Several years ago, when the economy had taken a turn for the worse, I wrote an article called “Hard Times Call for Hard Marketing.” My point in the article was that law firms had an opportunity to gain mind and market share by maintaining and even increasing their focus and spending on business development for their firm. The firms that heed this advice often found that their competition was napping and had to play catch-up when the economy turned around.
Now, times are better. Many law firms are in their fifth or sixth year of record profits. Firms continue to grow, either by acquisition, organically or both. Many firms learned valuable lessons during the slow times—leaner staffing, smarter spending, use of technology and more. Marketing as a means of creating awareness, and service as a method of retaining current clients, became accepted business development practice. Partners with the skills and interest to manage the marketing function replaced committees that had vague mandates and were almost invariably ineffective and inefficient. In addition, partners became comfortable with delegating the marketing function to experts, both in-house and outside the firm, while managing the client relationships themselves.