I wrote a chapter on this topic for Ark Publication’s “Best Practices in Legal Marketing” which was published last month.

I start by considering the reasons why there may not appear to be a strategy at a law firm – and why there may be a reluctance for the partners to try and produce one – and the challenges that this presents for marketers/business developers.

After considering the double-edged sword of partnership (the plus is that each partner is close to his/her clients and sensitive to changes in needs, the minus is that they tend to act independently rather than as a cohesive whole). I outline a five stage model of strategy development that I use with firms sometimes. Then the essential elements of a successful strategy are considered – which is really that it provides a direction for the whole firm and aids day-to-day decision making.

But most of the article is concerned with ways in which marketers can secure their seat at the strategy table. Points covered include: get real, get qualified, develop credibility, build product knowledge, engage on their turf, get into the partner mind set, align marketing activity to business aims, get your head around the financials, sell the benefits, guide them through the process, rely on research, talk to clients, work closely with one team, work with mavericks and champions, be focused, think about it, communicate commercially and concisely, add value, generate ideas and, of course, produce results.