(Partner, Bernero & Press; former editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer)
What’s Going On?
With all the noise in the legal marketplace—salaries, mergers, revenues, Oh My!—sometimes it’s easy to lose our focus and perspective. In his keynote presentation, Aric Press will examine the megatrends that continue to influence and disturb the landscape and the one constant factor that law firms and the talented people who work for them cannot afford to ignore. For his talk Press will draw on his 16 years as editor in chief of The American Lawyer and ALM Media and his recent work as a consultant at Bernero & Press where he has been on the inside of law firm strategy, communications, and client relationship issues.
Management & Business of Law
Demystifying Law Firm Finance
Timothy Corcoran (Corcoran Consulting Group)
In this session, Tim provides an overview of the changing face of law firm finance, from the long-time R.U.L.E.S. approach to the more modern Learning Curve approach. The interactive discussion will cover how law firms made money yesterday and how they will make money tomorrow. Tim will discuss the role of Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs), Legal Project Management (LPM), Business Process Improvement (BPI), Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) and Big Data on the law firm of the future. This program is designed to demystify law firm finances so legal marketing and business development professionals can sit at the table as equals with finance professionals and firm leadership.
Market Intelligence for Law Firms: An Integrated Model to Maximize the Success of Client Development Initiatives
Mark Young (Shift Central)
As law firms continue to search for greater time and cost efficiencies, the mission-critical market intelligence program represents a crucial client development activity. Internal and external audiences have sustained intelligence needs that require the firm to deliver only the most relevant insight to the right people—using the right channels—at precisely the right time. Today’s market requires law firms to demonstrate industry immersion and, with this, a keen understanding of how clients define value. This program will explain how law firms can leverage market intelligence programs to foster new business development, expand and strengthen client relationships, fuel marketing efforts, scope out the competition, and track industry and regulatory developments.
The Dish on Top Performing Websites
Burkey Belser (Greenfield Belser)
The presentation is based on the first of its kind catalog and review of the largest 200 professional service firm websites called SiteVisitsSM. This catalog includes reviews of the 100 largest global law firm sites as identified by The American Lawyer. SiteVisitsSM is a contemporary record of current state of web design and content, developed in order to give professional service firm leaders and marketers insight on the websites of their competitors. At this session, participants will be able spot web trends, see how their sites measure up, and unearth recipes for future digital success.
Increasing Your Firm’s Visibility in Search Engines
Ryan Miller (Advance Digital)
This program will review key strategies and needs for improving a firm’s visibility in search. This will focus on content properly formatted and targeted to what prospective leads are searching for, and creating listings for the firm’s physical location(s). Participants will be given an opportunity to offer their websites for a quick clinical review as an example to the other participants. Attendees will have a better understanding of the critical first-steps their sites need to take to improve visibility in the competitive digital market.
Management & Business of Law
From Disruption to Reinvention: What Lawyers Can Learn from Management Consultants
Art Stewart (Strategic Impact Partners)
The hyper-competitiveness of our virtually-driven landscape is precipitating a collapse of traditional law firm business models. A dramatic shift is underway in how clients orientate to legal issues in the broad mix of their strategic business imperatives. At no time in recent history has there been a greater opportunity for ambitious law firms to think and act differently. Now is the time to better ensure durable market leadership amidst today’s volatility and uncertainty. Legacy practices must reinvent themselves and resist maintaining brands with value propositions that are less competitively viable and even economically indefensible. Growth-oriented attorneys recognize that they must position themselves similar to how other resource partners have done for years – becoming a team player within a client’s re-orientated circle of influence and decision-making. By assimilating principles of expectation, predictability and accountability into their delivery models, they will be well positioned to support the new ways in which clients are managing their businesses. This workshop will look at management consultancy models as a guide for enhancing law firm competitiveness in a rapidly changing market. It will combine insights from the management consulting field – including examples of business transformations as well as approaches to firm management and leadership, positioning, offering differentiation, and the people-infrastructure-process aspects of go-to-market programs. The workshop will be part presentation, part interactive discussion and brainstorming – with a breakout component for group ideation.
