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Want to learn something new in 2015? Take a look at PM Forum training workshops: The Future Marketing Manager Thursday 16 April / Thursday 22 October - Full day

Negotiating skills and effective conflict resolution Thursday 30 April - Half day

Up to speed in digital marketing and social media Wednesday 13 May - Half day

Practical and professional skills for marketing and BD assistants Thursday 21 May - Half day

Getting it past the partners – All about buy-in Thursday 4 June - Half day

Boosting problem solving, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills Thursday 18 June - Half day

Being more strategic Wednesday 1 July - Full day

Marketing and BD planning in a nutshell Thursday 10 September - Half day

The Proactive Marketing Executive Wednesday 30 September - Full day

Helping fee earners prepare the perfect pitch Thursday 8 October 2015 - Half day

Find out more on these and other workshops at www.pmforum.co.uk/training


04.15 contents Professional Marketing for PM Forum members

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04 Cover story Brand differentiation

Stephen Quinn believes that professional services and B2B firms can create outstanding advertising and branding campaigns. They just need to think more like a consumer brand.

07 Telling stories by video

Simon Baker looks at how other B2B marketers use corporate storytelling videos and what the professions can learn from them.

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12 Local and global: the challenges

Philip Kovacevic asks what kind of marketing and business development structure are you working in, and why?

14 Slowing down is not an option

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CPD

Reading pm contributes to your CPD under the CIM’s category 9 (private study) to a maximum of 8 hours

Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the top 15 law firms in the world, partly thanks to a strong reputation in corporate and disputes. Owen Williams, a Londonbased head in their Business Development and Marketing function, talks to PM.

16 Breaking through to the next level

Luan de Burgh has some wise words for those who are keen to break through to the next level of leadership, and want to know what kind of behaviours to adopt (and avoid) in order to get there.

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Plus Leader Global village Network Careerwatch Case study How to‌ Marketing basics Technology Second opinion

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The compelling case for mobile marketing leader

Larry Bodine, US Editorial Consultant, PM Magazine

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f a compelling reason were needed for professional firms to create effective mobile websites, it arrived in January. That is when Google started sending messages to web operators to “fix mobile usability issues.” Google is already labeling sites that are ‘mobile friendly’ and penalises sites with a bad mobile experience. It is clear that mobile-friendly sites will be rewarded with a ranking boost. This reflects a sea change in the way that clients communicate. Mobile phones have been outselling computers for years. People have shifted from interacting on a 22-inch monitor to a 4x5 inch screen, from sending emails to sending texts, and from viewing the web on a desktop to a handheld device. Website marketing is no small matter. A firm’s website is the top way that clients find out about a professional firm, more so than referrals from colleagues, according to Hinge Marketing. Accordingly, what a professional firm displays on its mobile phone makes a big difference. We all know that people are obsessed with their phones. Time spent with digital media among US adults has surpassed time spent with TV – with mobile driving the shift, according to eMarketer. We use mobiles to set an alarm, pay for coffee, check the time, use the calculator – and occasionally make a call. Test yourself: use your mobile to visit your own firm’s website. Is the text too small to read? Are the images too small to see? Can you make out your logo? This is bad marketing. Essential elements for a professional firm’s mobile site are big, simple buttons. There should be a click-to-call button (no

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Smart marketers will puzzle out what is the trigger that makes clients contact their firm.

need to type the firm’s phone number), a click-to-message button, and an interactive map button. More than that, your mobile site should convey a ‘mobile moment’ or ‘brand experience’: • The message should be viewable in one glance. Infographics work very well. • It should anticipate the needs and motivations of your clients. • The mobile site should offer something to act on immediately. • It should offer a giveaway, such as a printout, checklist or guide. • The site should provide something for visitors to sign up for, such as your marketing list.

For instance, we published a blog post on Personalinjury.com that asked: “Are You Driving One of the 19 Deadliest Cars?” Readers could not resist clicking to find out. We published a video interview, “9 Questions to Ask Every Lawyer You Interview.” Potential clients eagerly played it to hear the answers. Smart marketers will puzzle out what is the trigger that makes clients contact their firm. The more successfully this trigger is converted into a click-worthy mobile experience, the more potential clients will contact the firm.

Managing editor Nadia Cristina pmmagazine@pmint.co.uk Publisher Richard Chaplin Editorial consultant in chief Kim Tasso Regional editorial consultants Asia – Robert Sawhney Australia – Dianne Davis Canada – Larry Stroud USA – Larry Bodine Commercial & membership enquiries Paul Lemon paul@pmint.co.uk Cover design Mytton Williams Join our group on LinkedIn pm is published ten times a year and distributed by Practice Management International LLP, 422 Salisbury House, London Wall, London EC2M 5QQ, UK 020 7786 9786 ISSN 0969-1847 www.pmforumglobal.com © Practice Management International LLP 2014. All rights reserved. Professional Marketing (pm) accepts no responsibility for loss of or damage, however caused, to any material submitted for publication nor for consequences resulting from the use of the information in this magazine, nor in any respect for the content of such information. Neither Professional Marketing nor the PM Forum endorses the opinions expressed or any products or services advertised in this magazine or on its website. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in any retrieval system of any nature, except for permitted fair dealing or fair use under applicable law, without the prior permission of the publishers. pm is printed alcohol-free, using vegetable based inks by Purbrooks, an ISO 14001 accredited company.


global village

On the move… Gillian Orr has joined McClure Naismith as Sales & Marketing Manager. She was previously with Maclay Murray & Spens. She takes over from Audrey Johnstone who has moved to Campbell Dallas as Marketing Director.

Robert Pinheiro has been promoted to Senior Marketing and CRM Manager at Withy King.

Robert Pinheiro

Charlotte Waters has joined CBW as Marketing Manager. She was previously with MacIntyre Hudson.

North west architects, Michael Hyde and Associates have expanded their team with the appointment of Hilary Garrett, a marketing specialist who brings over 25 years’ experience to the firm.

Caroline Tremlett

Caroline Tremlett
 has joined Taylor Wessing as Business Development Manager. She was previously with Byfield Consultancy.

Reed Smith has appointed Wendy Taylor as its new Chief Marketing Officer. She will lead the firm’s global business development and marketing operations from its Washington DC office. Wendy was previously chief marketing officer at Dechert.

Wendy Taylor

Date for your diary

Never too early to mark your calendar for the annual PM Forum conference – Thursday 24 September 2015. More details coming soon…

Competition winner Congratulations to Sarah Bailey of ERM in London, who wins a copy of Effective Client Management in Professional Services.

BDO triumphs at MPF Awards

Accountancy firm BDO won three heavyweight categories at this year’s MPF Awards – Best strategic leadership, Best financial management and Best managed national firm. Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright won Best performing legal brand for the second year in succession, as well as Best collaboration across the management team. Baltic law firm Magnusson won Best managed international firm, having been runner up in the category in 2014. Other winners included: Appleby (Best thought leadership); Baker & McKenzie (Best diversity and inclusion programme); BLP (Most innovative client service); Bird & Bird (Most innovative use of social media & Best use of systems and technology); CBRE (Best alignment of resources); Clyde & Co (Best community engagement); CMS (Best provision of knowhow); DWF (Best managed workplace + Best leadership of innovation); Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Best social mobility programme); Grant Thornton International (Best programme for leadership development); Lane4 (Best change management programme); Radiant Law (Mould breaking firm).

Find out why they won at www.mpfglobal.com/awards

Jobs

Vacancies on the PM Forum Global job board include…

Digital Marketing and Social Media Assistant – Accountancy, London, £70,000 to £80,000

BD adviser – Mills & Reeve, Birmingham, Cambridge, Manchester or Norwich, £Competitive

Marketing Team Leader – Allianz, Brentford, up to £40,000

Regional BD Manager – Baker Tilly, North West, £Competitive

Regional Marketing and BD Senior Manager – Baker Tilly, Central Region, £Excellent

Client Development & CRM Systems Manager – Law, London, £40,000 to £50,000

Events Executive – Law, London, £26,000 to £30,000

Head of Marketing Product and Propositions – Warrington, £45,000 to £55,000

Bid Manager – Manchester, £35,000 to £45,000

Bid Manager – Accountancy, London, £50,000 to £60,000

Client Development Executive – Law, London, £Competitive

Proposition Manager – North Yorkshire, £32,000 to £35,000 For free email alerts, visit jobs.pmforumglobal.com pm | April 2015

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Brand differentiation

opinion

Stephen Quinn believes that professional services and B2B firms can create outstanding advertising and branding campaigns. They just need to think more like a consumer brand.

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ften marketers in the professions look enviously at consumer brands and wish that their firm could create stand out communications too. But how? Many of the best consumer brands don’t focus on what they do. They focus on why they do it. Simon Sinek, the UK based author shares a simple but effective method in his book Start with Why. In his book he shows that many undifferentiated brands focus on their products and services rather than what they believe. Thus leading to a generic product message and more reliance on price strategies. He talks mainly about consumer brands but how would a typical professional firm express itself? For example: What do we do? We are a corporate law firm.

How do we do what we do? By having the best people and the highest standard of integrity and professionalism.

Why do we do what we do? We rarely see why a law firm does what they do.

We’ve seen this type of generic messaging on so many professional services firms website and we believe that’s it’s because of a reliance on service messages rather than a belief based message. Before we look to how a professional service firm can rethink their messaging let’s look at three consumer brands that

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It’s in the DNA of a marketer to stand out and in the DNA of a partner to fit in. operate a Why/How/What rather than a What/How/Why model.

Audi

Why? Audi’s tagline is Vorsprung durch Technik which loosely translated means ‘progression through technology’. So their ‘why’ is about exploring the future and seeing what’s possible.

Nike

Why? Nike believes that anyone can be an athlete.

How? By encouraging people to try new sports and activities and not let society or their own fears get in the way.

What? Footwear, apparel and technology products that help you get the most from your chosen activity. Nike express their ‘why’ in every conceivable platform and while their advertising messages will change, their core belief remains constant. You can do it, so ‘just do it’.

Apple

How? Through constant research and development.

Why? Apple believes in challenging the status quo.

