The 20th Annual Marketing Partner Forum was recently held in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The event, which sought to open a dialogue for chief marketing and business development officers and law firm marketing partners, had some notable, provocative and eye-opening moments. Here are a few of my personal insights.
- Law firm leaders ranked innovation and efficiency at the bottom of the list of strategies they will use in 2013 to grow revenue, according to the results of a survey reported at the event. In this same survey, raising rates and increasing billable hourly rates were at the top of the list. That’s a puzzle to me. Don’t you have to have a strategy to attract clients before you count on more hours at higher rates? Among other things, the survey results point to the ongoing need for education about marketing and among lawyers, even those at the top of name firms.
- Program chairs reported that they approached several general counsels to speak on conference panels regarding the topic of “how lawyers can provide better client service” and that they declined the invitation, stating they were tired of making the same points year after year – points which they apparently felt have fallen on deaf ears. “If they don’t know it by now….”
- There was validation for public relations by one general counsel. When asked how she finds and chooses new law firms to work with she replied that one source is the press –she has actually hired firms because she read about how they handled a matter. Looks like public relations efforts are a worthwhile investment.
For the second consecutive year, Berbay Corp. was a sponsor of the Marketing Partner Forum.
-By Berbay Principal Sharon Berman