Conference/Webinar Session Re-caps

zachary-nelson-192289The final session that I’d like to share from the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference this year focused on learning lessons from businesses outside of the legal industry – while there’s something to be said for understanding what your peers are doing within the industry, there’s a lot to be learned from other professionals as well. LMA brought Maggie Watkins, Chief Marketing Officer of Sedgwick LLP to moderate Lynn Skoczelas, Chief Experience Officer of Sharp HealthCare, Lilian Tomovich, Chief Experience Officer at MGM Resorts International, and Susan Letterman White, Founder and Managing Partner of Letterman White Consulting to offer their perspective on how businesses are using the client experience to up their game.

The panelists shared with us some key learning outcomes that we can adopt in our own pursuit of the excellent client experience. 
Continue Reading Using the Client Experience to Up Your Game

photo-1433650552684-d4004a945d6cRegular readers of Zen know that one thing I never miss is a good in-house counsel panel. Who can skip the opportunity to listen to the clients of our clients tell us how to do our jobs better and what matters to them at this very moment?

With some heavy hitters on this year’s panel at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. On the panel, we had:

  • Connie Brenton, Chairman of the Board for Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) and Senior Director of Legal Operations for NetApp, Inc.
  • Jeffrey Franke, Chief of Staff to the General Counsel and Senior Director of Global Legal Operations for Yahoo, Inc.
  • Steve Harmon, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Legal Services at Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • George Milionis, General Counsel of Petersen-Dean, Inc.
  • Moderator: Richard Caruso, Vice President of Legal Media at ALM LLC


Continue Reading In-House Counsel Panel: The Rapidly Changing Legal Buying Cycle

alex-knight-199368For many of us in the legal industry, a hot topic of the moment is artificial intelligence – less because we’re actively using it, and more because we know we need to understand it, at least enough to be able to speak about it intelligently with lawyers, colleagues and clients. AI is not new, and once again, legal is one of the industries that’s lagging behind – but you know what that means: it’s rife with opportunity.

With that in mind, a large group of us packed into a conference room at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference to hear a panel of experts talk to us about how AI is changing the practice and marketing of legal services. Before we dive into my recap of the session, though, a little homework for you – head over to Jordan Furlong’s post on Getting Over Technology, and continue to look to him as a resource. The key thing that Jordan says, and underpinned the comments of the panelists at LMA is:

The truest observation ever made about technology remains this one from American computer scientist Alan Kay: ‘Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.’ British author and technophile Douglas Adams famously expanded on Kay’s comment: ‘Anything that’s in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented when you’re between 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.’

These two quotations should be borne in mind anytime you start talking about technology in law firms. Law firms are stuffed to the rafters with technology, and always have been.”

So basically, no, Chicken Little, the sky isn’t falling (my friend, Lance Godard, agrees, even in the face of JP Morgan’s COIN announcement). But AI is here, the pace of change is FAST, and the time for opportunity is now. 
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence: Changing the Practice and Marketing of Legal Services

1471986_10152068718732792_63633386_nLast week, the Rotterdam School of Management posted the results to a study that showed that a lack of sleep leads to more arguments at work. I retweeted it with the comment “In other news, water is wet.”

But even though we may consciously realize that things like lack of sleep and hunger affect our mood and even our productivity, are we really paying attention to how much this impacts our business, and harnessing the power of persuasion effectively?

This was the subject of the keynote session at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference last week in Las Vegas, which brought together 1,600 legal marketing professionals to learn how to do their jobs better, see the trends on the horizon, and yes, even let off a little steam that comes from working with lawyers on a regular basis (sorry lawyers!). LMA brought in Zoë Chance, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Yale School of Management. According to her bio, she is an

expert on persuasion, leveraging behavioral economics to help individuals and businesses do better. Her MBA elective, Mastering Influence and Persuasion, is one of the most sought-after courses at Yale School of Management. Zoë will be applying her expertise on behavioral bias to the law firm environment and sharing the results of a customized survey during her presentation.”


Continue Reading Wooing the Gator Brain: A Lesson in Behavioral Economics

bag-and-handsI love bringing guest voices to Zen to share some wisdom with you, and today, I am fortunate to introduce a legal marketer and friend of mine, Jennifer Simpson Carr. Jenn has led business development and communications efforts at national law firms for nearly ten years.  She has a passion for strategic communications and recently earned a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing from Rutgers Business School.

I got to know Jenn when she was working with ILN member firm, Davis & Gilbert, in New York, and we’ve stayed in touch as her career and family have taken her all over the country. This is her first foray into blogging, offering an excellent recap of the roundtable session she led during last week’s Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Forum, with some important takeaways on creating a digital strategy across your firm. Let’s give her a warm welcome! 
Continue Reading Creating a Cohesive Digital Strategy Across Your Firm

photo-1453847668862-487637052f8aLegal marketing is more than an art; it’s a science.

