We just completed a rigorous two-day competitive intelligence (CI) certificate to marketers in the legal profession, a joint effort with the Legal Marketing Association, the authority in the field. We granted LMA-CIC designation to those who passed the qualifying assessment.
The rise of CI (and marketing) in the legal profession is not surprising. It follows law firm partners’ realization that consolidation in their industries makes life harder for the thousands of smaller firms and makes the large firms all look alike (one-stop shop). So, it’s time to bring in marketers.
The caveat is that marketing, as a discipline, began with consumer products. When mass production and economies of distribution brought these products within reach of millions, broadly conveyed differentiation became a necessity and brands and marketers flourished. Salespeople’s individual selling skills became less important as retailers and consumers demanded the products. Market research reigns in consumer markets.
Why are marketers “step children” in law firms?
Alas, in relationship-based industries, where the product or service is not mass marketed, marketers struggle as salespeople reign. In legal firms, senior lawyers and partners are de facto senior salespeople. They are the rainmakers. Their sales are based on developing and cultivating personal relationships with decision makers and tailoring solutions. They regard marketers as brochure writers and data gatherers from the internet. Marketers are, therefore, “step children.” It is the partners who know the client’s ins and outs.
Continue reading Dr. Ben Gilad's perspective on competitive intelligence in legal marketing.