Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association have just issued a joint report on the state of marketing  in the legal profession. The report “Are We There Yet:  Revealing the Latest Trends in Legal Marketing and Business Development is available at this link.

The report focuses on the evolving and expanding roles of marketing and business development professionals, budgets and new business challenges. The study which was  conducted in April 2016 included responses from 286 lawyers and business development professionals.

The definition of Business Development is very expansive and identifies 9 different types of activities including expected activities such as marketing, event management, pr as well as new activities such as pricing and attorney coaching. It also include Knowledge Management and Practice/Process Improvement which are often developed and maintained outside Marketing and BD departments.

  • 67% of respondents say firms are increasing their focus on business development
  • Marketing and Business development staffs are increase
  • The primary reason for increasing focus on business development are increase internal pressure to generate revenue.
  • Only 8% of law firm have Chief Pricing Officers.
  •  45% of law firm respondents have Chief Marketing Officers.
  • 40% report having difficulty getting lawyers to “buy in” to marketing.
  • Lack of time is the largest problem facing marketing/BD staffs.
  • Attorneys regard “lead development” tools as the most important technology that is not meeting their needs.

The report ranks the top 10 new responsibilities of marketing departments: social media, Process improvement, Business planning, attorney coaching, content marketing, Relationship management, competitive intelligence, direct business development and managing client teams.

My only complaint with the report is that the technology tools section uses categories of tools which are rather vague.  “Business intelligence”  tools could be referring to anything in  a  wide and varied landscape of software.  It would have been helpful for them to either describe the functions or name some of the products in the category.