Over the weekend I had to come up with an emergency presentation on marketing. I serve on the Board of the Houston AMA Chapter and was tasked with serving as a back-up speaker. Then reading Steve Bell's post on Client Satisfaction Lessons prompted me to capture the main ideas in this post.
My presentation idea: Staying Relevant. I borrowed this idea from a presentation I gave way back in 1996 to a group of bar association leaders on the same topic, only applied to lawyers (Lesson - write a book this time).
The Staying Relevant concept is to:
1) Examine the core changes occurring in a market,
2) Understand the impacts of the changes, and
3) Figure out how to adapt and stay relevant.
The first core change to consider - a shift of power. The shape of this shift is a bit unique. In the 60's, when marketing was born, there was scarcity of marketing channels (i.e. 3 TV stations) and an abundance of customer attention. Now there is a infinite number of marketing channels (for TV think Hulu.com) and a scarcity of customer attention. So there has been a shift from marketers controlling the flow of information to customers controlling it.
The second core shift comes from the power of Web 2.0. Customers are sharing product and service opinions with each other on a very grand scale.
Results of these shifts:
1) Marketing messages pushed out the old fashioned way don't hit their targets or at best have a declining rate of return.
2) Customers prefer to get their product information from other customers since these opinions are not paid for and therefore not biased by the provider.
The Moral of this Staying Relevant Story: Happy, informed customers will bring you more customers.
So for the practice of law, the best marketing advice may be: Promptly return phone calls from your clients. As the perennial #1 complaint of clients, this simple effort could become your best marketing tactic.
Now quit reading this and return some calls.