As I have said many times to many people, Aric Press, the Editor in Chief of The American Lawyer, is very smart and one of the most informed observers of the profession. One reason he is so often "on the money" is his uncanny ability to look at what we do--or don't do--through the eyes of our clients, the ones that matter most. In the February issue of The American Lawyer, Aric takes up the topic of law firm marketing. His insights, as always are on the money and crisply written (certainly better than I could, so let me quote liberally):
"When it comes to marketing, there often seems to be a disconnect between what sort of talent law firms hire, and the level at which the talent is permitted to perform. To make an exaggerated analogy, it's as though you bought a Maserati and then drove it only to the local grocery store."
"I am struck by this now during the start of the season of what I've come to think of as one-bounce marketing. This is the time of year when I receive your creamy professional announcements, your perfect-bound annual reports, your lovingly balanced diversity publications, and all sorts of other handsome folderol. Please keep sending them; I applaud even bad marketing, because everyone has to start somewhere. But some of these efforts redefine ephemeral. To be really effective, marketing needs to be part of a larger strategic initiative, one that employs all of the tools that your expensive CMO presumably has available if only you'd unleash her. Otherwise you're making an investment on which there is no return. (Why 'one-bounce marketing'? Because this material hops nicely from my desk into the recycling bucket.)"
Ouch! I love the way he waited so long to explain one-bounce marketing. But now think about what you do and whether your marketing efforts suffer similar fate on the desks of your clients.