Audi have recently expressed their belief through the launch of their electric hybrid A3 e-tron and a live event whereby an Audi A7 completed a lap of the famous Hokenheim Ring racing track without a driver controlling the car. Yes, Audi are selling cars but they’re selling them to people who love technology and innovation.

What? Mobile phones, computers, music players.

What? Cars with the latest technology that makes driving easier and safer.

How? By creating products that change how we use/consume the things we love.

Apple have been disrupting industries like music, telecommunications, computing for many years and even though their products are often not first to market they connect with many


opinion 3 Committees kill creativity

We’ve all sat through them. And we’ll never get that time back again. Why should everyone have an opinion or have to be consulted? What starts out as an interesting idea often gets watered down to a bland, inoffensive piece of communication that pleases everyone internally and excites no one externally. If you’ve convinced the partners on Point 2 then the next stage is to take total ownership and go and make it happen. By all means keep a small group in the loop but not together and only as a courtesy.

4 Tell one story at a time

people’s desire to express their creativity on their terms.

These three brands are some of the biggest in the world but more importantly they are some of the most interesting in the world. So they all sell products, but their messaging starts with what they believe.

What are the implications for the marketing function?

We firstly need to realise that marketers and partners within a professional services firm are built differently. This is a gross generalisation but more often than not it’s in the DNA of a marketer to stand out and in the DNA of a partner to fit in. There are many reasons for this in my opinion: • Training bodies for accountants or lawyers are broadly similar, • Fee structures for services are generic. • Often competitor firms share clients (one does tax, another does consulting), • Partners are often employed to mitigate risks for their clients, not generate sales.

This can result in a collegiate attitude within the industries which is admirable on one level but it clearly is a barrier to innovation and creativity on another. So if we want to create stand out branding or advertising we can’t persuade the internal decision makers on our terms, it must be on theirs. So how can a marketer actually start the process of building the ‘why’ for their firm and from there a communication

strategy that is authentic to their values but allows for some differentiation?

1 Start with the numbers

So often the marketing and brand function is seen by partners as a ‘nice to have’ but not a ‘must have’. Where there’s no need, there’s no focus. Asking about the profit centres and growth opportunities within the firm is a key first step to recognising the importance of marketing within the firm: • Where are we making the most revenue? • Where are we making the most profit? • Based on research rather than opinion, which are the areas that show the greatest opportunity for the future? • Who is our client in these new growth areas? What age are they? How do they perceive themselves?

These and other questions are the starting point for the business case for your project. To show potential ROI linked to marketing strategy is a must have. Otherwise we’re just updating the language on the boilerplate.

2 Focus on new business, not existing

Exciting new clients and not alienating existing ones are at opposite ends of the communications strategy, yet often both are the desire of the partners. It’s imperative to explain that existing clients know the partners’ phone numbers, they don’t need to visit your website and they don’t care about your latest blog post. So ignore them, they already like doing business with you.

The bigger the campaign, the bigger the risk so why start big and make key people in the firm worried? In a world where precedence is everything it’s better to show a series of successes and then agitate for more budget and resource. Furthermore, starting small and proving competency and success means you’ll be left alone because you’re the expert at what you do, not the facilitator for partners’ ideas.

5 Let the right people see your story

One of the areas that marketers often forget about when creating new campaigns is promotion. There isn’t much point creating an online video about a new CSR programme and then expecting people to just stumble across it. When consumer brands create campaigns they buy media, they create events and they share with their network of fans. Professional firms should do the same even if on much smaller budgets. In summary, we believe that there is a lot to be learnt from consumer brands and how they express their personality. But in the consumer space the marketing department and sales department speak a similar language. In the professions that language is utterly different. Rather than convincing the partners in your firm to speak your language, why not learn theirs? And then let them trust you to go and do what you are the expert at: building a differentiated brand that creates more revenue for the firm. Stephen Quinn is Creative Director of Atomic. www.atomic.ie

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Attracting quality talent network

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he employer brand has evolved and its proven ability to deliver tangible commercial success and attract quality talent means it’s becoming front of mind with CEOs and leadership teams. Typically the employer brand, which has evolved from applying marketing principles to people management, has sat within the remit of HR with a focus on driving performance management and recruitment. However, more often it is brand and marketing teams who are taking joint-ownership, recognising employer brand as a vital tool in the delivery of a brand’s promise. But it doesn’t stop there: employee engagement and employer brand is now front of mind with CEO and executive teams who recognise the need to

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mobilise their workforce around their brand in order to drive their competitive advantage. We have seen an increasing focus and appetite for organisations to develop a sustainable and compelling employer brand to support them in what’s becoming an ever diverse and complicated quest to attract quality talent. Traditional broadcast and advertising techniques don’t apply anymore; the workforce has changed in its aspirations and behaviours. The workforce of today is looking to experience a personal affinity with the firm’s brand values and culture. Here are a set of considerations and trends that we believe will impact the way organisations approach the development and management of their employer brand propositions.

1 Organisations need to apply a content publishing approach to engage with and on-board quality talent Rather than short-term advertising and broadcasting campaigns to recruit talent, successful organisations are deploying a content-led publishing approach to engage future and existing employees across a multitude of 21st century social media platforms. Quality of talent will become the leading metric and will replace a traditional cost of talent approach. As more organisations move towards content publishing and develop internal networks of employee publishers, the management and resourcing of internal social media programmes will become an increasing challenge for internal communications departments. Building the right creative platforms and improving accessibility to content will become a primary focus.

2 Embracing insights and data to understand employee behaviours and create relevant and compelling content in a segmented way Content management software and technologies are fast evolving to meet the growing demand for this content publishing approach. As these technologies become more sophisticated, it will be possible to measure individual employee behaviours so that communications can be tailored and segmented to their specific user profiles. For internal communications professionals, it will be less about broadcasting or telling employees about the firm’s values but more about providing a layered and highly accessible information resource across multiple platforms in multiple formats. 3 Understanding the dynamics and behaviours of a new entrepreneurial workforce

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In the quest to attract quality talent from the pool of brandsavvy Millennials, organisations need to understand more about the behaviours and attitudes of this generation in order to compete and differentiate. A lack of understanding could be a challenge for Generation X leadership teams within the organisation. Research suggests 91% of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. With this degree of transience in the workplace, the need to attract, retain and develop employees has never been more vital. This highlights the need to ensure new recruits are enveloped and onboarded into the culture and behaviours that deliver the organisational brand promise and drive the business towards achieving their vision.

4 Employer brands build and protect reputation while building trust Leadership teams across industry sectors that suffered most during the economic crisis now clearly recognise the importance of brand for reputation management and regaining trust of their stakeholders. Within the financial services sector, increased legislation and consolidation has been a clear motivator for leading financial institutions to invest in the development and integrated management of a sustainable employer brand. It’s no coincidence that the best brands to work for are those that engender trust and loyalty and meet the increasing appetite from employees to feel a personal affinity with the culture and values of their employer.

Fiona Burnett, Brand Design Director; Ingrid Brown, Brand & Communications Consultant; Zoë Tisdall, Client Director and Susannah Gerner, Client Director at Emperor. www.emperordesign.co.uk


Telling stories by video

insight

Simon Baker looks at how other B2B marketers use corporate storytelling videos and what the professions can learn from them.

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he story-telling power of video has long been established as a means to change perception, behaviour and attitudes. Since the birth of TV, broadcast news organisations have used video to inform, educate and provide a channel through which these stories can be disseminated.  “Always look for the human dimension when creating any kind of film, a story that the viewer can personally relate to, however dry or difficult the subject matter. This helps the message to resonate with the viewer and makes them more likely to own and share it with others.” So says Chris Shaw, Editorial Director at ITN Productions (previously Programme Editor of Channel 4’s News at Ten) In the digital age, companies are increasingly harnessing the power of video to provide deeper engagement with employees, customers and shareholders. Platforms such as YouTube make it easier than ever to ‘Broadcast Yourself’, and as brands become broadcasters and media owners in their own right, it is vital they are as consistently represented through the moving image as in other forms of communication. This is a world of opportunity for professional firms. According to Grant Fulton, Creative Director at ITN Productions: “Business messaging such as facts, figures and statistics can sometimes come across as slightly dry. By connecting with the viewer emotionally we engage their imagination and that helps with the absorption of core ideas. It makes it more effective.”

We see a wide variety of video briefs, some are simple ‘talking head’ thought leadership interviews, some are much more creative brand films aimed at attracting the best graduates, or even animations explaining the process of a legal deal. All of these video styles are suitable so long as they are relevant and appropriate to your audience and where your audience is in the buying cycle. The most successful films will be planned and conceived with a clear and defined understanding of three key factors – relevance, reach and resonance.

Relevance

Focus on creating content that your target audience truly values. By adopting an insight-led approach to content creation, you will ensure that you develop subject matter that is relevant for your audience. It’s great to produce content that is fresh and up to date, but if that is your strategy then ensure you get to market quickly or risk being perceived as off the pace. Similarly, it’s important to consider the desired ‘shelf life’ of your content and strike the balance between being not so pm | April 2015

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insight topical that it’s out of date next week but neither so anodyne that it can stay on your homepage all year! Finally, pick some ‘white space’, away from your competitors’ content. Have something truly unique to say, if not about what you do then how you do it.

Reach

Plan the most effective channels to get your content in front of your target audience. Integrating your content into email and search marketing campaigns can help your content to be found and viewed by your target audience. Video should be planned alongside all other forms of content to provide an integrated cross platform content plan. Experimentation with ‘long tail’ search terms should be encouraged in order to find the prospects currently searching for solutions to a problem (eg. “How do I...”). Once viewed by your target audience, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to share it with colleagues internally and externally through the integration of ‘share’ functionality across all key social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. YouTube is now the world’s 2nd most popular search engine after Google, and each week over 100 million people take a ‘social action’ such as a like, share, or comment. As well as your own website, establishing a channel on YouTube as the hub of your video content is a common way for brands to manage their video assets in a single place.

