Chief Business Development & Marketing Officer
LFMS: What three industry trends are impacting the industry the most and how are they changing the role of marketers and business development professionals within law firms?
1. Growing in-house teams and the in-sourcing of legal work
2. Digitalization of the delivery of legal services
3. Commoditization and unbundling.
From a strategic point of view, BDM professionals should help lawyers to find innovative ways to deliver legal services, to achieve a better understanding of the client and its business. From a marketing point of view, help strengthen the brand so that in a shrinking market the market share can grow.
LFMS: Is there a key factor that helps marketers and business development professionals build a better relationship with law firm partners? Or, how can law firm partners empower their BD and marketing teams?
For the relationship BDM– lawyers the same applies as for the relationship lawyers–clients: the more you understand what lawyers do (= understand their business) and the more frequent and better your conversations are, the more you can improve the service and thereby the relationship. Involving BDM professionals more, including letting them talk to clients would improve such understanding. Lawyers should trust their BDM colleagues; building trust is a must from both sides.
LFMS: How is the law firm – client relationship changing?
The trend of the last years continues: we are on a buyers’ market; the relationship is driven by the clients (in-house teams / GCs). They demand more-for-less and build their own legal departments. Lawyers are forced to “come out of the black box”, the production became more transparent, as in-house teams understand the business model and the production details.
LFMS: What would be your single most important tip for winning at pitches?
Should be tailored-made to the specific client and legal issue.
LFMS: What lessons should law firms be heeding from GCs and the approach they are now taking to buying legal services?
Have lean and transparent, technology-supported delivery processes, build business understanding, invest in people with client management, communication skills.
LFMS: How do you see new tech helping law firm marketers and business development professionals meet their challenges?
There are great tools, e.g., InterAction CRM System to streamline activities and make marketing more efficient. New, machine-learning-based technologies help to discover/find information and BD knowledge in the firm.
LFMS: Looking at the agenda for the Law Firm Marketing Summit, which sessions are you most looking forward to?
Influencing and driving change, Innovation, Relationship redefined