The Lawyer Marketing Leadership Summit 2022 kicked off with an insightful Keynote from Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Ampa, a group of legal and professional services companies which includes Shakespeare Martineau.
Despite the tough last 2 years, the legal industry is continuing to grow, however with uncertainty looming in the future law firms can be taking a proactive approach to managing risk.
Here are my key takeaways from Sarah Walker-Smith as she discussed how marketing and BD teams prepare for volatility and opportunity?
Agility - Firms have got to adopt agile thinking.
There are many obvious threats and opportunities for law firms. Which of these will come to define the next era of growth for the industry cannot be known.
Firms and marketing teams should build agility into their processes, adding a flexible infrastructure and process that enables the firm to adapt to meet the challenge of the moment.
A key part of that adaptability is empowering a wider cross-section of people with the knowledge and mindset to be effective decision-makers. The role and makeup of tomorrow's marketing team is not established yet, firms that can empower their people to recognise and act on market changes will be more successful.
Be more human, more client-focused
It's difficult to escape the mindset of marketing to an entire industry, but focusing on "B2B" or "B2C" misses the key personal elements that make a go-to-market approach successful in a legal context.
What has become apparent in the last 2 years is we should focus on "P2P" - person-to-person. A firm should establish a strong purpose for its people, building a community of clients and opportunities.
Looking after the internal and external people that define success will be a key element of high-performing firms moving forward.
A final takeaway came when Sarah highlighted that if the sector grows, everyone wins. She advocates for M&BD teams in law firms to collaborate. Taking incremental gains in market share is difficult, but where marketers, BD professionals and firms can work together to grow the available market size, there is an opportunity for mutual benefit.