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We may be a day late getting this to you but we think you’ll agree that it’s been worth the wait. We’re delighted to announce that this week’s zero-140 is none other than Legal Marketing Association Executive Director, Betsi Roach.

When a lady has “If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.”  (Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the Veterans Administration) on her email footer… you kind of know that she’s a legal marketing force of nature… and one who probably has a few tips and winning techniques to share. So, following on from a very successful LMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, we asked Betsi to share her views… in our characteristic zero-140 format.

Elephant Creative: Hi Betsi, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. Where are you right now?

My office – Chicago, IL

EC: In 140 characters, what does the LMA do?

LMA is a community of professionals in the legal marketing, BD and client service areas who share their collective knowledge.

EC: Tell us about the annual LMA Conference, that just ended…

Nearly 1200 attendees, 69 sponsors/exhibitors & over 100 speakers (and over 1700 Tweets!) – an exciting couple days of education & learning.

EC: Business development and marketing isn’t really something lawyers concern themselves with is it?

It needs to be if they want to build a robust practice and thrive in their firm.

EC: Care to explain legal business development and legal marketing in 140 characters or fewer?

Pretty impossible – but it all comes down to building client relationships, value and client satisfaction.

EC: How do you think law firms in the US have been affected by the economy?

Drastically. We’re seeing some recovery in expenses like travel, association memberships, consultants, but it’s definitely a “new normal.”

EC: Would you think that changes in technology have affected the way many firms in the US approach business development?

Absolutely. Techonology impacts BD in areas like competitive intelligence and pricing, and traditional marketing w/social media, mobile…

EC: Legal marketing certification: did it ever really come about?

Not at this time. It’s something we continue to explore.

EC: Legal academic Jon M. Garon recently spoke about reshaping legal education to match the new normal. Should law school teach marketing and business development?

Absolutely, and we are happy to be part of the conversation with ABA, but change is hard, especially in higher education.

EC: Which law firms do you most admire in terms of marketing and business development?

There are so many great examples!  Some you may be interested in are our YHA award winners: http://bit.ly/Xa8ghy

EC: Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Acritas has said that she expects the structure of the global legal market to become like the international accountancy market, but with a “big 15″ as opposed to a “big 4″ group of law firms.  Do you agree?

I’ve heard many future scenarios-all of which are intriguing. Regardless, LMA is committed to serving marketers from firms of all sizes.

EC: The world first ever law firm flotation went live in Australia in 2007 and UK law firms can now be listed on a stock exchange. If this happens could we see a fundamental shift in the way law firms and the market operates?

If that happens, change would be inevitable. The good news: with our collective resources, LMA members would surely be leading any change.

EC: We’ve suggested that law firms should look at banks and other professional services firms for branding and marketing tips. Do you agree?

Absolutely. One of our members recently blogged about “identify, don’t compare” and how we can find parallels to gain inspiration.

EC: How important is social media to modern law firms?

Very.  An integrated marketing strategy, including tactics like social media, is table stakes for today’s successful firms.

EC: What about websites, SEO and blogging?

Ditto. All online channels have become an incredibly important source of information for clients and as such need to be actively managed.

EC: How’s the calendar looking for the coming weeks and months?

Busy. Annual Conference is over – now it’s time to do some tactical research and begin planning for a Fall Leaders Conference & 2014.

EC: Finally, what are your long term goals?

LMA is reinforcing its position as the leading provider of legal marketing learning and networking at both the national and chapter levels.

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