Why Firms Are Giving Up Client Teams In Favor Of Strategic Account Management
Bruce Alltop (LawVision Group)
The program will address why traditional Client Teams haven’t worked. Attendees will learn best practices, approaches and tools to build a successful and sustainable strategic account management (SAM) program at their firms.
Using Brand Newsrooms to Drive Business Development
For an increasing number of companies, “brand newsrooms” have become a popular and effective way to meet the need for a continuous stream of reader-driven content that showcases the company’s thought leadership and primacy in its field and advances its content marketing goals. These newsrooms are staffed by journalists who cover beats, look for developments that relate to the field they’re covering, and involve the company’s subject matter experts as sources for articles that appear in a range of owned-media vehicles (blogposts, microsites, e-newsletters, magazines) and then get shared through social media, listed through SEO, and picked up by other earned-media vehicles. This session will explore the rise of brand newsrooms, looking at how and why they work, how they’ve helped companies with marketing and business development—and why they’re a logical tool for law firms. The panelists, representing a corporate brand, a professional services firm, and a legal marketer, will discuss what sort of newsroom teams they’ve developed, how the team identifies stories and weaves together content that fulfills both reader and sponsor goals, how the company or firm handles content approvals (in the quickest way possible), how the content is used, and what results they’ve tracked.
The Technology Horizon: Essential Technologies for Law Firm Marketers
Adam Stock (Allen Matkins)
Legal marketing, sales, service and the practice of law are being affected by new technologies. Marketers need to have a high level of technical literacy to stay relevant. According to Gartner, the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO. How will CMOs adapt to this? This program will survey the key technologies that will affect our jobs, and will provide a framework for how legal marketers should look at and evaluate the technologies. What’s on the horizon and what are the trends that we’re seeing? Will the technologies completely change the way we work? Or are they just incremental improvements? What are the implications of the pace of technological change for legal industry marketing and business development professionals?
Management & Business of Law
Successful Succession: Integrated Transitioning Strategies
There are many things threatening the law firm business model, but one of the most important and overlooked is the impact that the generational shift will have on our economy and prevalent need for integrated succession planning. Corporations began their leadership succession shift several years ago, but the law firm model has been slow to respond because they often don’t enforce mandatory retirement. Generational differences can cause great confusion and frustration because of differing priorities, values and communication styles. It is also reported by many that older generations have been slow to integrate colleagues into the client relationship. Between the perception that senior attorneys aren’t sharing work and the fundamental differences between generations, great disruption with both clients and colleagues is widespread as leadership changes and succession planning begin to take place within law firms. Those firms that don’t take this seriously and adapt their business model will continue to lose talent as laterals move to firms that offer a more attractive and transparent platform. So, what is the most effective approach to succession planning? During this session, we will examine industry trends, obstacles, opportunities and best practices that attendees will be able to apply to their respective firms.
Trend + Niche: How to Beat the Competition to the Next Premium Practice of Law
Amy Knapp (Knapp Marketing)
Having a niche practice means that an attorney (or practice group, or firm) has honed in on a narrow specialty within a larger practice. The trick is to develop a niche practice in an upwardly trending area of law and to plant your flag as a leading expert in that field. Throughout history, trends have presented both the greatest opportunities and greatest risk for businesses and professionals. Spotting and acting on emerging trends is how successful companies have always captured market share and spurred innovation. This presentation demonstrates how lawyers — led by their marketers — can take a page from their book.
In this interactive program, Amy teaches participants how she works with firms to develop niche practices of law, with examples from small mid-size and large firms. Then she provides an engaging overview of global and national trends. Participants break into teams and use game cards to match practices to trends and compete with one another to develop the best next new practice of law.