Resonance

Build video that has a lasting impact. It’s important not to embark upon any kind of content marketing journey without having a plan. Consider how video will sit alongside your other content forms and how it will build over time into a body of work. Defining objective measures of success will help maintain a focus on return on investment. Views and clickthroughs are easy to measure, but how far through the funnel are you following these leads? Where to take them after the end frame? Where do you want your client/prospect to go next to harness the engagement and convert into an action that moves them further through the sales funnel? Once you have outlined the above, you can look at some practical ways that your video content will integrate into the wider marketing mix and to ensure your

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By connecting with the viewer emotionally we engage their imagination and that helps with the absorption of core ideas. It makes it more effective.

films tie in to each stage of a typical buying cycle for your clients. Business buyers have different information needs at different stages of the buying cycle, therefore the type of video you produce should change depending on whether you are building a brand, recruiting talent, or influencing someone who is close to making a buying decision on a specific service.

Problem recognition

Building content that addresses the problem faced by your target audience can work well in building awareness. Editorial in tone, with minimal ‘sales’ messaging, the purpose of this type of content is to demonstrate that you understand their business issue and that you have expertise in this area.

Information search

Over recent years, Google has become synonymous with search. Even amongst very senior ‘C Suite’ audiences, it is the go-to place for information in solving business related problems. The advent of ‘blended search’ (where video features alongside text links in search engine results pages) has made it even more important to have high quality video tagged with key search terms when your clients are searching for information online.

Evaluation of alternatives

This is especially relevant for service brands, as video can help bring your proposition to life by providing a degree of ‘physical evidence’ of the quality of the service you provide. For example, allowing the client to ‘virtually’ meet the key players from your business through video allows you to build rapport early in the buying process.

Post-purchase evaluation

On-going and value-added communications with your clients that positively reinforce their purchase decision. This might include a variety of topics, from updates on best practice and commentary on industry developments through to more formal, research-led ‘thought leadership’ and personalised video communications. Simon Baker is Head of Branded Content at ITN Productions. Contact: 020 7430 4511, simon.baker@itn.co.uk or productions@itn.co.uk.


Hitting the right remuneration notes

careerwatch

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With revenue in many professional services firms having increased since the end of the recession, Frosso Miltiadou asks why marketers are not benefiting.

f you’re a line manager in a professional firm who has tried to recruit within your BD or marketing team over the past 12 months, you’ll know exactly how hard it is to find good people. There is a serious shortage of candidates, and whilst broadening the pool within which you search should be considered, there are other factors hindering the search process in the sector – and salary is a big one. As a supplier of BD and marketing talent, we have noticed that salaries for support staff have remained fairly static for the past five to eight years. Business development managers have, on average, been paid £50-65,000 since 2008 and whilst recent market conditions are of course appreciated, the time has come to reassess remuneration. Many firms have expressed shock at the salaries that marketing and BD professionals are demanding, but is it any wonder with increased workloads, long hours and ever higher costs of living? In recent months we have even noticed that when recruiting roles in Continental Europe, equivalent European candidates earn considerably more than UK candidates. This indicates that the London market has fallen behind the rest of Europe with regard to remuneration. In addition, marketing and BD professionals returning from Asia or the US, where salaries have traditionally been higher, are now well and truly priced out of the market. Demand from partners for BD support is on the increase, which is fantastic news and demonstrates real progress in the sector, but unless firms attract and retain BD staff they won’t be able to achieve their business goals. In order to secure the right people, firms need to offer candidates a significant increase to that which they are currently

In a recent survey it transpired nearly a third of firms don’t even offer bonuses. on in order to avoid the dreaded spectre of the counter-offer. Furthermore, in order to keep their staff, firms should be offering salary rises that are more than just nominal – and frankly derisory – in recognition of the increased workloads that their employees are taking on. There’s also the matter of bonuses and the part they play. In most firms, they are discretionary and based on varying combinations of firm/business area/individual performance and come out at around 5-10% of base salary. In a recent survey it transpired nearly a third of firms don’t even offer bonuses. Some of the accountancy firms have implemented a more robust bonus structure linked to KPIs and more sales focused activity. However, when this was raised at a recent roundtable discussion we hosted with directors from leading professional services firms, the overall feeling was that whilst some accountancy firms employ fee generating sales and BD professionals and bonus them according to revenue generated, the legal sector lends itself better to client relationship management which can be much harder to attach KPIs and targets to. Bonuses on the softer client relationship management and marketing disciplines tend to be discretionary and often it is those who shout the loudest about what they do who get the bigger bonuses. Francis Mainoo, Deputy Managing Director at consultants Lowendalmasai

said: “Internal advocacy is incredibly important. It’s essential that business developers invest time in engaging internal stakeholders to make sure they understand business development roles, remits and responsibilities. Moreover it needs to be articulated internally how business development adds value to a company and therefore the importance of investing in high quality BD professionals. This message should be delivered top down and bottom up to ensure engagement and retention.” Bonuses, therefore, should be based on partner feedback together with clear KPIs around specific projects, activities and clients. Interestingly, some law firms have said they don’t really find employees push back on discretionary bonuses, which as recruiters we were surprised at given that we hear a lot of candidates talk about disappointment around the level of, or even lack of bonus. Employers said they receive more push back on basic salary rather than bonus, which is hardly surprising when bonuses can be little more than a token gesture of a few hundred pounds for a junior executive burning the midnight oil working on pitches. Revenue in many firms has increased since the end of the recession and as such most organisations should be in a position to invest in their support teams. Without this financial investment, the increased appetite for BD support from partners will not realise its potential, which would be a huge shame given the years it’s taken to get them to this point. Frosso Miltiadou, director of Professional Services and Legal recruitment company, Anthem Consulting.

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Agile, responsive, engaging case study

Simon Rusling believes that Barnett Waddingham’s new website creates the right first impressions and provides an inspirational catalyst for future marketing communications.

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arnett Waddingham is the UK’s largest independent partnership of actuaries and consultants, with a reputation for clear and concise advice. A successful and trusted firm, it offers a comprehensive range of risk management services to meet the diverse needs of pension scheme trustees, employers, private clients and insurance firms. For a professional services provider such as Barnett Waddingham, our website is the shop window. We have the people, knowledge and services to address even the most complex pensions and insurance issues. However, our previous site was not a fair reflection of this expertise and market leadership.

A focus for business development

The previous website had been developed several years ago together with a bespoke content management system that was no longer fit for purpose. The marketing team had access to the system for the basic tasks but had to go to our internal IT department to make any significant changes. Although IT was as responsive as it could be, the marketing team’s lack of control meant that the website was not being utilised to its full potential: too much time was being spent on administration rather than the campaign planning that would make the website an integral part of the business development process.

Technical due diligence

Technology is a key differentiator for Barnett Waddingham: our experienced IT team has successfully developed a great deal of client-friendly systems and software. As they were focused on this important part of our service offering I needed external resource. I wanted an agency with real knowledge of the professional services sector – one that spoke my language and could evidence examples of previous work with similar clients. I therefore talked to agencies’ existing clients about their experiences and ensured that they stacked up from a technical perspective. Equally important was providing a sophisticated web experience for clients and prospects across a range of devices, with a rigorous testing phase ensuring the responsive website was fully optimised for mobile and tablet use.

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A catalyst for other communications

The web development process also included plans for a more active thought leadership programme. I wanted the website to provide a focal point for the firm, and set the standard to take all our communications forward. Much of the content on the old website was in PDFs and often difficult to find, so we were obviously missing a trick with SEO. We also had a number of microsites that had been developed incrementally to meet the individual needs of the business. I was keen to consolidate these into the main website to maximise traffic and potential cross-selling opportunities. Rationalising the architecture around Barnett Waddingham’s four key client groups, rather than its numerous service offerings, brought clarity to the user journey. Applying consistent categories to the content enabled the right articles to be served to the right audiences at the right time without any manual coding or intervention, further increasing the visibility of the quality content that had been produced and improving the marketing team’s productivity.

Key lessons learned

• Do your homework – Choose an agency that has experience of working in a similar industry, one that can plan the journey and can effectively highlight the bumps in the road ahead.

• Allocate senior resource – Websites are large and complex projects so you should not underestimate the amount of work that you and your marketing team will have to do. A shorter decision chain helps to save time.

• Communicate frequently – Work done to keep the business abreast of the project development will ensure buy-in and ultimately save time in unnecessary questions.

• Start the content work early – Work on repurposing the content always takes longer than you think and you should begin early in the process.


case study pension scheme strategy for trustees and corporate sponsors. Plans are also in place to develop video guides for Barnett Waddingham’s pensions administration systems and member communications. The new website content management system enables pages with multiform content to be assembled quickly and easily, facilitating a smoother user journey and integrated approach.

Artistic freedom through creative direction

Many of Barnett Waddingham’s larger competitors’ websites have a similar look and feel; professional but without clear personality or differentiation. I wanted to demonstrate our increasingly broad capability, while retaining the personal touch and attention to detail on which the firm is built. We’d used a cycling motif for a couple of years and, although it was not ‘broken’, it was restrictive. After a series of creative workshops with Grist we developed a new theme around the concept of partnership, one of our key client messages. This direction, together with a vibrant colour palette, gave us much more freedom to source a wider range of stunning images. We are increasingly thinking more visually. We are developing a greater variety of content including infographics and video, which help to engage our audience effectively by simplifying complex issues.

Thinking more visually

For an actuarial firm with no shortage of statistics at its disposal, the challenge for Barnett Waddingham lies in bringing those facts and figures to life and effectively communicating the story behind them. Infographics help to set the scene and summarise key messages for white papers and research reports, offering an ideal entry point for time-poor readers. And interactive online guides bring a richer understanding of the audience’s needs and the opportunity to deliver bespoke content. Barnett Waddingham’s previous videos had covered longform technical presentations. But now we are using video to support a range of initiatives, successfully integrating multiple channels in a virtuous circle.

Integrated video

Video footage of client views and feedback on hot topics at industry gatherings is used to enrich partner presentations, while one-to-one video interviews with high-profile speakers at the firm’s own events help to deliver key insights to a wider audience of clients and prospects. We are not afraid to push the boundaries too, seeing animated video as an ideal vehicle to support the firm’s recent auto-enrolment pensions initiative with Standard Life, and the launch of Illuminate, a dynamic online tool providing clarity on

Effective project management

I have been in marketing long enough to have overseen a number of web development projects and was surprised at how smooth the process was. Most of the projects I have been involved with were much smaller than this, but invariably took longer than expected. To see this happen so quickly was impressive. The team from Grist excelled in project management: providing a clear roadmap for the project, giving advance warning of when we needed to commit resources and were always there to offer a guiding hand. An essential part of the web development process involved a comprehensive audit of existing pages, prioritising, repurposing and optimising to achieve maximum impact on the new site. Mapping this content successfully, including redirecting URLs, takes time but means that nothing is left behind in terms of search engine benefit. I was particularly pleased with their help on the content side with templates, sample writing and editorial direction key to making the transition from old to new less painful.

