Strategic Planning in Braxton
The reason strategic planning is one of the most essential competencies for legal marketers is simple.
Any organization—whether it is large or small, highly focused or multi-practice, regional or global—
has limited resources to allocate to all aspects of its operations, marketing among them. For legal
marketers to help their lawyers build growth plans and the marketing and business-development strategies
for achieving the goals and objectives of those plans, the firm has to have done the hard work of
analyzing its strengths and weaknesses in the context of a highly competitive marketplace, determined
where it is likeliest to align its brightest future with its clients’ priorities and preferences, and crafted a plan of execution
that is both feasible and informed. Legal marketers and business-development professionals who possess the
research and analytical skills required for that kind of planning, as well as the process-management expertise to implement
thoughtful strategic plans, make themselves invaluable to the lawyers with whom they work, and adding value
is a critical objective for all service providers, lawyers and legal marketers alike.
In my experience, the best way to teach marketers how to plan strategically is to engage them in the process of
helping to develop the marketing and business development plans for the groups to which they serve as liaisons and
ongoing support. the act of developing a departmental, practice group or industry plan, if done effectively, is a
microcosm of the firm-wide planning process and, ideally, will be aligned with the goals and objectives defined by
the firm-wide plan. CMos who involve their staff members in the planning process at those levels provide them
with invaluable professional development and experience that is an important first step in the more complex process
of firm-wide strategic planning. And developing and applying the research and analytical skills such planning requires
will enhance every aspect of a marketer’s work performance and cast him or her in a much different light in the eyes
of the lawyers with whom those marketers work on a regular basis.