Tsvetana Grakova, Business Development & Client Relationship Manager, Wolf Theiss
Client expectations are changing. And with it, the way that law firms deliver value must change as well. Tsvetana Grakova, Business Development & Client Relationship Manager at Wolf Theiss, shared her take on the evolving relationship between law firms and their clients before she joins us at the fourth annual Law Firm Marketing Summit.
LFMS: Why do you think it’s important to have a conference that unites the business development and marketing decision makers from law firms across Europe to explore current trends and issues?
TG: Conferences like the Law Firm Marketing Summit are so valuable because they create a space where we can share experiences, discuss trends and explore the latest developments in the field. Regardless of our geographic location, we often face the same challenges as business developments and marketing professionals – so it’s very inspiring to be able to tap into the know-how and experience of such a diverse group.
LFMS: What do you consider to be the biggest opportunity for law firms over the next three years? And what would you consider to be the biggest challenge arising?
TG: Client expectations have been continuously changing in recent years, requiring us to think of and adopt new ways of meeting them. The way law firms address the client experience can be a true differentiator and can create real value for their clients. It starts with listening carefully to what clients truly need and not starting from a position of offering them what the firm believes it does best or the client might want.
LFMS: What do you consider to be the key buzzword in law firm marketing and business developments, and do you think that it deserves the hype?
TG: There has been a lot of talk around innovation and what innovative solutions firms implement. A lot of that innovation, however, has been inward-focused, looking at how the firm can be more efficient internally. Much more beneficial for the client experience will be to implement solutions that benefit the client and help them improve their operations and achieve their goals.
LFMS: When you’re looking at other professional service firms, is there any single innovation that you think law firms should be emulating?
TG: Some professional services firms are excellent at keeping an eye on future developments and predicting how industries will shape. Law firms have traditionally been more ‘conservative’ in that respect. Facilitating conversations about what the future will be and how the changing landscape will affect various areas of our life can be a true differentiator in the content marketing strategies of law firms.
LFMS: With more millennials on client panels, do law firm business development and marketing teams need to adapt their approach for the new generation of clients?
TG: Millennials are used to getting information very quickly and easily. A lot of the convenience experiences found in personal life, such as ordering goods with one click and having information at our fingertips, slowly get transferred into the business world and contribute to the changing expectations from service providers. Law firms need to understand these changing needs and ways of communication and adapt to them.
LFMS: How can law firms future-proof themselves for any potential crises?
TG: Spending more time engaging with and listening to clients is a crucial step in understanding and anticipating industry and economic changes as well as service and product developments. Law firms need to be able to take decisions faster, be more agile and not so prone to risk-averse.
LFMS: What is your top tip for elevating a content marketing strategy into a comprehensive thought leadership programme?
TG: Getting away from one-off publications and trying to utilize content across channels and through story-telling can make a big difference. It is not always necessary to give all the answers in one piece – firms should think of ways to start and lead a conversation around certain topics and to engage their audience in a thought-provoking dialogue.
LFMS: Is there a space for law firms on social media? Why?
TG: Yes. The legal business remains a very personal one and social media is a great platform for lawyers to build their personal brand, to establish and develop individual relationships and to create and distribute content. From a communications perspective, it is important to have the corporate and personal brand complement each other.
Tsvetana will be leading our breakout on maximising the value of your inter-law firm referrals at the Law Firm Marketing Summit. See the full agenda HERE.