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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Legal Marketers Learn From Pros How to Work Smarter With Less Stress

 

By Michael Bond, Blattel Communications

 

The Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area Chapter’s November educational program was “Breakthrough Ideas to Help You and Your Staff Work Smarter and Better with Less Pain and Stress” The program featured three panelists: Kathleen Flynn, Chief Marketing Officer at Sedgwick; Allen Fuqua, Chief Marketing Officer at Dallas-based Winstead PC; and Adam Stock, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis.

The program was kicked off by Fuqua who presented a law firm activities matrix broken into four quadrants ranking law firm marketing and business development activities’ potential value squared with the in-house team’s ability to drive/innovate these activities. Entries fell across the board with the poles represented by holiday cards (low value, low ability to drive/innovate) to media relations (high value, high ability to drive/innovate). As for lower quadrant items, such as holiday cards, Fuqua was emphatic in noting that one needs to ask: “What if I put all the energy that I usually waste and get stressed about for this project and put it up here (pointing to high value, high ability to drive/innovate)?” Aware that some lower quadrant activities have the potential to be valuable, he offered that a tool for judging and moving projects up in value is targeting.

Stock offered a simple visual matrix, which he feels outlines the ultimate desired goal for law firms. The design is a flow chart that takes “strangers” to “friends” to “clients” to “loyal clients.” He then expounded on Allen Matkins’ revised RFP process, which he championed. Under his leadership, the marketing department began to ask for seven days of lead time for proposals to do research and target. He and his team then produced results that compelled a shift in thinking. Within six months of launching this initiative, the number of proposals requested with less than 48-hours lead time shrank to less than five percent.

One of Flynn’s salient points was that relationships matter. She noted that when she travels to the firm’s various offices, she always makes a point of staying after 5:00 p.m. to drop in and catch up with staff and attorneys – building relationship capital. Flynn also explained that, while she expects excellent results from her staff, she also is mindful of the camaraderie aspect and frequently rewards them with team building outings and social activities.

All three seasoned marketers offered different viewpoints; however, the need for a calm, process-oriented demeanor was, perhaps, the most crucial component to breaking through and working smarter and with less stress.

 


Michael Bond is the vice-chair of the Legal Marketing Association – Bay Area Chapter Program Committee and a senior account executive at Blattel Communications. He can be reached at michael@blattel.com.

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