Another week and another excellent virtual event, this time from The Lawyer's Marketing Leadership Summit. What was lost in human interaction, was certainly made up for in the quality of talks and discussion points arising from them.
Amongst various sessions, Jeremy Ford (European Head of Marketing at Skadden) hosted Michelle Holford (Director of BD at Slaughter & May), Jason Piro (Global Head of Strategy & Development, White & Case) and Nicola Brooks (Head of Legal Operations Transformation Services, KPMG) in an excellent talk regarding how the BD and Marketing function is evolving.
The practice of law is not traditionally renowned for keeping pace with society’s changing demands and the new ways of the world, however unsurprisingly, the dreaded 'C-word' has accelerated this. So what key takeaways were there:
Diversity of Thought
Nicola shared that in that BD or Marketing position, you have the opportunity to demonstrate a "growth mindset" which will help your firm stand out from a communications perspective. This was added to by Jeremy who explained it is no longer about the classic 9-5 - through reading the news, looking at trends in the market you can add new ideas and thoughts further differentiating yourself. Michelle neatly wrapped this up by explaining how you can take the lawyers and clients on journey, through story telling, essentially "showing what you know".
As Jason shared, "there are no shortage of lawyers in the market, so how are you delivering your expertise? It is important to be concise and understand what opportunities there are to add value". For instance this could be by analysing data and trends to ensure you are 'ahead of the game' to make responses much better, almost predicting the issues clients will face with, "streamlined information, delivered in a tailored way". As Nicola says, "clients value rocket scientists, meaning they want what is inside the experts heads. So how are you getting that out of them and in front of the client".
With the BD & Marketing team being seen more and more "in the room", it gives greater opportunity to tie all the functions together and ensure that the firm is working collaboratively towards a goal with the client. Each of the speakers shared different examples and with Jeremy's story, he showed how clients are expecting collaborative thinking; "recently talking to the National Grid, they explained how their 8 panel firms were each paired and given different challenges to overcome, this involved more than just the lawyers".
This final anecdote neatly ties in those key themes. It really is about being able to demonstrate a diversity of thought that sets you apart from your competitors, showing that you are the go-to experts, with that you can add genuine value whilst working together for the same goal.