Law Firm Websites: Broken, But Fixable
Nancy Slome (Lawyers Biography Service)
Corporate law firm websites have come a long way. And as law firm marketers, we’ve shared best practices, tackled branding issues, and made significant progress on the content marketing front. Over on the tech side, we’ve moved away from clunky, hard-coded sites that were tough to update, to sophisticated, yet easy-to-administer content management systems. But are these efforts any more effective in converting new business than back when our sites were digital brochureware? This program will challenge the fundamental organizational structure of today’s classic law firm site. We’ll cover — and offer solutions to these issues:
- Why home pages aren’t capturing anyone’s attention, except for the firm’s lawyers and Web team
- Where to focus your team’s efforts. (Spoiler Alert: It should be the content that matters most to your prospects and clients!)
- How most “ABOUT US” pages fail
What the personal injury firms can teach us about talking directly to our readers and improving our sites’ ROI
Winning the eMarketing Obstacle Course
Mary Olson (CLIENTSFirst Consulting)
Many firms are running towards marketing automation. After all, it’s the “next big thing” in marketing. But when the race starts, you run headfirst into your first obstacle – What IS marketing automation? How does it work? And most importantly – What’s in it for my firm? All at once, your head is spinning from the amount of data available from vendors and uber-successful big box companies. You begin asking more questions: “Do I need a huge system with lots of bells and whistles to automate eMarketing processes?” “What’s a drip campaign?” and “Why should our attorneys care?”
The good news is that you don’t need a large, complex system to achieve success with eMarketing. And, you certainly don’t need to develop a complicated plan requiring hours of staff time to implement. We’ll demystify eMarketing terminology and narrow our focus on what you really need to win the race. We’ll explore the hurdles of software selection and swing through the challenges of campaign creation, lead generation and measuring ROI. We’ll climb the walls of data to weed out best practices and help you develop a plan for using email marketing, list management and CRM integration to make emarketing work for you.
Management & Business of Law
AI, ESQ: How Artificial Intelligence is Impacting The Practice & Business of Law
Patrick Fuller (Neota Logic, Inc)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacts the ability to scale expertise and expand revenues beyond the natural time and headcount restraints. AI can impact the success other initiatives, such as experience collection and succession planning execution. AI should become a focal point of pricing and staffing discussions with in-house counsel. As artificial intelligence begins to gain adoption within the legal profession, this program will look at ways in which AI can impact both the practice and business of law perspectives.
From Coaching to Firm-wide Programming – How to Successfully Build a Business Development Culture
A fundamental component of being a successful lawyer is embracing business development. While developing technical legal skills is essential, lawyers must master the relationship-based soft skills required to build and maintain a client base. As legal marketers, we must help build and promote a business development culture within our firms and acknowledge that one size does not fit all firms or all attorneys. In order to achieve success, we must tailor business development programming to our firm’s unique culture and engage key stakeholders in the process. This program will address effectively implementing a range of programs from individual coaching to small group prospect targeting to firm-wide video conferences featuring a mix of firm rainmakers, clients and external speakers.
The Content Marketing Challenge
Katie O’Rourke (ON24)
Firms must not look at content marketing as its own silo but part of their overall marketing strategy. Content must attract prospects at every stage of the journey, seeding awareness and nurturing ongoing interest. Content Marketing, however, is still a challenge for most marketers. It is linchpin of demand creation – the link between brand awareness and lead generation (eek, I said the word lead!). Marketers are constantly challenged with how to get the most out of their content, how to present multimedia more effectively, extend the reach of their content and become more data-driven with video content.
Experience Management: The Ultimate Intersection of Law, Marketing & Technology
Deborah McMurray (Content Pilot)
This is an interactive discussion and dialogue with the audience about experience management. It is one of the most paralyzing issues in law firms today – yet, experience management is the key to successfully getting on the coveted short lists. Without relevant experience, firms won’t get on the short list – period. This session will include a case study of Kirkland & Ellis and what this firm did to successfully plan and launch its experience database. Please come to this step-by-step discussion of where to start, what to do next, and how to ensure you get the support you need from the top.
