For one of my law firm clients I return each year to deliver two modules of their Management Development Programme – one is on strategic marketing (and the link with the business plan) and the other is on tactical marketing and selling – for the latest batch of “management trainees” who are usually partners, associates and senior support managers.

As part of the feedback and evaluation process, I always ask each individual what frameworks, ideas and concepts they found most useful. As you would expect, the responses vary each time depending on the particular challenges they face from a market perspective and from their own backgrounds.

However, I was surprised this week that several of the same group indicated that the most valuable thing they learned about was campaign management. How you blend together the different tools – research, market analysis, knowledge development, target list building, awareness raising activities (including PR and direct/digital marketing), contact marketing (seminars, networking) and integrate them through to selling (meetings, presentations, proposals and conversion) and referrer or client relationship management.

And most of them had produced sound plans showing what they intended to do in marketing and sales terms over the next few months. It is usually really hard to get lawyers enthusiastic enough to write marketing plans.

Sometimes we marketers take for granted the most simple and fundamental ideas…