Lewis Silkin solicitors were kind enough to host the recent “Future Marketing Manager” training session (for future dates see: http://www.pmforum.co.uk/training.aspx). The marketing and business development delegates from legal, accountancy, property and recruitment businesses had a busy day. Here are their thoughts on the key lessons for a future marketing manager.
Develop your personal brand
We explored some of the leading brand models and did exercises developing our own personal brands. This included considering our features and benefits, our values and personalities. Checking that our values aligned with those of our firms was important and supported our ability to be authentic.
We then explored points of similarity and difference and our relative positioning against others.
Finally, we explored our self-image, our projected image and our received image – recognising the importance of perception. The insights gained from how to differentiate and position ourselves was helpful in thinking about branding strategies for our firms too.
There’s further material on personal brands here http://kimtasso.com/the-power-of-three-in-personal-introductions-brandme/
Be curious and gain technical and sector knowledge
Whilst we are keen for our lawyers, accountants and surveyors to learn more about marketing and business development we need to ensure that we invest time developing our own knowledge of the professional skills and services, the clients and markets/sectors and the value delivered by our firms.
Having a genuine curiosity and drive to constantly learn new things was helpful in both developing our knowledge (both in-depth knowledge into marketing and broader knowledge into a wide variety of other topics such as economics, finance, commerce, human resources and management) and building relationships with the professionals we support. We must show interest in others and what they are passionate about if we want them to be interested in what we have to say.
Prepare a plan
A few of those on the session worked in firms where they were aware of a clear strategy and an up to date marketing plan. Others were working in a more ad-hoc and reactive way. We discussed the importance of goals – both to focus activity and to measure results. Several agreed to start working on either a marketing plan for their firms or a personal career development plan for themselves – or both!
There’s more material on marketing planning here http://kimtasso.com/3-themes-from-marketing-planning-stepping-stones-persuasion-and-momentum/
Having looked at some key marketing theories that are useful in professional services marketing it was heartening to learn that three of the delegates were going to explore qualifications with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM – http://www.cim.co.uk/qualifications/. We spent time during the day exploring the various courses and competencies http://kimtasso.com/2014-cim-professional-marketing-qualifications-syllabus-changes/
Motivate the team
Many of the delegates were supervising and managing junior staff for the first time so we spent some time looking at issues relating to appraisals, feedback, appreciation, motivation and delegation. Some of the topics we looked at are covered further here:
I talked about a book which is an interesting read for those starting to develop their leadership skills – particularly as some had mentioned that they had a slightly different “mask” for their work and personal lives – http://kimtasso.com/book-review-leadership-transformed-ordinary-managers-become-extraordinary-leaders-dr-peter-fuda/
In the creative session, we enjoyed a mime on how to get the attention of busy lawyers, accountants and surveyors, some colourful graphics on efficiency in meetings and a fabulous competitive content creation game.
When I asked the delegates about their takeaway images from the day the responses were interesting and included: a football (goals and sector knowledge), a superhero, a tree with branches (T-shaped people), a paintbrush, a helicopter (strategic overview), a power pose (NVC), perceptions, Shrek (dealing with “difficult” behaviour – http://kimtasso.com/faq/how-do-i-deal-with-difficult-partners/) , Zen (quiet, heads-up time) and a text book.
There are lots of posts on developing creativity skills – for example: