At the LMA Annual Conference last month, more than 1400 legal marketers got together to learn, connect and grow as professionals. One of the key themes prevalent at conference was that the role of legal marketers within law firms is changing. The skills needed to be successful in these new roles are not the same as they were even five years ago.
An audience poll during Deloitte CMO Diana O’Brien’s keynote session revealed that the three attributes most necessary for legal marketers today are: flexibility, vision and adaptability. The reason these attributes are so important is because marketing leaders, including legal marketers, need to be the voice of the customer within their organizations, as well as stewards of the customer experience.
A joint survey conducted by the LMA and Bloomberg Law and revealed at the conference shows that legal marketing and business development professionals are, indeed, becoming more involved in client service and having a first-hand impact on client engagements. Nancy Furman Paul from Bloomberg Law presented the survey results, which showed that business development professionals are doing significantly more direct business development and forming and managing client teams more now than they were three years ago. Additionally, both marketing and business development professionals are spending more time on client service and relationship management activities.
In addition to more client-facing activities, both marketing and business development professionals are doing significantly more in terms of practice and process improvement, practice and business planning, firm strategic planning, attorney coaching and content marketing. Marketers are also focusing more on competitive intelligence. And everyone, including attorneys, is engaging in more social media. At the same time, no one is seeing a significant decline in other responsibilities. So, marketers and business development professionals are increasingly taking on new responsibilities and expanding their roles, particularly as it relates to strategic activities.
In fact, 45 percent of law firms have someone with the title of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and 20 percent have a Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO). Another C-suite title that seems to be on the rise, particularly at firms with more than 200 attorneys, is Chief Pricing Officer.
To read more about the changing role of marketing and business development professionals as well as the three other key takeaways from the survey, access the full report: http://www.legalmarketing.org/bloomberg-lma-survey.