Marketing education is critical in today’s economy.
Few lawyers and accountants get any sort of marketing training.
They don’t attend LMA, LPM, AAM, or other marketing conferences. Many probably don’t even recognize those acronyms.
Then, without a strong educational foundation, they’re nonetheless tasked with making decisions regarding the firm’s marketing tools, tactics, and strategies. Or they’re told to bring in business, although they’re not told exactly how to do so.
In contrast, most professional marketers routinely attend high-quality marketing programs. In fact, it’s so much a part of the job description that it can be difficult to remember that most of their professionals rarely get any sort of marketing education. In today’s challenging economy, it’s harder to find quality clients, so firms need more marketing boots on the ground.
Law firms and accounting firms used to offer marketing training during their annual firm or partner retreats.
But the number of firm retreats dropped significantly since marketing budgets were slashed in 2008.
Marketing Committees can really help the firm by pushing internal training programs. Most larger firms have a “[Firm Name] University” run by skilled in-house professional-development experts who develop comprehensive substantive and practice-oriented training curricula. Most smaller firms don’t have this internal expertise.
What’s interesting about firm-wide programs like retreats, or comprehensive internal training programs, is that done well, they can shape an entire firm’s marketing attitude all at once. It can get everyone on the same page. It can create a common language for marketing. It can reinforce what the firm values all at once, across the firm. That’s pretty powerful.
Done well, marketing training can be the platform to aggressively advance the Marketing Committee’s goals and motivate the lawyers to participate. For example, if a branding, positioning, or focused-marketing initiative is on your mind, a firm retreat’s agenda can lay the educational foundation for what’s to come, help them understand the value of this effort, and get everyone on board and evangelizing. That’s a pretty important hour.
But it can’t come from a memo.