The holidays seem long gone as everyone is back to work with full force for the new year. As you dig in and begin to make this new year your firm’s best for marketing and business development, here are the top five things you should do to ensure a great start:
- Review last year’s marketing and business development achievements. You and your team carefully tracked your marketing and business development activities in 2015. How did you do? Now is the time to review the various strategies you implemented and decide what worked and what did not. There is no need to continue spending time or money on things that have not had a payoff. Do you really need to keep that blog that had only two posts in 2015? On a brighter note, now is also a great time to communicate about the things that worked well last year. The first Management Committee meeting of the year is a great time to highlight your successes. Did your win rate for pitches and proposals go up? Did your client feedback program show increased client satisfaction? Did you drive more visitors to your web site? Get more followers on social media? Have record number attendance for firm webinars? A few, anecdotal but important specific successes with bringing in a new client or clients or getting additional work from existing clients is great to include, as well. And don’t forget to do the same with each of your departments or practice groups. Let them know what worked well in 2015 so that you can encourage them to do more in the new year!
- Get your group planning done. While you are at it with your practice group and industry team leaders, if you have not already formulated your marketing/business development plans for their groups for 2016, now is the time to do so. What key clients will their group focus on this year? What legal developments are on the horizon for the group and how do they fit in with your firm’s overall content strategy? What major conferences and seminars should you plan for? What new strategies will they utilize this year? Get it in writing in the form of a plan so you can prepare now and have the time and resources to devote as needed.
- Plan for client interviews/surveys. You say you are going to launch your client feedback program every year, and then time passes and…. If your goals for 2016 include in-person visits/interviews with key clients of the firm, now is the time to get them on the schedule. Clients are busy, and calendars fill up quickly. Identify the key clients who are due for a visit and reach out to them now. And if you are planning to supplement your in-person visits with a telephone interview program and/or electronic survey, now is the time to plan for these as well. There are optimum windows for conducting these surveys, typically in the spring or the fall. Better to get them on the agenda now and get the wheels in motion, so you are sure to do them and do them well this year.
- Identify key topic areas for your content strategy. As you identify the growing legal trends and biggest opportunities for growth in 2016, you can begin to plan your content strategy for the year. What will be the main areas of focus for your web content, webinars, blogs, social media and media relations this year? Sure, things will change and new issues will arise throughout the year, but it is best to start out with a few key areas that you know you want to promote now. These topics can be your content go-tos. You can always change and adapt as needed.
- Seek out new hires. Everyone knows that people who are unhappy in their current roles tend to stick it out through the end of the year in their current position. As high-quality candidates dust off their resumes and think about their next moves, now is the time to think about the needs of your marketing team and what roles/functions you will need to fill. Best to get your job posting(s) out soon while the pool of potential applicants is largest and most ready.