In his Legal Marketing blog, Tom Kane opines thusly:
Although there are as many definitions of marketing as there are professors at business schools, for years I have defined marketing as the process of:
- determining the firm’s legal services capabilities,
- and the wants and needs of the marketplace/clients, and
- bringing the two together utilizing the 4 “P’s”:
- Product (the specific legal service or services that will be provided to solve an identified client need),
- Price (what fee will be charged for the identified services; hourly, contingency, fixed fee, blended rate, or other alternative fee arrangement),
- Place (how the product will be delivered; i.e., via branch office, Internet, clients office, etc.), and
- Promotion (the tools and techniques used to land clients which is where the selling part comes into play and overlaps).
Lawyers do many different things in promoting their services. Whatever those actions may be, the bottom is that selling is the process of closing the deal with clients in order to become their lawyer.
This is serious old-school marketing definition. What it really leaves out is technology. Thanks to Al Gore, and his invention, the Internet, you can have all kinds of interaction between the prospective client and the lawyer that totally blur the line between marketing and business development. The boundaries get all mushed together. And as far as this list:
1. is strategy, not marketing, unless it's marketing strategy, which is really positioning.
2. is market research.
3.a) Is kind of a legal issue. You know, is it a tax problem or a corporate finance one?
3.b) Negotiated with each client, but not really a marketing item. You're not selling electric skillets here, and holding sales.
3.c) Also not too negotiable, really.
3.d) Right. Everything happens here.
I have a big newsletter coming out with a lot of writing about the interactivity of legal marketing these days. Sit tight.