Or so says Tom Shapiro of Stratabeat, Inc, who presented one of the four TED Talks during an LMA16 breakout session at the recent Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. According to the session description:

The human brain processes information based on the work of more than 90 million neurons, and it’s these neurons that drive your prospective clients to do what they do. By attempting to market your law firm’s services without a deep understanding of human psychology, your marketing could actually be hurting your firm instead of helping it. According to Nielsen, 90% of buying decisions are made with the subconscious mind. Furthermore, neuroscience studies have proven that human decisions are emotionally driven. The factors that influence your prospective clients’ thinking — visual input, colors, emotion, social validation, repetition, neural filtering, etc. — are diverse, yet with the right approach are easy to execute effectively in your marketing. If you want stellar marketing results, your marketing should focus on delivering the most powerful impact to the subconscious mind.

In this session, learn the fundamentals of powerful marketing that move people to action. Understand the underlying reasons why certain marketing works and other marketing falls flat. Uncover actual neuromarketing techniques to appeal to the subconscious mind, attract more attention, drive more website visitors, propel higher volumes of inbound phone calls, create more memorable marketing and achieve increased conversions.”


Continue Reading Legal Marketing with Science!

"Be more human." 

That was the closing advice from the LMA’s keynote speaker, Dan Pink, at this year’s conference.

While it was easy to compare Pink to the previous two years’ keynotes (Kat Cole and James Kane) and find him a bit lacking, especially when it came to audience engagement on Twitter, he still offered some great tidbits of information for us to takeaway (and many of the live tweeters following along offered a lot of strong praise for the speech).

Anecdotally, when speaking with several regular LMA attendees, they told me that they felt as though the keynote should be more of a "rah rah" type of presentation to pump up legal marketers, but instead, this was more for and about our lawyers.  I agree with that assessment, so the lawyers among my readers may find more value in the content from Dan Pink. 

For a much more concise recap of the session than I’m about to offer, check out Heather Morse’s post right from Pink’s presentation. 


Continue Reading Leadership and the New Principles of Influence – An LMA Recap

Attendees at the Legal Marketing Association conference will normally shy away from any session that is entirely presented by service providers – but if that session is done by One North, they’re making a big mistake. 

Not only are they always entertaining, but they assume the audience comes in with a high level understanding of the content to begin with (not always the case with all presenters, admittedly) and they deliver some solid food for thought. 

At #LMA15, their session was on "Creating Natively Digital Brand Experiences," which sounds like a lot of terrifying marketing speak. We are going to talk about branding and logos, but the marketing nerd in me loves all of this, so please bear with me. For the lawyers in my audience, you may want to read along anyway – it will give you some insight into the broader challenges that your firm and your firm’s marketing professionals face when it comes to branding (which is an important issue!). 

LMA members, if you missed this, Kalev Peekna and Nate Denton from One North, the conference presenters, will be sharing highlights from their presentation in the next Social Media SIG webinar on May 12th – members can register here


Continue Reading Creating Natively Digital Brand Experiences – A Recap

On the second day of the LMA conference, I kept the client-related momentum going by heading straight into "Client Expectations in Today’s Marketplace" after the GC Panel. Presenting in the session were Laura Meherg and Nat Slavin of Wicker Park Group, and thanks to LMA, I can tell you: 

Wicker Park Group consultants interview hundreds of clients each year on behalf of law firms located around the world. The interviewees include business owners, company executives and in-house counsel representing a wide range of industries. Taken together, the interviews offer unique insights into the essential expectations that build strong client relationships regardless of location, industry or client history."

The session itself promised that: 

This program will highlight the most common themes in client expectations, including the complaints and praise – both big and small – that clients identify as greatly impacting the well-being of their outside counsel relationships. In addition, Wicker Park Group partners will explain what clients think about client feedback, why it’s critical to consistently seek their input, the global trends in client feedback and best practices from successful client feedback and client service programs in law firms."


Continue Reading Client Expectations in Today’s Marketplace – A Recap

I’m still recovering from the whirlwind that was #LMA15 – it’s always a festival of education, networking, mentorship, relationship-building, thought leadership, and having amazing, thought-provoking conversations about our industry and where its headed. And I love every minute of it. But one of my favorite parts, as you know, is the general counsel panel.  This year’s panel was focused on “How we buy what you sell – and how that’s changing.” I had the pleasure of speaking with two of the three panelists in advance of the session, Joe Otterstetter of 3M and Virginia Sanzone of CareFusion, and their comments during the session were very much in line with our conversations. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at how LMA described the session:

You already know plenty about ‘The New Normal’ and how law firms are adjusting, but corporate legal departments are not standing still either. This year’s GC panel will share Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) data and the perspective of senior in-house counsel on trends in law firm selection processes, outside counsel management, and unbundling and in-sourcing work. You will have a chance to take a look ‘under the hood’ at how legal services purchasing decisions are made and external resources are managed, including discussion of how ‘switching costs’ from an incumbent law firm are considered, the role of Procurement, how success is measured (including how the managers of outside counsel are evaluated), and more through open Q&A.”

 
Continue Reading How We Buy What You Sell – and How That’s Changing – A Recap