated quickly and appropriately. This centralized approach has freed up overall staff time to focus on higher priority work.