Management & Business of Law
The Law Firm of 2020: How Will You Adapt and Excel?
Susan Saltonstall Duncan (Rainmaking Oasis, LLC)
The legal marketplace is changing dramatically as a result of increasing client demands and business disruptors. Is your firm ready to adapt to the new models required for business success? Are you prepared to lead your lawyers in the client and business development approaches that are necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing environment? This interactive session will explore potential future law firm models, the key drivers of change, the impact that client relationships and the demographic impact of aging rainmakers and leaders will have on firms’ business development approaches and success, and the requisite skills and approaches that marketing and business development professionals will need to help their law firms be successful in the law firm of the future.
Bringing Business Development, Marketing and CRM Together
Joseph Przybyla (Thomson Reuters)
Today, firms typically use multiple systems, databases and processes to manage the Business Development workflow. Unfortunately, BD/Marketing professionals really don’t have a way to connect the dots between a new prospect, tracking opportunities and creating a new matter all the way through to using this information to build the next pitch. This session will provide ideas on how to start to build a vision for connecting the dots and developing change management plans for successful implementations.
A Tale of Two Law Firms: How to Build a Custom Content Marketing Program
Your law firm isn’t just a law firm – it’s an editorial think tank that publishes and distributes compelling content through channels far and wide to educate and influence key decision-makers. While generating content that feeds the firm’s bottom line is a necessary practice, most law firm marketing departments are not prepared to build a robust program that meets the market’s demands. After all, running a successful content program requires significant time investment as well as editorial knowledge that many law firm marketing departments do not have in-house. While many thought leaders in the content marketing space have provided law firms with an array of best practices, the majority of guidance has been based in the theoretical, leaving marketing departments without the actual know-how to construct their own programs. That’s about to change. With “A Tale of Two Law Firms: How to Build a Custom Content Marketing Program,” attendees will watch as two law firms erect their content marketing initiatives from the ground up. Keith Ecker, Content Strategist at Jaffe, and Melanie Trudeau, Digital Strategist at Jaffe, will walk the audience through the multi-step process using two model law firms, each with its own unique goals, resources and demographics.
Advanced Website Analytics – New Tools to Move Legal Marketing From An Art to a Science
A confluence of new technologies and market forces will be ushering in a new type of law firm website. We’re calling it the Lead Nurturing Website, and it sets itself apart from previous generations of law firm websites in three remarkable ways:
- It uses new, powerful analytics tools to track website visitors, by name.
- It generates and nurtures new business leads.
- It quantifies success.
Robert Algeri, co-founder of Great Jakes Marketing Company, will moderate a spirited panel discussion on the tremendous potential of lead nurturing—as well as the challenges to making it work. Robert will be joined by CMOs from 2-3 law firms who will offer insight (and skepticism) from the law firm perspective. The panel will touch on a variety of provocative topics, including:
- Fear – Will law firms be willing to adopt “scary” “Big Brother” tracking tools?
- Technology – Will firms be willing to make the technology investments necessary?
- Staffing – Do marketing departments have the right people to analyze the data?
- Content Creation – Lead nurturing requires a consistent stream of impressive, high-quality content to be written. Are firms ready to become publishers?
(2016 LMA International President and VP-Strategy and Solutions for ContentPilot)
Today’s legal marketing landscape is experiencing a dynamic and exciting transformation in how marketing and business development professionals engage in the management operations and client acquisition activities of the law firm. To nurture this change, strong individuals must stand at the ready and be prepared to lead, and be led, if their goal is to be truly transformation and differentiating.
In his keynote speech, LMA President Keith Wewe will discuss the tools, skills and team members you need to equip yourself for success, and discuss real-life examples of organizations and individuals that succeeded, and failed – and why. This closing session promises to be fun, energizing and informational.