Archive for the 'Strategy' Category


Why DIY Marketing Doesn’t Work in Legal – Part 3

Author: Cathy Kenton
April 5, 2014

This is the third and final post in this series. The first segment can be found here, and the second post can be found here.

In the previous posts, I focused on how being too close to the business and how time/priority limitations both pose serious challenges for many legal service providers. In this final post, I’ll concentrate on the infrastructure necessary for measuring results.

Marketing is more science than art. In the legal vertical, it’s not about winning awards for the best (read pretty) artwork, nor the company that throws the biggest party at a conference, it’s about strategy, executing the strategy, and the end-of-the-day results. Knowing what’s working (and doing more of it) and what’s not (and doing less of it) is the key to marketing success.

Why is it so difficult for DIY marketing to succeed?

7. Failing to build a proper foundation

Creating an integrated marketing strategy that is appropriate for your market segment is commonly overlooked by DIY marketers. Looking down the road  to an exit strategy makes sense even for the earliest of start-ups. After all, how many races are won by runners who haven’t studied the course? Whether it’s a sprint or a marathon, you have to have a clear vision of where you’re going in order to get there in the shortest possible time.

Identifying the mid-points helps you keep a check on the results and adjust both your goals and strategies. Knowing what you want to achieve and when gives you the tools to analyze and improve your results.

8. Lacking the time and/or proper tools to measure results

One of my smartest mentors taught me to measure, measure, and measure. It was invaluable advice then, and it’s even more valuable now. Most DIY marketers I speak with have little or no knowledge of or access to the metrics they need to make sound marketing decisions. Without them, how do you determine what is a cost-effective investment, and what’s not. Understanding customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime values, and how those costs impact your marketing efforts is critical to reaching your goals.

You don’t necessarily need expensive or sophisticated tools, but you do need a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. How many leads do you need to get one sale? What are the best tactics to achieve your goals? How does branding fit in to the equation? All are important questions to ask and answer before you spend another marketing dollar.

The science of marketing doesn’t have to be a full time job, but it does require the focus and market knowledge of an experienced marketing professional. If you don’t have the qualifications, it may be time to find one. Your company’s success depends on it


Why DIY Marketing Doesn’t Work in Legal – Part 2

Author: Cathy Kenton
March 25, 2014

This is the second post in this series. The previous post can be found here.

If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands to develop and implement your marketing strategy, this information doesn’t apply to you. But, in my experience most company executives and entrepreneurs suffer from a common malady…there’s only 24 hours in a day.

How does this limitation negatively impact your DIY marketing?

4. You’re not leveraging your resources

Building and managing a successful business is about leveraging resources. Many executives make the mistake of thinking that their college Marketing 101 course qualifies them to do the strategic analysis necessary to properly position their offerings. Or worse, they hire a low-cost recent graduate with no real-world or legal specific experience.

Marketing can become a revolving door. Executives hire a marketing person, expecting them to know their product and service offerings and ‘hit the ground running’. Most often the honeymoon period ends early and the company is back to square one. Marketing to the legal vertical is different from most other industries. It is imperative to  use a legal marketing specialist to validate strategies and positioning and to help create a logical plan. It is the single best investment in your business.

5. You can only handle so many #1 priorities

Most executives I meet are challenged  with multiple priorities. They’re wearing lots of hats, filling several roles, and let’s face it; they haven’t got the time to dedicate to developing, implementing, and analyzing a successful marketing strategy and plan.

Marketing planning is an intensive discipline. I personally recommend to my clients that they ‘start at the end’. By determining upfront what they want to accomplish over a given period, we are able to develop strategies and plans to reach their goals. Having specific goals allows us and them to monitor progress.

6. Your marketing becomes reactive rather than strategic

It’s easy to get sidetracked with marketing:

  • Sales are off and you need to do something to fix it now • A offer  comes in to sponsor a new event • Your competitor is speaking on a panel or exhibiting at a conference and you need to be there too

Now you’re reacting. Instead of developing a strategy, creating a plan, implementing the plan, and measuring the results, you’re all over the place. You need help filtering the noise and figuring out what actually fits into your overall strategy.

To be successful at DIY marketing you need to make it a priority, finding the right amount of time to dedicate to marketing, and have the expertise and discipline to create and follow a strategic plan. If you can’t make these commitments, you’ll be hard-pressed to succeed in fulfilling your goals.


Why DIY Marketing Doesn’t Work in Legal – Part 1

Author: Cathy Kenton
March 3, 2014

This post is the first in a series.

For over nearly 15 years I’ve worked with companies that sell products and services to law firms and corporate legal departments. In that time, I’ve spoken with many executives that decided they either couldn’t afford outside marketing/business development assistance or they knew enough to continue tackling their marketing challenges internally.

Early in our conversations, when discussing their goals, they most often cited a desire to build their revenues to a size that would allow them to attract acquisition partners, or they wanted to increase profitability. And yet today, most of those DIY companies continue to struggle to grow or survive. They do so without a plan, and often market by the ‘seat of their pants’.

So, here are the first 3 reasons why DIY doesn’t work in the legal industry:

1. You lack objectivity

Let’s face it. For many legal vendors , your product(s) and/or service(s) isn’t just your business – It’s your baby! You’ve developed it because of a void you identified in the market…and if it works for you, it must be good for others. But successfully marketing and building a business takes more than good ideas and passion. It requires the ability to evaluate market forces with neutrality

2. You’ve become your own focus group

You’re the expert; nobody knows your product/service as well as you. Time and again, I’ve encountered companies that are so convinced of the benefits of their product/service that they fail to listen to their market. Add in an ever-changing communications landscape, and you may not be connecting with your prospects using the channels they prefer. Successful companies find a way to involve their customers and their prospects in both their product development and their communications.

3. Your personal preferences

An early mentor taught me that the only personal preferences that ever matter are those of your customers and prospects, not your personal preferences. Everything from messaging, to marketing channels, to imagery, to the use of color and type style must be geared to your buyer persona(s). Take yourself out of the equation and put yourself into the shoes of your prospects. Will your marketing appeal to them? If not, what are your odds of success? (Answer: Pretty small.)

To summarize, DIY marketing won’t work if you’re too close to your business. You’re the expert at what you do, but can you honestly stay abreast of all the changes to the marketing mix? And can you afford to take your own advice?