Book review: Ark’s “Best Practices in Legal Marketing”

Posted on: December 7, 2011

This little book contains a selection of articles focusing on some of the challenges of law firm marketing – both in the Uk and the USA. Here’s a synopsis:

Market changes – dealing with uncertainty using scenarios

If you don’t fancy reading a whole book on the subject of scenarios (see my post: https://www.kimtasso.com/book-review-chaotics-the-business-of-managing-and-marketing-in-the-age-of-turbulence) then this provides a neat summary. It considers identifying the drivers of change through long range analysis (PESTLE), competitive analysis (Porter’s Five Forces) and internal analysis before moving on to sourcing the intelligence needed for scenarios.

Then there’s a chapter on Securing your seat at the strategy table by yours truly and there’s a separate blog on this https://www.kimtasso.com/securing-your-seat-at-the-strategy-table

Client service and relationship strategy

In possibly my favourite chapter, the delivery of quality and consistent levels of client service are addressed and the need for better communication, team work, cultural and attitudinal change. The top 10 areas where clients report performance could be improved are listed as well as the survey results that show 93% of Winmark Looking Glass survey (2011) have client service as their number one priority.  Results from “Service 2020: Megatrends for the Decade Ahead” (Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by BDO) are reviewed before the author suggests a four point approach to making substantive progress on a small number of fronts.

Legal business development – the bottom line on return on investment

This important chapter considers the rate of return over the life of an initiative – and the need to include both time (opportunity) and cash costs. There’s a five point plan for growing your practice and case studies of lawyers using simple techniques to do just that. Like many others, it suggests narrowing your focus and, less commonly, blogging about it.

Then Effective marketing and relationship management on a low budget by me again, and there’s a separate blog on this section https://www.kimtasso.com/effective-marketing-and-relationship-management-on-a-low-budget

Partnership engagement – the only strategy game in town

After considering the special challenges of partnerships, the prospect of an emergent (Mintzberg) strategy is explored. There’s insight into partners who are “unconsciously competent” at marketing and ideas about winning a voice with the partners primarily through the development of consulting skills.

The role of the partner in delivering a marketing strategy

After a review of the extended marketing mix, this chapter explores how this might impact the expectations of the role of the partner and four components are explored – applying legal expertise, running teams and projects, developing existing clients and winning new clients. It also splits the external and internal and lawyer versus project manager roles. There’s a great diagram breaking down the practical aspects of the partner role and another on partner expectations and activities.

Marketing trends in US firms

Key trends in the US legal sector are summarised and it’s helpful to see the similarities with the UK market. There’s a historical piece about how legal marketing evolved.

Innovative marketing in the US

There’s some interesting ideas in here – for example, using social media tools and apps (with push notifications on vacancies) for recruitment and apps on Consumer advertising law with a Kindle version. There’s a case study of mobile tagging to reduce the need for printed brochures, a nice cross-selling video to support selling and “marriage broking” clients and lawyers. There’s also examples of knowledge management sites, knowledge sharing applications and benchmarking and collaboration systems. And I loved the business development book club concept.

The book can be ordered here: http://www.legalmarketingmag.com/Publication.asp?pubid=A1958FCE-104A-455E-B3A2-38DF4C961B5B It costs £195 which seems an awful lot for such a little book – but I guess it does distil the thoughts of some of the leading thinkers (Andrew Hedley, Paula Black, Laurie Young, Bruce Marcus and Dr Silvia Hodges) in the market.

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