Review of December Strategies LIVE! Webinar
By: LMA International
LMA’s Strategies LIVE! webinar series builds on the most recent issue of Strategies. On Dec. 1, we invited three members of the marketing technologist panel from “Tech Talk” — the Nov./Dec. Strategies cover story — to offer insights into the adoption of marketing technology. The panelists outlined the benefits of marketing technology, ways to effectively integrate it and resources for gathering the right information.
First thing’s first: Why adopt marketing technology at all? Our panelists see it as an efficiency booster.
“Figure out where the inefficiencies are in your current processes. Where do you think things can change? How can you work smarter?” Jacob Berschauer, marketing technology manager at Venable LLP, said. “Start by inventorying all the different resources that it takes to complete specific, easy, day-to-day tasks, like, for example, responding to pitches. Once you can identify gaps in a process, you can then start saying, ‘Hey, maybe there’s a different solution out there.’”
Certain marketing technology tools can boost efficiency immediately. Patty Azimi, marketing technology manager at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, gushed about the benefits of email marketing platforms. “If you don’t have an email marketing platform, you’re really stuck doing things manually.” Berschauer shared his love for data consolidation tools like CRM, and John Witts, marketing technology manager at Fox Rothschild LLP, highlighted the CMS on his firm’s website.
But, with all of that in mind, it is crucial to remember that selecting the best technology means selecting the best technology for your firm. Witts cautioned, “In our industry especially, there’s a lot of temptation to latch on to a specific technology that’s available just because everyone else is. But just because somebody else is using it, doesn’t mean it will work for you.”
This focus on customizing your technology selections for your firm is not just for comfort — it’s for the bottom line. Azimi outlined her rigorous vetting and demo process when it comes to selecting technology. “Vendors probably hate dealing with me,” she said, laughing. “I go through such a detail-oriented vetting and demo process because, well, technology’s not cheap. It’s not easy to get it approved on your budget for the following year in the first place, and then the last thing you want to do is purchase something that’s not the right fit for your firm.”
One way to minimize the risk of a poor investment is to connect early and consistently with your internal IT staff. “Sometimes the best tool you buy is the tool you don’t buy,” Berschauer said. “Having a clear line of communication with someone in IT can be very helpful; oftentimes you will find that you don’t need something new — you already have what you need.”
If your firm is not integrating technology as quickly as it could, don’t be afraid to gather the right information and take some initiative. “Be up-front with your supervisors and say something like, ‘I want to do something that’s more focused on technology,’” Berschauer suggests. “Come prepared: Let your peers and your attorneys know that you’ve done your homework. Demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about, and be confident. You’d be surprised what you can do just by giving the information to the people that make the decisions.”
And the best ways to begin gathering that information? Azimi firmly believes in the benefits of attending conferences such as the LMA Annual Conference, the LMA Technology Conferences and ILTACON. Berschauer recommends keeping on top of trends, rather than on top of every single piece of technology that comes out. And Witts suggests talking with colleagues outside of the legal industry to gain new perspectives, as well as taking some calls from vendors to hear their 10-minute pitches. Take advantage of all the opportunities to learn – the more you know, the better decisions you can make for your firm.
A huge thanks goes out to our participating marketing technology experts for offering expert advice. If you are interested for more information, including insights from Jennifer Klyse, principal at Klyse Advisory Group LLC, and Ryan McClead, vice president of client engagement and strategy at Neota Logic Inc., we invite you to listen to the full webinar recording.