Principal, Wheeler Associates
Kevin Wheeler, Principal of Wheeler Associates, will be moderating a panel on the creation and maintenance of a marketing culture within law firms. We were thrilled to be able to have a chance to catch up with him before the summit to find out his views on some of the key challenges facing law firms.
What do you think is the biggest single challenge threatening the profitable future of law firms?
Failing to listen to what clients say they need from their lawyers. If you don’t do this they will stop instructing you and go to other firms/lawyers.
When you look at how other professional services sectors are adapting their marketing and business development strategies to changing market conditions, what do you feel the legal sector should be emulating?
Law firms can do a lot better when it comes to Thought Leadership. For example, the Big 4 accountants have been producing great TL for many years and some of their campaigns, e.g. PwC’s CEO Survey, have run for 10+ years. Of course, making sure your lawyers utilize these campaigns to open doors and start having conversations with decision-makers is key to winning new business.
One of the biggest challenges for marketing and business development teams working within law firms is to engage the managing partners in the process – what’s your personal tip for getting this to work?
Less so for junior members of the team but if you’re the most senior marketing/BD person at a law firm, make sure that at interview you get a commitment from the MP to give you the support and resources to make things happen. If the MP won’t see you at interview or give you this commitment, walk away!
What do you believe is essential to creating a positive and effective content marketing strategy?
Working with lawyers who really know their stuff – both the technical legal side but also knowledge of the industry in which they purport to be an expert. There are plenty of lawyers out there who say they have this, but often their industry knowledge is superficial and they are unable to identify ‘hot’ issues around which to build good content.
What do you believe are the most common errors in customer relationship management?
Focusing on the technology and not on changing lawyers behaviour.
Looking at the agenda for the Law Firm Marketing Summit, which sessions [apart from your own, of course] are you most looking forward to?
Zelinda Bennett … she’s always good value.
If you were to relocate to work in another country, which would you pick?
Australia … their legal sector has always been way ahead of the rest of the world in terms of law firm management practice.
For more information, check out the agenda for Law Firm Marketing Summit 2018