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The future of legal marketing is “team-oriented” and change starts in the room where strategies are developed. 

Jennifer JohnsonIn this episode of The Rainmaking Podcast hosted by Scott Love, Calibrate Founder and CEO Jennifer Johnson discusses navigating marketing and business development within a law firm, providing insights into forming a successful relationship with firm leaders, measuring marketing-driven revenue, and envisioning how a future of “team-oriented” firm culture could drive the future of legal marketing.

Regarding strategy development and how the process is driven Johnson noted, “in an ideal scenario, it would be a collaborative, iterative conversation. But in practicality, it’s typically partner driven, where they decide what they want, and then it is more mandated on what you need to do to get it done.”

However, she is hopeful that the industry is on the brink of change, giving rise to a more collaborative development process. “We are seeing a shift where the c-suite across the board, not just the marketing folks, but the talent folks, the finance team, etc. are being brought into the conversation and really appreciated for the value and the expertise that they bring to the table right with their own background and training.”

This trend highlights the opportunity for the legal industry to push forward in a more synergistic fashion.

“This industry has to go in a team-oriented mentality going forward. It’s going to take a while to change this because again, lawyers have been trained to be adversarial, to be the ones who know the answers. The team mentality has to happen, not only for the future of the workplace and the future of how technology is going to converge, but also for the talent that you can attract. If firms continue to want top quality people in their accounting department, their marketing department, their talent group or their IT teams, they’re going to have to promote and actually live a culture that’s authentically, team oriented”

Johnson also notes the importance of marketers providing firm leaders with measurable metrics to support their efforts. “We’ve seen it where firms are now marketing departments are able to look at proposal and influenced revenue. They can say over the last 12 months, for the partners who chose to use our services to help them prepare a proposal, they were 38% more likely to win at a 15% higher margin. Those are the data points that you can go back to as ammunition. Lawyers love evidence.”

Further, Johnson also stresses how beneficial marketing leaders can be when entrusted by leadership to have more of a hands-on role with clients.

“There are a ton of marketing people that are client-facing, doing feedback interviews on the services that they provide. ‘Are they going well? How are we billing you? Does that feel okay? What are the other services we could provide to you without billing you for it to be more of a business partner?’ Those are the things that they’re doing to add more value to the relationship to strengthen it.”