Law firm marketing has come a long way in a decade. An LMA seminar today made that clear. And it holds some lessons for knowledge management and IT professionals. 

The DC chapter of Legal Marketing Association (LMA) today hosted a seminar, “Technology Matrix – Building effective knowledge sharing and using it to plan strategy and track ROI.” Panelists were Mark Greene, Chief Marketing Officer, Nixon Peabody LLP; Catherine Bishop, Chief Marketing Officer, Blank Rome LLP; and Steve Bell, Director of Sales, Womble Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, PLLC.

All three firms have sophisticated IT architectures that integrate multiple systems to support marketing and sales. Some interesting points:

  • If firm management does not have a business perspective, marketing will fail
  • Use a taxonomy to categorize matters; that’s the basis of all business analysis
  • “All data should have its own home” (aka a single authoritative source for all data)
  • SharePoint is an excellent platform to deliver disparate data and reports to lawyers and staff
  • Business intelligence tools (e.g., Redwood) can provide key data for marketing
  • Software, complex as it may be, is the easy part; changing culture and behavior is much harder
  • Very few lawyers use CRM
  • Contests and competition are an excellent way to motivate lawyers to contribute data to marketing efforts

Lessons for KM: Marketing faces similar issues, from collecting and integrating data to presenting results to changing behavior. If you are not already closely allied with marketing, now is the time to get moving. (Oh, also take note that this event – local to DC – had more attendees than most national KM meetings I have attended.)

Lessons for IT: Marketing is an important IT customer. If you manage technology, part of your job is supporting marketing. If your marketing department is not using modern tools and an integrated approach, offer to help them.

In my next post, more on the return on investment (ROI) of marketing.