We constantly hear the terms “marketing” and “business development” used interchangeably, often with respect to law firms, but how do they differ? What do each of these strategies entail and how should they be utilized within a law firm setting to grow business? Typically, since clients hire individual lawyers rather than law firms, it’s pretty much up to the attorney to do both marketing and business development.
Attorneys often ask which one is more important. The answer is: it’s not about doing either marketing or business development––it’s about doing both of them. They are both components of the best practice-based approach to firm development and expansion. Marketing supports business development, and business development supports marketing.
Academically, it is clear that marketing and business development are separate disciplines; however, practically they operate on parallel tracks. Implementing both marketing and business development will result in successful firm branding, expanded individual relationships, and overall business growth.