Engagement critical to future success

Without a doubt, the website is raising the profile of the firm. We’ve always produced a lot of quality content, but it has been less visible in the past. We now have an effective showcase and it is great to see the firm engage, partners contributing more than ever and eager to share more content across social media and other networks. Previous interaction by visitors was limited, but we have seen more than 31% of sessions on the new site result in some kind of action by the visitor, such as sharing our content on social media, downloading a PDF or contacting one of our partners. I am confident that the new website really leads the way as a critical component of our digital marketing strategy and will play a significant role in developing ever more innovative ways to deliver quality content to our clients. Simon Rusling, Associate & Head of Marketing, Barnett Waddingham.

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11


Local and global: the challenges viewpoint

Philip Kovacevic asks what kind of marketing and business development structure are you working in, and why?

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n a global professional services firm the local marketing and business development (MBD) team takes care of one office or, in some cases, several offices in one jurisdiction. In this context, a critical role is played by the local language if it is other than the central or global language (usually English). Local teams are in charge of all the marketing, communications (internal/external) and business development activities delegated to them by the centralised team, which can be global or regional. They are the all-important last mile, giving focused effect to initiatives from the centre, making sure the message is delivered to the local market and clients. They are key stakeholders who subtly direct efforts through their knowledge of market habits, requirements and, above all, the local language and environment. Take them out of the equation, and you could face a huge barrier to successful market entry. In some cases this honing process entails seemingly minor changes that end up having a surprisingly asymmetric impact on outcomes; other times, huge changes are required merely to avoid negative consequences.

Local tasks: musts and cans

When you speak of ‘musts’ for a local team, this means the fundamental necessities of MBD support for this market, ie. mainly operational business that cannot be centralised and, in most cases, all local language based activities. In a professional services firm this is a huge part of BD and marketing, since no products are actually produced; instead there are services to be described. Examples of basic

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The local MBD structure has to dovetail with the firm’s vision, business strategy and all marketing and BD strategies and tactics for the targeted local market.

tasks would therefore be all client communications, marketing collateral, on site event management, local proposals, and submissions for local directories, to name just a few. With ‘cans’, you think of services that benefit the firm by utilising local knowledge. These are mostly to be found in the BD and comms spheres. Client development and penetrating market segments to increase local business will achieve the best results possible only if you have a strong enough footprint in the market. The maturity of the business market, market saturation, the number of competitors, etc, all influence how MBD is done. Media campaigns – and even internal communications – have to be tailored for carefully targeted audiences. Media markets vary greatly from one jurisdic-

tion to another. They mirror political and cultural development. While they can be dominated by a few publications in younger or very centralised markets, in others they might have long traditions and be very heterogeneous. The differentiation of a media market ruled by public or private media is a factor when approaching journalists, not to mention very obvious issues such as having a strong network of media contacts. In brand and digital marketing various additional local tasks are involved, like websites, tailored emarketing and advertising campaigns as well as employer branding. Here, localisation is vital if you want to have the desired effect on the target audience. In all these cases language is the key to success – and the most challenging part when it comes to using translations in operational matters. All audiences naturally feel more at home when they are addressed in their mother tongue, no matter how well they speak, say, English as a foreign language. It is not just about understanding content; it is about trust, safety and confidence. These are jeopardised when people come face to face with a literal or wooden translation. With this in mind, let us now have a look at possible structures for tackling these challenges and seizing opportunities.

Two models

The local MBD structure has to dovetail with the firm’s vision, business strategy and all marketing and BD strategies and tactics for the targeted local market. No two firms have the same approach to their local MBD team structures regarding market penetration.


viewpoint and the leading role must come from the centre to ensure consistency and a onefirm message. The silo scenario still meets the requirements mentioned above, but to combat its inherent weaknesses an integrated localised team model would be a preferable way ahead for a global, one-firm approach. The integrated version of the localised team works more collaboratively, with the teams taking on regional and global responsibilities in addition to local duties. Through strong connection with the centre, local best practices can be transferred to other regions or to the global level. This drives innovation within the firm, by having local laboratories testing what might be successful globally.

Conclusion

At a conceptual level the local MBD structure can be thought of in terms of one continuum of market penetration. The two extremes on the continuum are a satellite team and a localised team. Every firm will have its own approach somewhere on the continuum between these two models, depending on its strategic and cultural focus. While the satellite has basically no varieties, the localised team comes in two different subsets.

The Satellite

The satellite – metaphorically – is a unit sent out by the centre to achieve goals with minimum engagement. The unit coordinates what comes from global MBD leadership and addresses the most relevant local requirements. This is highly efficient, cuts costs and, in the best case scenario, helps avoid cardinal failures in local markets. One might tentatively suggest this assures quality standards, not leaving much room for localisation – or local error. Unfortunately, the satellite team is much more hands-on due to the limited resources available. Therefore it has to tap into resources that are extraneous to the professional MBD team. Hence, feeearners and secretaries become key to performing operational tasks (basically the ‘musts’). Tasks in most cases have to be carried out under time pressure, for example brand compliance in pitches, in submissions, at events, etc. but they are no longer in the hands of MBD professionals, and compromises inevitably are

made. Moreover, it results in waste as skilled human assets are misallocated: lawyers are re-routed away from client work to business services/administrative tasks, which runs counter to client expectations. Understandably, the satellite model has a weak position within the global MBD team and the local administrative structure. Thus sometimes it is not the most attractive prospect if a firm is looking to utilise the best talents in the market.

The Localised team

The localised team model involves serious investment in the respective market. It delivers the ‘musts’ and the ‘cans’ and has a stronger footprint in the market. The downside: it is less cost-efficient than the satellite in the short run. Working very close to the market and developing best practices, this team has a much better grip on local stakeholder requirements (eg. clients, employees, market segments and media). In addition to the obvious benefit of achieving more appropriate communication with local clients, best practices in operational business are implemented by professional MBD team members and are constantly reviewed and reshaped. So in the medium term efficiency and quality are greatly enhanced. The biggest challenge of the localised team model is to avoid a silo scenario where disconnected silos act separately from each other, since the key messages

The first impression you have when looking at what can be achieved by both models is that the satellite is not as ‘good’ as the localised team, or that the integrated localised team is ‘better’ than the silo in every thinkable scenario. This is not the case, as it depends on why you are entering a local market. Following clients into new markets does not require you to have a strong footprint, but an efficient way of being on hand for your clients. Here the satellite is the perfect fit. In cautious market entries it would work at the initial stage, by reducing risks connected to the growth strategy. A silo can fit into a professional firm culture that rejects any central administration and favours a network/alliance approach regarding its global presence. Here ‘musts’ and ‘cans’ are addressed completely and in a form that is appropriate to the relevant market. In contrast to the satellite or silo, the integrated localised team is designed to support a strong market entry and ensure sustainable investment in a market, while strengthening the global brand through its integration from a brand and consistency perspective. Thus a combination or a hybrid solution somewhere on the continuum between the two models and their varieties might well fit into a firm’s business strategy better than going for one model per se. The critical factors are the purpose and vision adopted by the firm. Philip Kovačević is Business Development and Marketing Director, Germany at global law firm Dentons.

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practice profile

Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the top 15 law firms in the world, partly thanks to a strong reputation in corporate and disputes. Owen Williams, a London-based head in their Business Development and Marketing function, tells Neasa MacErlean about the ways in which he and the team is driving change.

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“W

Slowin

e are constantly challenging the partners to do things differently,” says Owen Williams who is head of business development for the corporate practice throughout the firm’s 24office international network and also has a responsibility for overseeing the work of the function across the London office. “When we recruit we are looking for people who can help drive change. We are essentially the change function in the firm. We are the ones who are driving the change.” So why, if it has been so successful until now, does a 143year old firm with income of £800m, 460 partners and another 4,200 personnel need to put such an emphasis on change? That is because the world is developing so fast around it. And its particular sector of the marketplace is the pioneering, most international part which is adapting the quickest. “We tend to focus on the most high profile, complex and challenging transactions and cases,” he says. One of the implications of this is that Herbert Smith Freehills specialises in cross-border work for multi-nationals – and this, in turn, means that, instead of reporting in to one person in the client’s team, it is often reporting into several. “You need to work with multiple stakeholders,” says Williams, acknowledging that the days of having one-to-one relationships with one lead buyer are being superseded by far more complicated networks. In this context, it is no surprise that this sophisticated firm is working hard at what sounds like a simple activity – listening. “For law firms, listening was often a tick-box exercise,” says


practice profile

When we recruit we are looking for people who can help drive change. We are essentially the change function in the firm. We are the ones who are driving the change.

