The 2018 LMA Your Honor Awards submissions portal is open now through Wednesday, December 13, at noon CT. As you consider submitting to one of the program’s 16 categories, your co-chairs and judges have developed a series of in-depth Q&As with past LMA winners. Read on for part one, featuring the 2017 first-place winner of the LMA Tech Impact Award on marketing and business development. This honor was awarded to Bradley, ContactEase and Clients First during the 2017 Legal Marketing Technology Conference Midwestfrom LMA’s Midwest Region.
Strategies+: Describe the winning project you submitted.
Jacqueline Madarang (JM): Earlier this year, we started a firm-wide rollout of “Bradley Connect,” which is the internal branded name given to our CRM system that is powered by ContactEase. The rollout aimed to tie in the new system with the firm’s recent rebrand to Bradley. On our YHA submission, we wanted to demonstrate the partnership between marketing, IT, training and our technology service partners — ContactEase, Clients First and Vuture.
Jennifer Whittier (JW): With an expanded geographic footprint and increased service offerings, Bradley knew that it needed to automate its marketing communications internally as well as to the firm’s clients and prospective clients, starting with a CRM solution which is where my team at ContactEase came in. Collaboration among the firm’s service partners and internal teams was key to the successful implementation, which included training over 250 users during a 3-month period.
Strategies+: Share with us one or two things about the project that you believe helped it stand out from the competition.
JM: The key things that set our CRM rollout apart were the people, process and technology, which are critical for successful implementation and firm-wide buy-in. After having two failed CRM system implementations in the past, we knew that we had our work cut out for us, and we developed a roadmap and strategy to help set us up for success. We then identified key stakeholders who would champion the value of Bradley Connect firm wide.
When it came time to launch, we hosted “Lunch & Learns” as well as offered personalized desk-side training for employees based on generation and type of work. This allowed us to address specific issues of the individual users and helped achieve buy-in from attorneys and staff. With the use of Vuture, we were able to automate email campaigns and easily manage the attendee list for each Lunch & Learn. For example, when training younger generation attorneys, we emphasized the importance of managing contact relationships and sharing within the new CRM tool. This age group often does not have contacts in their Outlook and commonly relies on autofill, and contacts they have now from their alma mater could be potentially become a client, prospective client or referral source down the road. We help connect the dots so that they understand how to use CRM for business development, especially if they are on track for partnership.
JW: With any implementation, it is imperative to have an internal champion who will advocate on behalf of the product and its benefit to the firm. ContactEase certainly found that in Jacqueline. Her knowledge of the firm’s culture and its needs was essential in establishing buy-in from the start. Branding the effort also helped emphasize the importance and value to the firm.
Strategies+: How has your work been received by the firm’s attorneys?
JM: We are still in rollout and have recently completed implementation and desk-side trainings for our largest office (with over 250 users between attorneys and staff). Currently, we are rolling out Bradley Connect to our second largest office. We have found that attorneys and staff are now using Bradley Connect to tag clients and add contacts to mailings and events. This may not seem like a lot but changing the culture internally and putting the onus on the attorneys and their secretaries to manage contact relationships has created internal efficiencies, especially within the marketing department. Attorneys and staff continue to provide positive feedback and in one of our Lunch & Learns we even had a senior partner clap at its conclusion, emphasizing to all the importance of having a CRM tool.
JW: Attorneys and staff are not only using the system and contributing contacts, but also understanding the value of CRM. New clients are often excited about the fact that ContactEase integrates seamlessly with Outlook. Because users are already familiar with this environment, it is easily accessible for users at all levels and requires minimal training to get up and running.
Strategies+: What are you plans for the project going forward?
JM: We have a project timeline that we all refer to and revisit often. While we have an aggressive rollout, we still allow ourselves to be flexible to accommodate and address issues from each group. This allows to improve our trainings before we move on to the next office. In addition, we developed an editorial calendar and plan to send email drip campaigns to users that will feature tips on how to add contacts to mailing lists, suggestions for how to mine relationships using Bradley Connect and more. Finally, we are looking into business development integrations with the system and automating some of the contact entry by use of a signature scraper.
JW: We would love for all implementations to be as well-received and championed as Bradley Connect. When you’re working with someone like Jacqueline who has the trust of her management team and understands what it takes to impact change (especially in a law firm where things tend to move at a slower pace), you really can’t go wrong. One of the things that really set this implementation apart from others is that it was a true partnership from the start.
Think you have a comparable project that deserves Your Honor Awards recognition? Submit today.
Jacqueline Madarang is senior marketing technology manager at Bradley, an Am Law 200 law firm with over 550 attorneys in nine offices. She oversees and manages the firm’s marketing technology stack, including the implementation of new tools firm-wide that assist in marketing and business development.
Jennifer Whittier joined ContactEase in 2009 and now serves as its president. Prior to joining the company, she was a ContactEase client for over five years. As the former Director of Marketing and Client Relations for Pierce Atwood, a New England law firm, Jennifer is an excellent resource for clients and future clients alike who rely on her for sound advice and extensive CRM knowledge.