Chief Marketing Officers Discuss Efforts To Market Their Firms

Thursday, May 1, 2008 - 00:00

The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (www.phillylma.org) sponsored a panel discussion of five law-firm chief marketing officers (CMOs) on March 20, discussing provocative questions on the challenges, even for the biggest firms, of marketing attorneys.

Steve Barrett, CMO of Drinker Biddle, moderated a panel that included CMOs Catherine Bishop of Blank Rome, Edward Schechter of Duane Morris, Julie Amos of WolfBlock, and Anne Casey of Cozen O'Connor.

These CMOs, with a century of combined marketing experience, ranked the return-on-investment (ROI) of common legal marketing activities. Topping the list of greatest ROI were: client teams, client feedback programs, at-client seminars, attorney relationship-management and marketing training, electronic CRM (client relationship management) systems, and one-on-one client entertainment. In the CMOs' views, the lowest ROI came from the "traditional" legal marketing activities of brochures, pro bono, newsletters, event sponsorships, advertisements, and seminars.

Some of the smallest shares of marketing budgets go to the high-ROI client teams, client feedback programs, and at-client seminars.

A CMO of one of the U.S.'s largest firms noted that the most successful firms and attorneys are moving from the passive, "easy" marketing of just spending money on things like receptions, to the active, "harder" marketing of personally connecting with live people.