community to develop, package and present innovations that will improve efficiency and cut costs for clients. Amongst its other activities, it has been working on innovation workshops to examine precise possibilities for individual clients. Borrowing a concept from the Japanese automotive sector, the firm promises continuous improvement to clients. A service office in Belfast, opened in 2011 with the main aim of providing dispute resolution work, has branched out to provide cost-effective support in the corporate and property areas as well. The work of the Client Development team feeds into that of the pricing specialists. The innovators can help general counsel save costs in some areas of the legal work – an important part of the whole equation when looking at the client-law firm relationship overall. “The number [on the bill] isn’t the full story,” says Williams. “We take a holistic approach.” For all that Herbert Smith Freehills can trace its roots back 143 years, it has yet to reach its third anniversary as a combined global firm. Bedding down the 2012 merger of London-based Herbert Smith and the Australian Freehills has been the largest single project facing the BD and Marketing team since then. The activity involved is a demonstration of Williams’s emphasis on change. The Herbert Smith Freehills merger, at the time the largest ever by number of lawyers, involved the immediate and full integration of both firms, whereas other recent significant mergers have seen the use of a Swiss Verein or loose alliance

ng down is not an option Williams. But nowadays the practice is trying to become so acute at listening that it will be able to work out what clients want before they do themselves. So, as well as putting very specific questions to clients to prompt feedback, the practice is using data analysis and other techniques to spot emerging trends. Listening, of course, is just half of the story. Replying is just as important. The firm – like many others – is concentrating hard on deepening its sector knowledge and communicating its expertise in a useful, focused way. “Thought leadership is 100 per cent on the radar,” says Williams, talking of the current priorities of the 140-strong global BD and Marketing team. “Law firms are increasingly going down that path, recognising the need to provide the client with insight.” Having the information is just one part of the equation, however. Much time is spent working out how to present it to clients “in the right way and at the right time”. So important are the content and delivery of thought leadership that the firm allocates significant resources and uses different routes – developing the messages in-house and also in alliance with national and international business and trade media and other outside organisations. Like most other professional firms, Herbert Smith Freehills has picked up repeated indications from clients about the level of fees. “The general counsel is under pressure to reduce costs,” says Williams. The firm is dealing with this issue head on – and particularly through two international groups, one that deals with innovation and one that works on pricing. The Client Development team, located in Business Development, works with others in the Business Services

structure, therefore maintaining many of the pre-merger divisions between legacy entities. BD and Marketing is led by Paul Bonomy, chief marketing officer, who is based in Sydney, which alongside Melbourne and London is a hub for the function, where several of the ‘central’ functions (including events, the website and design) are based. A fortnightly video conference meeting keeps the 11 person global leadership team in touch. Local BD and marketing teams based in Paris, Madrid and other cities play a key role, both locally and globally. For instance, when the firm filled in another part of its global jigsaw by opening in Germany in 2013, much of the marketing preparation came from London and, crucially, Moscow. Since the merger, Herbert Smith Freehills has been making lateral hires at the rate of about one a month. “The driver for the Herbert Smith Freehills merger is to become a global elite firm with a single offering for clients,” explains the BD head. As the top law firms compete to open in new locations and to spot new practice areas, it is clear that practices like Herbert Smith Freehills are involved in intense competition and cannot permit themselves to slow down. Having worked at Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins, Williams has legal blue blood in his veins. But, perhaps, it is the experience he gained at Deloitte that helps him deliver his message of change more palatably to the partners. He says: “Partners often get tired of being told what’s going on at other law firms.” And, in a world where the Big Four accountants are setting up legal teams, the number of serious competitors is increasing. pm | April 2015

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Breaking through to the next level of leadership management focus

Luan de Burgh has some wise words for those who are keen to break through to the next level of leadership, and want to know what kind of behaviours to adopt (and avoid) in order to get there.

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e have all worked with great leaders and been inspired by them and then there have been those whose leadership style can be described at best as being modelled on that of Vlad the Impaler. Leadership is about inspiring others to see what you see and persuading them that your vision is something of benefit to them. Understanding those people and what drives them is undoubtedly important but most important of all is understanding your own style of leadership so that you can adapt accordingly to different situations and events. In 1939, the psychologist Kurt Lewin identified three core styles of leadership:

• Authoritative or autocratic leadership depends on clear expectations of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done. Decisions are made alone and implemented through controlling and dictatorial channels. It is best suited to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or the leader is acknowledged as the most knowledgeable member of the group. The inherent danger of this style is that it can result in a dysfunctional relationship between the leader and their team and that the team can turn against a dominant leader. • Participative or democratic leadership offers guidance and allows input.

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It encourages participation but retains the final say which has the effect of making those being led feel engaged and part of a team. The only real danger is that some people can occasionally be less productive but that is offset against higher quality contributions. • Delegative or laissez-faire leadership offers little guidance and allows decisions to be taken by group members. A problem with this is that there are often poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation and there is an absence of personal responsibility that is extremely important when trying to inspire loyalty.

First rule of leadership – everything is your fault. Hopper – A Bug’s Life

Following on from the differing styles of leadership, there are a number of determining factors that will indicate which style will work best in given situations and these are when:

1 A task is specific and needs to be conducted by a team who need explicit motivation – here a combination of autocratic strength and assertiveness is required but mixed with all-important clarity of explanation and praise.

2 A task is specific but needs to be conducted by a team who want autonomy – here the consultative approach works best, asking for opinions but having the final say. Being open to ideas and suggestions, guiding discussions and not being dismissive.

3 A task is highly creative and needs to be conducted by a team who don’t want autonomy – here a combination of the consultative and the participative with the all-important insistence of having the final say is the preferred approach.

4 A task is highly creative and needs to be conducted by a team who want autonomy – a consensus laissez-faire approach will work here but it needs to be used with care and monitored.

Added into all this comes the levels of maturity of the teams in question. Paul


management focus ‘why’ enough times to get to the source of the issue.

3 Opportunity finding. Effective leaders constantly look for opportunities to redefine and improve direction. They will find the right things to do rather than always seeking to do things the right way.

4 Natural style. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you identify or problems you solve, if you can’t inspire people to take action you will have little chance of success. There is no one correct natural style and strong leaders recognise this and adapt theirs according to the each situation.

Hersey and Ken Blanchard talk about ‘Situational Leadership’ and that leaders need to adapt their style according to the maturity levels of individuals and recognised four groups:

M1 – Lacking in knowledge and skills to work on own M2 – Willing to work on own but don’t possess all necessary skills M3 – Ready and willing to work, have the skills but not the confidence M4 – Able to work on own, in possession of all skills and necessary confidence

Each level requires a different leadership approach: M1 – Telling M2 – Coaching M3 – Participating M4 – Delegating

Leadership is inextricably linked with power and leaders have power for different reasons. John French and Bertram Raven conducted a study of power in 1959 and identified five power bases: • Legitimate – the belief that a person has a formal right to make demands • Reward – the ability of a person to compensate for compliance • Expert – the superior skill or knowledge of a person • Referent – perceived attractiveness or worthiness of respect • Coercive – the ability of a person to punish for non-compliance

The most effective leaders mainly use expert and referent power bases to lead. By understanding these bases we can better realise how we are influenced by others. Therefore by understanding where our own power bases lie, the levels of maturity of our teams and our natural preferred style of leadership we can better appreciate how to adapt accordingly when seeking to influence. So, what distinguishes effective leaders from average ones? Harvard Professor J. Sterling Livingston argued in ‘The myth of the well-educated manager’ that the effectiveness of a leader is not dependent on their education and that there are four key skills, which define effective leadership.

1 Effective decision-making. If you face a problem believing that you have to find the right answer, you can be setting yourself up for failure. Effective leaders are practical and responsive in their approach to decision making and they know that they cannot keep waiting to make a perfect decision. They have the confidence in situations to make a decision that has a high probability of success and which is consistent with the desired outcome. Crucially, they know how to make decisions.

2 Problem finding. Effective leaders don’t just solve problems; they look for them and seek to neutralise them. They continually ask questions and look for possible solutions. When a problem arises, they will be better equipped to deal with it as they will have asked

Inspirational leaders lead by example, words and vision. They are trustworthy, committed and imaginative and they accept responsibility. They keep their promises and are very aware that their reputation is their brand and manage that brand with prodigious attention to detail. They tell the truth and if they are in a position where they can’t share everything, they explain that they cannot. They make it easy for people to work with them; they take the time to see people rather then leading through email. They are predictable and know how to manage their mood. They don’t fall victim to hyperbole or hubris and they make their teams feel safe. The ability to be enthusiastic and encourage ideas, look for solutions, accept what is unchangeable and be positive is essential. The recognition of the importance of humility is also extremely important. “You shouldn’t gloat about anything you’ve done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do.” (David Packard of Hewlett Packard). Finally, authenticity is fundamental. Great leaders live their values and speak in a language that others understand. They are consistently themselves and don’t seek approval but rather give meaningful praise to others. They have clearly defined goals and make time to explain and communicate those goals. In the words of Molière: “It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we will be accountable.” Luan de Burgh is the Founding Director of The de Burgh Group and heads a team who specialise in delivering leading communication, presentation and personal impact training to businesses of all sizes.

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Achieve firmwide how to…

Nicola Webb believes it is possible for a firm to achieve the holy grail of a co-ordinated, firm-wide approach to cross-selling.

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n today’s highly competitive environment, increasing your firm’s share of the market must be a priority. Traditionally, professional services (PS) firms have spent a higher proportion of their marketing time and resources chasing potential clients rather than taking steps to retain and grow their existing clients. Many believe that this is not an efficient approach. It takes a minimum of nine ‘effective approaches’ over an 18month period to win a new client, whilst research shows that it is five times easier to retain and sell new services to existing clients, than it is to gain a new client. So, the perceived wisdom is that the vast majority of new business received by firms should come from existing clients (known as the 80:20 Pareto law). In order to achieve this, you will need to adopt a co-ordinated, firm-wide approach to cross-selling. But, although this is often spoken about in PS firms of all sizes and denominations, in my experience, very few firms do cross-selling consistently and well.

Barriers to cross-selling

Most cross-selling programmes fail for five key reasons:

• Lack of a champion at an appropriate senior level; • Inadequate information about clients and their potential or risk profile; • Inadequate trust between partners and ‘owners’ of clients not to damage the existing relationship; • Inadequate planning and monitoring of progress; and • Lack of a cross-selling culture, including targets and rewards to motivate/change behaviour.

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Any effective cross-selling programme needs to address each of these issues and I’ve outlined my suggestions on how best to do that below.

Champion

Ideally, one senior partner, who is successful at client care, cross-selling and business development, will spearhead your programme. They should have the respect of their fellow partners. The champion needs to be prepared to be consistent in the message they provide and to invest time in the long-term; I reckon it takes about 12 months to put all the systems and processes in place to launch a formal client care/cross-selling programme, and that includes changing the culture and behaviour of those involved.

Information

Too often fee-earners complain that they don’t have the information they require to cross-sell effectively. This information generally falls into three key areas: • Client/services background information • Market intelligence • On-going matter information

As a starting point, I believe you need to collate all current information you have on your key clients. This may reside in document or case management systems, in various partner’s Outlook Inbox folders, or on a CRM system if you are lucky enough to have one that functions well and is up-to-date (a big ask it would seem in PS firms!). The key is to collate it and produce a short and specific overview on the key background to the client, the current position and the players involved.

