Marketing Partner Forum Preview: Collaboration within Firms is Vital

Topics: Business Development & Marketing Blog Posts, Corporate Legal, Law Firms, Marketing Partner Forum, Thomson Reuters

In today’s crowded and hyper-competitive legal landscape, it may be more important than ever to establish and promote a brand that breaks through the noise and connects with the clients you want.

Unfortunately, some firms may be missing a strong component of that effort by not looking across their own offices and in different firm departments to create a fully collaborative strategy that would boost their chances for that client connection.

Next week, at Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute’s 22nd Annual Law Firm Marketing Partner Forum, law firm leaders, marketing partners, new entrants, academics and legal technology adherents will meet to address this very issue. The Marketing Partner Forum will be held January 21 to 23 (Wednesday to Friday) at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

The theme of this year’s Forum is Building Collaborative Strategies across the Firm and with Clients and focuses on why such cross-firm collaboration is even more essential in today’s legal marketplace.

“Firms that create silos and do not encourage collaboration fail to take advantage of the full panoply of talent available to present a unified, efficient and holistic approach to client problem solving,” said James D. Pagliaro, Lead Partner of Firm Marketing & Business Development at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and one of the Co-Chairs of the Forum. (Pagliaro is participating in a panel entitled From Origination to Collaboration: Establishing the Right Business Development Culture in Your Firm.)

“Further, a collaborative team approach that includes client input properly highlights the need for unrelenting client focus in undertaking and executing on every legal engagement a firm takes on,” added Pagliaro.

And it’s not just vital for law firms focusing on the domestic front—in fact, it may be even more important for international law firms to target non-domestic clients as the U.S. domestic market continues forward in a sour mood, and becomes even more fractured and hierarchical.

“I saw an Acritas research report recently that showed general counsel anticipating the highest growth in their legal spending over the next year to come from markets outside their home jurisdictions,” noted Laurie Robertson, Global Director of Business Development, Marketing & Communications for Baker & McKenzie LLP in London. “Clients are seeking out comprehensive and integrated advice on how to operate safely and effectively in these ‘overseas’ markets and it is essential for partners across an international firm to actively and collaboratively market their cross-border capability to these clients, if they want to be considered for that growing and valuable work.” (Robertson is participating in a session on Collaborative Strategies in Cross-Border Marketing: Maximizing Value through Region-Specific Campaigns.)

In addition, the three-day Forum will feature panels and discussions on crafting the Perfect Pitch for Winning or Retaining Clients and Building the Ultimate Law Firm Marketing Machine. In addition, the Keynote Presentation will feature an examination of Predictive Analytics for Marketing, and be given by Eric Siegel, Founder of Predictive Analytics World.

Indeed, the impetus of the Forum points up how crucial the role of the Marketing Partner has become in today’s legal environment. The pressures that Marketing Partners and other law firm executive are under to get their firm’s voice heard above the din of a marketplace that is more crowded, client-driven and tech-centric than ever before can be daunting.

Morgan Lewis’s Pagliaro agreed. “Differentiation in a crowded market place is the greatest challenge for the Marketing Partner in the current environment,” he said. “Developing a unique, compelling and authentic brand and getting the whole firm to understand, embrace & live that brand should be the goal of every Marketing Partner.”