Hello to a New Year and a New You!

As everyone is settling back into the office after the holidays, this is a great time to take a fresh look at your plans and objectives for 2014. Reflect on your initiatives from 2013 and identify what was successful and where improvements could be made. When creating your plan for this year, consider the following:

Make Your Plan Sizeable and Scalable
It is important to make a plan that is achievable. There is always a multitude of projects that are urgent and at the top of the list. Evaluate each of them carefully and understand which ones are actually achievable. Someone once gave me great advice which is to always under promise and over deliver. If it is unrealistic due to approvals, budget, buy-in, etc. that a project will get accomplished add it to the wish list but don’t promise to deliver on it.

Add Process Documentation as a Part of the Plan
This is going to be another year of a lot of change as the market is starting to pick up again. As personnel change they take along their knowledge of the firm culture, systems, styles, etc. It is key to document and set expectations of processes in your department. For example event planning is an area where a specific process can be created and documented so that as new members join the team the process is not being re-created from scratch with every event. This frees up time to work on other initiatives and tackle some of those wish list items.

Measure, Report, and Share
Measuring and reporting are key to identify success and justify initiatives. When measuring success it is important to understand not only what should be reported but how it should be reported out. With so much content, it is hard even to break through internally. Make sure you are reporting on the things that matter the most. Opt to go with a quick synopsis that is easy to scan instead of that lengthy report, PowerPoint presentation or Excel spreadsheet. Many times reports are created and only shared with select recipients; plan a way to periodically share your teams’ successes firm wide.

Unfortunately and all too often, by the middle of the year the marketing plan that was created becomes more of a marketing wish list. That is why planning ahead and having specific goals for the year are key to your team and own personal success.

We would love to hear from you… what are your firms’ goals for the year, as well as your professional personal goals?

Which Hat Are You Wearing Today: Part 2 The Continued Evolution

Hats
At the beginning of August we wrote about the evolution of the marketing role in our post: Which Hat Are You Wearing Today. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, has expanded upon the idea of marketing’s evolution as it specifically relates to content marketing.

“Nine in 10 companies create their own content to attract or retain customers.”

This is the same in the legal industry as content is distributed through email, newsletters, and in-person events. Some law firms have also adopted other channels such as blogs and social media sites. In his article Pulizzi challenges marketers to think about content as the asset. He continues the article by talking about the importance of content, as one story can be developed into multiple content assets.

For example, in your firm if you are trying to grow a specific practice area, you want your firm to be seen as the expert. Experts are people who have comprehensive and authoritative knowledge in a particular area, so by having a great story of success (content) it can be shared. By using publications, media mentions, speaking engagements, firm events, blogs, and through social media the content develops an audience. That audience can be tracked in your CRM system allowing you to track  outreach and growth with new clients and cross selling with current clients.

As law firm marketers already wear multiple hats and have been doing the above in various forms for years, Pulizzi suggests a shift in key business roles marketers will be challenged with filling and thinks of the below as the new competencies that will need to be accounted for across a firm:

  • Managing Editor: half storyteller and half project manager
  • Chief Listening Officer: “air-traffic controller” for social media and other content channels
  • Director of Audience: monitors audience personas and is responsible for building subscription assets
  • HR for Marketing: works with HR to make sure that employees understand their roles in the marketing process
  • Channel Master: responsible for getting the most out of each channel
  • Chief Technologist: sole purpose is to leverage the proper use of technology into the content marketing process
  • Influencer Relations (role formerly known as media relations): manager of influencers, develops a “hit list” and integrates them into the marketing process
  • Freelancer and Agency Relations: negotiates rates and responsibilities as reliance on freelance talent and other external content vendors grow
  • ROO (Return-on-Objective) Chief: responsible for ensuring that there is an ongoing return on marketing objectives and for communicating to all teams why the firm is developing content assets in the first place

The way services are sold is changing faster than anticipated and in legal, clients are demanding more than ever. This means that content will become more of an asset than ever and the “hats” marketing wears will continue to multiply. What do you think of “The New Roles of Marketing” and how they will impact the legal industry?

>>> Read Pulizzi’s full article: 10 Marketing Roles for the Next 10 Years