I recommend trying to keep this to a couple of sides of A4. I once inherited a system with 15 pages of densely typed background Word notes on each of 50 ‘top clients’. Needless to say they hadn’t been kept up-to-date and both the client partner and marketing team confessed to not having the will to consult the documents any longer, as they had become too unwieldy. With this base information in place, I recommend interviewing the client partner, as well as other key partners and senior fee-earners who work closely with that client. This will be to gain an updated snapshot of the client’s current position. Working with the client partner, I then translate this information into a client development plan (see box opposite). The market intelligence data that needs to be researched, contributes to the depth of the client development plan. If the client partner doesn’t know, I recommend that the marketing team should research the unknown key decisionmakers and influencers in the organisation, what other PS suppliers act for the client, and the key opportunities and challenges facing the client and their sector. This will enable you to create client development objectives that are tailored and meaningful. The client development plan, once created, needs to be shared with and made easily accessible to those partners and senior fee-earners that act for the client. The final piece of information in the puzzle which helps with cross-selling is on-going information about matters. I recommend creating new client and new matter reports (if your management/ financial information system allows you


de cross-selling to) that give a line of narrative for each new client and new file opened, showing the client partner and a brief description of the work. Circulate these to all partners monthly and identify cross-selling opportunities yourself, which you encourage partners to pursue. Other information that can be useful is:

• Creating an internal expertise directory that lists all the esoteric services and capabilities within the firm and is accessible to all (via intranet or wiki). Ensure this is updated at least twice each year overall and when new joiners start. • Publishing simple fact sheets on your key services internally that list capabilities, and key clients for whom you act. • Creating online quizzes with fun prizes to test employees’ knowledge of services.

Developing trust between partners

Information, or the absence of, can also play a part in the lack of trust between partners and the reluctance to allow others to act for their client, in case they damage the relationship. There are several means of overcoming this. As part of a client care programme, I recommend reviewing the role/job spec of partners and client partners. Client partners should be aware of what work is being undertaken for their client, throughout the firm. Checking the monthly matter reports referred to above is a starting point in this. No client should be approached without first informing and consulting with the client partner on the best approach to their client. In addition, the role of each partner working on a client matter for

As creating a sales culture and changing behaviours to achieve this takes the longest, my advice is to start on this first.

how to…

Client development plan

Use a template that prints out into a

single A3 sheet, with graphs and

checklists covering:

The key players by name (eg.

CEO, MD, FD, in-house counsel

and HR Director), and how they

rate us (advocate, neutral/

whom they are not the client partner, is to keep the client partner informed. This should cover any substantive issues (eg. the initial scope of work, estimates of time and fees, fee/WIP milestones and any changes to these).

Speed dating events

As part of a launch or relaunch of a client care programme, or a specific focus on cross-selling, I have run one hour speeddating events. These are a fun way to encourage cross-selling and to start to build trust between partners. Before the event I circulate a grid listing the firm’s top 50 clients, broken down by department/sector group, naming the client partner, and giving fee income for the past 12 months by service type. Partners are invited to request a maximum of six ‘dates’ with clients they are interested in pursuing. I then arrange the dates, ensuring that a client partner only has to speed date once with all those partners who are interested in his/her client.

• • • •

unknown to us, or not a fan)

A SWOT analysis of the relation-

ship, with a visual ‘relationship

barometer’

An overview (in graphic form) of

what services (with fees

attached) they currently buy

A list of priorities for what you

wish to cross-sell and who will

take the lead

A detailed 12 month relationship

plan with specific objectives

under the headings of financial,

fees, business development and

added value

A summary list of prioritised

objectives.

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how to… The list of finalised dates are circulated before the event and the client partners are asked to review the client development plan and prepare for any questions they might be asked. On the night, each date lasts four minutes. Partners get six ‘speeding tickets’; a single page form on which to collate information from the date (eg. who to target, the most likely sources of work, how best to approach them, etc). The marketing team facilitates the event, seating client partners, ensuring everyone keeps to time and moving the ‘dates’ on! Post-event, everyone is chased to complete their speeding tickets and associated ‘planning your approach checklist’ for each of the targets they wish to pursue and send them to me. I work out – in the case of duplicated targets – which service line is best to lead the attack and/or which partners should work together on an approach. Other means of developing trust between partners include:

• Creating a slot in team meetings for someone from another area to talk through what they do, work they have been involved in recently, how the other teams can help them and vice versa • Teams can run optional breakfast briefings or ‘lunch and learn’ sessions where people can turn up, meet colleagues and learn about new services • Creating face-to-face forums where you mix people up from different teams, service lines or practice groups to work on projects.

Planning/monitoring progress

As part of a client care programme, at the outset (and periodically every two years or so) I review the client partners who are already assigned to ensure they are the best match in terms of work types, personality match with the client and their ability to do what’s required to best service the client. Not all partners are naturally suited to being client partners and it is advisable that (with the help of your partner champion, if needs be) you ensure those with the best client care skills are nurturing key clients. Cross-selling should straddle both your client care and business development programmes. As such, you should ideally be providing partners with training, a cross-selling ‘toolkit’ and a means of monitoring progress. The training should cover ‘consultative selling’ techniques, enabling partners

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to spot opportunities, get a meeting, conduct the meeting effectively (eg. asking the right questions) and working towards handling objections and closing the sale (which is likely to take much more than one meeting). I provide a business development toolkit, which works equally for crossselling, with tips and checklists, such as:

• Target attractiveness index (to help you decide if the target is worth pursuing) • A checklist of typical ‘triggers’ that make companies look for new PS suppliers • ‘Planning your approach’ checklist • A typical cold call letter/email approach • Cold call flowchart (showing how to get a meeting using the telephone) • Features/benefits of the firm (to help overcome objections at the meeting) • A questions checklist for handling the meeting

There are various ways of monitoring progress. Most often these are done at department/sector group level, where client targets are identified and progress discussed and updated via regular meetings. Actions will also arise from the client care programme, where clients have development objectives, to follow up. I recommend capturing all of these and bringing them together in regular one-to-one meetings with partners. I generally use the PACE pipeline system and work through actions related to about six targets in different quadrants of the pipeline: identifying prospects; promoting – those you are actively ‘mass marketing’ to (with the aim of meeting) them; projecting – targets you are currently in one-to-one dialogue with; purchasing – new clients that are being embedded, with the aim of cross-selling; and protecting/pruning – existing clients that you want to retain and grow or ones that you wish to divest.

Cross-selling culture

I’ve left the hardest barrier to crossselling to last. If you do anything, my advice is to start on this first, as creating a sales culture and changing behaviours to achieve this takes the longest. As a starting point, I recommend you read Influence: Science and practice by Robert Cialdini. The author provides evidence on what makes people change their behaviour, for good. The highlights of relevance are:

• Personal responsibility: If everyone thinks someone else will do it and they don’t need to, they are less likely to commit. Demonstrate the role of the individual, the different ways in which they can play a part, and how essential it is they do. • Internal motivation is essential: Strong external pressure such as threats/sanctions or large rewards may produce short-term changes in behaviour but will not effect a long-term commitment to change. People need to be internally motivated to change. • Written commitment to act: getting people to commit in writing reinforces the commitment and makes them more likely to act on it. • Social evidence: People are more likely to follow the lead of a similar person than a dissimilar one. They will get comfort from the fact that many others are doing the same thing. • Positive reinforcement works: people like to be liked and respond better to praise than criticism. • Public celebration works: people are more likely to commit to act and keep their motivation going if they receive public recognition and also see that others are doing it and their efforts are being noted. Publish BD/cross-selling successes as part of any internal communications updates, create awards and offer small prizes for successful BD-ers.

Ideally, you should provide specific targets such as numbers of visits and percentage increase in fee income. You should build BD and CRM duties into the partner appraisal system and agree with management what action will result from a partner repeatedly failing to perform. BD/CRM should also count towards any bonus system for partners and associates.

Conclusion

I hope you can see from this article that, as with most things in PS, there is no quick fix or ‘magic bullet’ when it comes to effective cross-selling. You will need information, planning, processes, toolkits, training and a change of mind set to make it happen. But it can be done, so take heart and seize the challenge! Nicola Webb is Principal Consultant at Conscious Consulting. She was formerly BD Director at Manches LLP, Osborne Clarke and DAC Beachcroft. Nicola@conscious.co.uk


I

The social media landscape

Chris Hunter discusses how social media is shaping the marketing landscape.

marketing basics

f someone were to ask me what the four biggest impacts to my life have been so far, I would list the following: 1. becoming a father, 2. getting married, 3. the Internet and 4. social media & e-mail. Yes, admittedly social media is part of the internet but its impact on how people interact, communicate and relate to each other, with businesses and practically every other institution, has been massive. In the current marketing budget review the ongoing viability of many of the adverts we have traditionally run in magazines have been under the microscope. We have, of course, always looked at the effectiveness of our media advertising but the rise and rise in the use of social media has really brought into question the future of some of the more expensive printed options. So, let’s start by looking at what social media is actually doing in terms of changing the marketing landscape from the marketing side of the equation? What are the features of this area which are fuelling its impact on what we do and how consumers react and communicate?

