Once operational and marketing plans have been developed and vetted, it’s time for implementation. Unfortunately this is where many firms fall down. It seems as if, once the planning is done, they run out of momentum for actual implementation. Or perhaps it’s that the project seems too overwhelming, and they feel ill prepared to oversee the actual implementation now that the plan is done.
To assist in this regard, I will often stay on with firms for a period of time to assist with (and even oversee) implementation. However I will generally work closely with the firm’s administrator, to ensure there will come a time when I can safely step back and the firm’s own resources can take over with implementation and process management.
Often, the launch of a new brand or website is part of a firm’s annual marketing plan. In such instances, many firms believe that engaging a design firm or web company is sufficient, but it’s not. Specific suppliers (such as website developers, corporate image designers, and the people who develop your ads and brochures) are not marketing experts. They are experts on certain aspects of marketing or branding. Law firms generally require someone to oversee an integrated marketing strategy – ensuring that the right messages are going out to the right targets in the right ways along a range of marketing vehicles. These can include web, social media, ads and brochures, but also should include PR and media, internal communications, client service processes (such as feedback mechanisms), sponsorships, policy and procedure updates, employee training on the brand, individual lawyer business development, practice area marketing and business development, etc. Early in the launch of a new marketing strategy, law firms also generally require an expert who can determine the overall messages and marketing goals, then help to oversee and guide all aspect suppliers to ensure that everything the firm does is coordinated, on message, and works well together.