We are well over a year into working in a predominantly virtual set up and as waves of Zoom fatigue and virtual event overload come and go, the big question many marketing and BD professionals are being asked by their lawyers is how can they continue engage and develop relationships with clients.
In an insightful panel discussion, several expert leaders in the legal space shared how they like to be communicated with.
Our panellists were:
- Louis Roman, Interim CMO at Freshfields
- Terra Potter, General Counsel at Hexcel
- Adam Burrows, SVP Commercial & Marketing Legal at Salesforce
- Jeremy Ford, European Head of Marketing & Communications at Skadden.
Here are a few takeaways from the session;
Lead with insight, not announcements
There was a unanimous feeling among the panel that any communications must bring insight and add value. Firm announcements really are not that useful. Louis added that people are very busy and overloaded with information and that lawyers need to communicate what they are passionate about, not the updates of the firm.
Be authentic, personal and human
The panel spoke about how they really value connections from lawyers. Checking in when there is something that clients need to know about shows that the lawyer understands the needs of the client and is able to help.
Be targeted in your communications
Both Adam and Terra highlighted how email marketing is easy to sort and delete, this also fits with what Sadie Baron, CMO of Reed Smith reported in another session at the conference that a less than 2% open rate on a email marketing campaign is not uncommon. On the contrary, receiving bespoke pointed emails really resonates e.g 'you work in this space, here are 3 things you might need to be aware of'. Adam also highlighted that "un-targeted communications get annoying" and that he starts to associate the firm sending these with having no sense of who he is or what important to his firm.
Having an online presence as fee earner is a necessity, not a nicety
This is a theme that popped up a few times over the 2-day conference. LinkedIn can be a brilliant platform to build a self-brand and establish credibility in a specific area. Terra talked about how for her, LinkedIn has become one of her main source of industry information. Fee earners can use LinkedIn to start a dialogue with clients, peers from other firms, and other experts in the field.
In summary, if you are a lawyer communicating with your clients, Add value, Be Human, Be targeted, and Be present online.