• It is very easy and cost effective to get involved: Very few of the main social media platforms charge for an account, or to use their services. Where else can you send out a message to hundreds or even thousands of people with practically no overhead? • It is easy to utilise in your overall plan: Though some of the lawyers I work with seem to go out of their way to try and disprove this theory, the likes of twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are remarkably easy to get up and running very quickly. • Reaching prospects is simple: From the moment you sign up you can start talking to people. • It’s very quick to communicate a message or update: Updates are simple and can be distributed to a lot of people very quickly and with ease. • Ease of two way communication: If someone is interested in what you are selling/promoting/saying, they can respond to you quickly and easily all on one platform. • Control: As a business, we address some quite contentious areas. Sometimes we want to promote ourselves but we don’t necessarily want to receive unfair negative feedback from those who may have been on the ‘pointy end’ of what we have undertaken on behalf of a client. The main pm | April 2015

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marketing basics

social media platforms have more ways to control incoming comments or feedback then some in the wider media would have you believe. For example, we use Facebook to successfully promote Family Law. Pin down what you want to achieve with your account from the start and then set up the security protocols appropriately. No frontiers: There are no boundaries for how many people see your messages. If you have something people want, you pitch the message correctly and have targeted a receptive group of people, with re-posts, favourites, re-tweets, etc you can get what you are selling in front of an endless number of people. Flexibility: Traditionally, in the past various marketing channels such as printed adverts, cold calling, mail shots. etc have run parallel to each other. They may have complemented each other but it was very difficult to intertwine the various campaigns. Social media changes that landscape totally. Anything sent out digitally can mention, connect and hyperlink to anything else you are doing on another platform, website, blog or e-mail campaign. For the first time in the history of marketing, campaigns can be run in a way that promotes on one interconnected united front. Measurement & analysis: Social media has provided a means for marketers and advertisers in general to have more transparency in understanding what is going on with their marketing. New metrics, measurement tools and management platforms have made it easier for advertisers to analyse data and monitor the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. This is much more difficult to do with traditional advertising means and is harder to ‘see’ the return on investment The rise of an individual’s power to influence: I, like many others reading this, have spent hours stuffing envelopes, printing letters and following up on cold call lists. Quite often I would need to utilise staff from other teams to deliver a campaign or lose days to the preparation of just one channel of influence.

We now have an unprecedented rise in the individual marketing manager’s ability to make a difference. Updates can be made across many platforms instantaneously, messages can be set up to go when you are out of the office (twitter

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We now have an unprecedented rise in the individual marketing manager’s ability to make a difference.

deck, Hootsuite), mailing campaigns are easy to set up, images and videos are simple to integrate and mailing lists unsubscribe those not interested in what you are selling, automatically. I mean, really, what is there not to like from a Marketing and Business Development angle? If someone had said to most of the readers of PM a few years ago, would you like systems that give you free access to millions of people, huge control over who you want to talk to and an ease of use that means you effectively become 500% more productive overnight, after laughing at them, they would have grabbed the opportunity with both hands. It makes the resistance to utilise social media amongst some stake holders in businesses all the more perverse in my humble opinion. From the consumer’s angle, the game has changed as well. They are no longer passive, and with that ability to see things quickly and respond as required, comes an expectation of quick gratification when they want to find something relevant to their requirements. Traditional advertising can now seem slightly impersonal. People are getting

used to being able to respond to an advertiser. They expect the organisation trying to get their business to understand who they are, where they live and their expectations in terms of the product, method of payment and ease of delivery. Social media has enabled people to have a voice and a chance to be heard as much or as little as they want. It has become essential for a firm to understand its core audience through open discussion, media sharing and relationship nurturing. You need to show yourself as living in the same world as the people you are trying to reach. Consumers are also increasingly aware when they are being sold to. To a certain extent the ‘buy this service/product because it’s really good’ angle is a dead duck. Even with the ease of access to the accounts of thousands, the challenge to find a way to stand out amongst all your competitors remains the same. The challenge to marketing departments is to be increasingly more creative with the content and information they want to share and the manner in which they share it. The golden thread in the use of social media marketing is to look for the need, understand it, and strive to meet it. Grab the consumer’s attention and keep it by cultivating a more personal relationship and developing a positive reputation with them. This was never possible before the invention of social media in the way it is now. It takes effort to build and keep your audience but that effort is easier than before, though the end user will be expecting more tweets and updates then they would from traditional contact methods. In a way it has become a form of entertainment, ‘advertainment’ perhaps! Former channels of marketing haven’t come to a sad end just yet. The printed word, TV and radio advertising have their place but if you can get your message to a person’s lap-top, tablet or mobile then that is going to be an option you ignore at your peril. An effective social media strategy brings a firm closer to its core follower base. The value of utilising major social media networks is in their ability to intimately connect to an audience of current and potential clients. Engage and grow! Chris Hunter is Business Development and Marketing Manager for rhw Solicitors LLP, in Guildford, Surrey.


technology facing law firms, according to a survey we recently carried out at Equal to 3 – with nearly half (45%) of firms saying they are ineffective in this area, The survey asked legal practitioners and marketing professionals from around the UK seven simple questions about digital client relationships. The results show that law firms are increasingly adapting to a digital world, but highlight some basic but fundamental questions that every firm should be thinking about. Here are just a few.

Winning new clients through your website

Test driving the digital professional firm

How are firms meeting changing client expectations through their websites? Steve Smith and Tim Reed discuss some key challenges for firms based on recent research.

T

he growing importance of digital client relationships to professional firms is unquestionable. Digital is arguably the single biggest transformational change that firms face. The sheer volume of information available online has created completely new client dynamics. Clients want roundthe-clock access to advice and knowledge.

Business audiences are increasingly influenced by many of the same digital dynamics affecting retail customers. Firms need to embrace change to keep up.

Our survey says…

The ability of firms’ websites to enhance services to existing clients is one of the the biggest digital marketing challenges

According to our survey, firms are relatively confident in their websites as a means to winning new clients, with 69% saying they are effective in doing this. Surprisingly, however, two-thirds (65%) say that their websites are still used primarily to communicate services, partners and office details. This latter finding seems to suggest that many firms’ websites are still glorified online brochures, which is perhaps at odds with respondents’ confidence in their ability to generate new business. These results underline the critical importance of aligning business and digital marketing strategy. This in turn raises questions about what law firms’ websites are actually for. For most of our survey respondents it seems, they are a key driver of new business – one of the principal weapons in both establishing a clearly differentiated value proposition to prospective clients and in the delivery of relevant content to engage them. Most firms have embraced ‘thought leadership’ and know-how content as a means of facilitating conversations with potential clients and sharing that content through a range of digital channels. But websites are never ‘finished’ – they should evolve based on continually developing insight and understanding of client requirements, feeding from all channels. Closer examination of the websites we surveyed reveals a surprising lack of linkage between different types of web content. While it may be true that many firms’ most frequently visited pages are office locations and partner profiles, are they making the most of these pages to cross-sell their know-how? Firms should be asking themselves how they can enhance the user experience when seeking this type of factual information? Surely there are missed opportunities here. All too often, however, it seems that pm | April 2015

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technology the website becomes a dumping ground for information pandering to particular fee earners or practice areas. Instead they should follow a meaningful editorial policy and form part of an integrated marketing strategy.

Key questions to consider:

• Is our online strategy fully aligned with our business strategy? • Are we capturing client and prospect preferences in sufficient depth through our website? • Are we making the most of our most visited web pages by linking them to rich content?

Enhancing services to your existing clients through your website

What is our USP?

No, really, what is our USP?

• How does our firm’s digital strategy support business development from existing clients? • What does our firm’s website offer to existing clients that isn’t available to other users?

entiate themselves online – perhaps the single biggest marketing challenge for most firms in an increasingly competitive legal market. Websites are a very versatile medium to convey a brand personality, but the market continues to be crowded with ‘me too’ websites. Even the scantest of reviews of firms’ online presence suggests that they often still struggle to articulate their USPs. The familiar platitudes about satisfied clients and strong relationships are unlikely to be sufficient in the face of new competitive forces and more innovative business models that clients are faced with. Whether it’s being the market leader in a region or practice area, focusing on a niche market, providing online services or fixed fee arrangements, firms need to focus on points of difference and build strong brand positioning around them, including the effective use of the digital technology. Indeed, the use of digital technology can, in itself, be a key differentiator. Of course, this goes way beyond visual identity, web design or even functionality and ease of navigation – crucial though these are. The most successful firms have created a distinctive digital presence, tone of voice – some would even say attitude – that goes beyond the “our serviceour sectors-our partners” formulae to create genuine destination digital brands. The starting point should be the firm’s strategic aims and how its brand is positioned to support those aims, based on a detailed assessment of the needs of its audiences.

Another surprise from our research is the fact that a third (33%) of respondents said that their firms do not clearly differ-

• What is our USP? No, really, what is our USP? • Does our brand positioning support our business strategy?

Our survey suggests that the use of websites by firms as a means to enhance client service remains a poor second to their principal role as new business generators. While online will and conveyancing services are now a familiar part of the retail legal market, use of more sophisticated digital enhancements to service delivery are harder to find. “It’s just not how we do things” is often the cry. But like it or not, clients now operate in a digital world. The rules have changed and the opportunities to connect are greater than ever. This applies to existing clients as much as to newer prospects. Firms need to consider how their content can be tailored to clients to facilitate cross-selling of additional services and to encourage satisfied customers to make referrals – often a firm’s two biggest sources of new business. However these efforts are often hampered by partner resistance and ringfencing of client relationships. This, combined with the complex taxonomy behind the delivery of truly personalised digital communication, can prevent firms from capitalising on these opportunities.

Key questions to consider:

Differentiating your firm through your website

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Key questions to consider:

• What is different about our website compared to our competitors?

Ensuring an effective mobile client experience

Our survey respondents appear more confident about their clients’ digital interaction with firms while on the move, with 62% believing this is effective. However our review of participating firms’ websites reveals a much lower level of mobile enablement than these results would suggest. Adopting a ‘mobile first’ approach involves another critical mindshift – considering the fastest growing platforms first and scaling up to larger format tablets, laptops and desktops. Also core to a well-managed mobile strategy is a single source of content, ensuring that the mobile experience isn’t a ‘poor relation’ of the desktop experience. It’s essential that firms consider what users want when they’re on the move, how they will use information and how it will be delivered? This is not simply a question of resizing from the desktop to the tablet or mobile device. App-savy mobile users require and expect an entirely different user interface to the traditional website. But as mobile becomes the primary digital communication device, the number of simple functions, such as a partner search or office finder that simply don’t work on a mobile is worrying.

Key questions to consider:

• Are we meeting our clients’ requirements as they interact with our firms via hand-held devices? • How will we deliver information to clients and contacts in the future?

Adapt to survive

To compete and stay ahead, firms must continue to adapt to the digital needs and expectations of their clients and prospects. This in turn places new demands on marketing teams, the functions they perform and the skills they require. We hope the pointers above have provided some useful food for thought and would welcome your views.

Steve Smith and Tim Reed are directors of Equal to 3, a strategic partnership between Thirdperson and Eurisko. Visit: www.equalto3.com


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We’re going places. So will you. In March 2015 Totum moved into a new, larger office in Austin Friars. In response to a buoyant market and the continued investment by our clients in our specialist areas, we will be embarking on an exciting period of growth to further consolidate our position as the leading recruiter of business services professionals into law firms.  In a slightly revised structure we will have teams which specialise in Business Development/Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, General Management and International roles. Specific opportunities exist across all of these areas. We are therefore looking for experienced recruiters in any of these specialist functions.  This growth will be implemented carefully and thoughtfully and we will be sure to recruit people who are aligned with our approach and ethos, which is all about client service, integrity and in depth knowledge of our market. We care very much about our business, people trust us and we are very proud of that.  If you would like to learn more about a career with Totum please do get in touch.

www.totumpartners.com

Contact Deborah Gray deborah.gray@totumpartners.com +44 (0)20 7332 6331


What does the PM Forum mean to its members?

The goal of the PM Forum is to ensure your professional life is made easier through distilling knowledge, insight and resources, needed to help you perform your role and develop your skills, status, career and network. Knowledge sharing - More confidence in the validity of marketing strategies through awareness of best practice Influential - Increased internal credibility based on your contribution to the management of your firms and of client relationships Inspirational - Powerful insights on how best to manage with a tight marketing budget Networks - A stellar group of leading professional firms as members globally Supportive - Less loneliness, isolation and ignorance of marketing trends in a tough world

We look forward to continuing your membership in 2015


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Five ways to write less second opinion

John de Forte takes a sideways look at the world of professional services marketing. This month: why we tend to write more than we need to.

W

hen it comes to the written word in business communication, you won’t require much convincing about the virtues of brevity. In an age when concentration spans have got shorter, being concise has never been more important. The readers’ attention must be captured immediately, if it is to be captured at all. This affects us in many ways. If for example you are involved in writing bids, you will know that word limits are increasingly assigned to individual responses. Getting the best score depends to a large extent on conveying the richest content using the fewest possible words. And yet you probably have to read and amend a lot of material which is longer than it needs to be. Indeed, for years you may have been fighting an editorial guerilla campaign against your fee earners’ long-windedness. The roots of this ubiquitous problem are diverse and deep seated. But if we can identify the most common causes, we will at least know what to be on our guard against: ‘know thy enemy’ is always good advice.

1 Irrelevance

We will need to write less if we stick to the point. Obviously. Yet that is harder to achieve than it looks: according to an informal survey among government bid evaluators, the most common weakness in tender submissions is failure to answer the question. It happens for a number of reasons. Sometimes authors answer the question they would like to have been asked, rather than the one in front of them. Sometimes the question itself is ambiguous, leading the responder to misinterpret what is required. Many authors think they need to write a beginning, middle and end when all the evaluator is interested in is the middle –you cannot afford the luxury of a preamble. Often the simplest route to economy is simply to expunge the inessential or irrelevant.

2 Verbal tics

Verbal tics are words and phrases that get stuck in writers’ heads and emerge on the page with wearying frequency. Take any page of draft text, regardless of topic or context, and it is almost guaranteed to contain these unwanted repetitions. A recent example: “Our innovative approach to working with our clients focuses on commercial solutions that enable clients to achieve their objectives. Over the last two years our client-facing teams have identified over £15m savings for clients working in highly competitive markets.” Authors don’t know they’re doing it, so it will often take an independent editor to spot the problem. Usually with the help of pronouns, sentences can easily be rewritten to cut out the offending excrescences.

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3 Implicit restatement

A version of repetition in which the author uses different words to say the same thing. A favourite example: “We have included a likely estimate of approximate costs” A triple-header, as ‘likely’, ‘estimate’ and ‘approximate’ are all doing the same job. Like verbal tics, examples of implicit restatement (or tautology) are likely to be found on almost any page of text which hasn’t been subject to a competent edit. The cumulative effect is to make readers feel they are getting a poor return on their investment of time and effort.

4 Congestion

The tendency to try to make several points simultaneously: “The dedicated team we will assign to the contract has carried out a range of projects in your sector though our partnership based approach” Taken in isolation, this ought to reduce the number of words required. It is however a false economy. Compacting several ideas into a single phrase means that none comes across clearly. The author ends up repeating them in different forms in other places. Say one thing at a time, and you will only have to say it once.

5 Self-importance

Give anyone the task of writing anything official and they will instinctively feel the need to impress the reader with their expertise or authority; perhaps it’s just that we all yearn to be taken seriously. This draws the writer into using convoluted sentence structures and unnecessarily formal vocabulary. The following example includes both: “Having given consideration to the revised timetable, our assessment is that an analysis of the figures can still be conducted shortly after commencement.” The net effect is an increase in the word count. We need to persuade authors that direct, down to earth speech is more credible – and certain to be better received.

In all these cases, the failure to be concise often results from authors not planning what they want to say before they start writing. In the words of a famous apology: “I’m sorry my letter is so long, but I didn’t have time to write it shorter.” John de Forte is principal of de Forte Associates, which specialises in providing proposal training and consultancy to fee earners and bid teams. Contact him at jdf@deforte.com


Directory

Consultants

RedStarKim Ltd

Change and growth for law, accountancy and property firms through: strategy and execution; marketing and selling; psychology and relationships; and training and writing. Kim Tasso has over 20 years’ management consultancy experience in the professions and is qualified in psychology, management, marketing and coach/mentoring. She is author of books on selling, media relations and growth strategies and a freelance journalist. Contact: 07831 687882 kim@kimtasso.com www.kimtasso.com

Meridian West

Meridian West helps the leading global financial institutions and professional firms to develop and implement client-centric strategies. We combine market insight with financial and data analytics to provide clients with a deep understanding of their client relationships. Contact: Ben Kent on 020 7261 4700 or visit www.meridianwest.co.uk

Steve Wright BD

An experienced business development professional specialised in working with professional service firms on their marketing and business development activities. Working closely with your existing marketing teams we develop and implement business development pursuit strategies in line with the firm’s overall business strategy. We ‘work on’ the business while you ‘work in’ it. Contact: Steve Wright on 07771778287, steve@stevewrightbd.co.uk www.stevewrightbd.co.uk

Larry Bodine Marketing

Law firms, corporations and consulting firms turn to Larry Bodine when they are looking for a marketing advisor with experience and perspective. You can see www.LarryBodine.com for several success stories. If you need help with your firm marketing strategy, individual coaching or a web site makeover, call Larry. Contact: +1 630 942 0977 or Lbodine@LawMarketing.com

Progress Marketing

Progress Marketing helps firms in the legal and financial sector achieve their growth plans by working closely with partners on marketing strategy and by department with fee earners on business development. To gain commitment at all levels we also tackle leadership, HR and training head on to ensure that the culture of a firm supports the strategic objectives. Contact: Lisa Lister on 0787 9820725 for further information.

Stonehouse Marketing

Freelance business development and marketing consultant with 20+ years’ experience of working with professional services firms helping them to raise profile and win new work. Clients include smaller firms where it would not be viable to employ a senior in-house resource, through to global organisations looking for additional resource for specific projects or to cover temporary gaps in the team. Contact: Jo Miners on 07739 515809 @TheJoMiners

The PACE Partners

The PACE Partners advise, coach and develop clients to win more work from the right clients at the right price. Helping influence top line growth by: • Winning new business • Developing key clients • Dealing with leadership issues Professionals work with PACE because our proven approach delivers increased fee income. Contact: John Ranson on +44 (0)1932 260062, john.ranson@thepacepartners.com or visit www.thepacepartners.com

V Formation Ltd

V Formation is a Midlands-based marketing consultancy that works with professional services firms and ambitious SMEs. We bring together a wealth of in-house experience and combine a clear understanding of buyer behaviour with focused marketing and business development tactics and strategies to take you closer to your clients and help you find your competitive edge. Contact: Sue Carr, 07809 727533 sue@vformation.biz www.vformation.biz

De Forte Associates

With a successful track record extending over 20 years, dFA specialises in advising professional services firms on bids and business development, written communications of all kinds, presentation coaching and key client management. Contact: John de Forte on 020 7754 5556 or jdf@deforte.com www.deforte.com

Public Relations

Spada

Spada is a leading insight-led PR and research consultancy for complex know-how businesses. Spada’s services include reputation and crisis management, expertise brand projection, research, media relations, media training and public affairs. Our long-standing professional services knowledge has been honed at the cutting edge of the media, business and political world. Contact: Gavin Ingham Brooke 020 7269 1430, gib@spada.co.uk www.spada.co.uk

Photography

John Cunningham Photography

Experienced photographer and regular contributor to pm, providing an efficient and professional service across the country. Contact: John Cunningham 07985 377 509

Digital Communications Vuture

Imagine, a range of easy to use CRM integrated marketing tools that make it very easy and quick to reach more clients, more often with more targeted precision across email, web, surveys, print and social all resulting in exceptional business development results and at the same time, significantly reduced marketing cost. What's more the software evolves as your business evolves meaning you always have something that is relevant when you need it. That is marketing technology by Vuture. Contact: 020 7928 6250 and info@vuture.co.uk

Business Intelligence Trovus

Prove the value of your marketing. Save time by working smarter. Identify new cross selling opportunities. These are just some of the benefits that our clients gain when working with Trovus to grow their firms by leveraging the power of IP address profiling. Contact: Visit www.trovus.co.uk/pmf or call 0207 582 5022.

Printing Services Purbrooks

High quality and environmentally friendly litho and digital printing. • 24 hour facilities • ISO 9001 (Quality) • ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) • FSC Accredited • FM Screening • Printing Alcohol Free • Free Print Buyer’s Guides The experts in printing for professional services and delighted to be printing pm magazine. Contact: Martin Stern on 0208 944 3200 or at martin@purbrooks.co.uk www.purbrooks.co.uk

Brand and Design Mytton Williams

Mytton Williams is an independent design studio specialising in brand communications. We help ambitious organisations transform their business identity and brand, delivering successful creative solutions that add value to their business. We design brands with intelligent simplicity, well thought through ideas that are simple, beautiful and effective. Contact: 01225 476476, enquiries@myttonwilliams.co.uk Visit: www.myttonwilliams.co.uk

If you would like to be included in this directory, please contact Paul Lemon on 020 7786 9786 or at paul@pmint.co.uk


PM April 2015