The Legal Marketing Association’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter recently conducted an online survey of its prospective and current members. The survey was designed to discover those issues most important to legal marketing professionals and to develop the program curriculum for 2001. Surveys were sent via email to the 402 professionals on the Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s mailing list on October 17, 2000 and 88 people (approximately 22%), responded by the October 31,2000 deadline.
Who Responded? The survey respondents represented a core group of active LMA participants as 58% of the respondents said they had attended more than four or more LMA programs in the past year and 93% said they had attended at least one LMA program in the past year. Not surprisingly, most respondents worked for law firms (78%). And, 44% of the respondents had over 500 people working in their organizations while the rest of the respondents were spread evenly throughout incrementally smaller organizations. The range in experience in the legal marketing profession was represented fairly evenly. 33% of the respondents had 0-2 years of experience; 28% had 2-5; 23% had 5-10 and 16% had over 10 years of experience.
The Past Looks Bright. The Future Looks Brighter. 73% of the respondents said they were satisfied and 23% said they were extremely satisfied with the local Chapter’s programs. Only 4% of the respondents were unsatisfied with the programs. These satisfaction levels propel us into 2001 on a positive note. In fact, every respondent said they were either very likely or absolutely likely to attend at least one LMA program in the next six months.
Popular Improvement Suggestions:
- Keep the membership informed of programs and events.
- Combine 101 level courses with more in depth programs or senior marketing roundtables to accommodate the needs of more experienced members as well as those new to the profession.
- Consider having more LMA members present the programs rather than consultants. And, include law firm partners in the programs since they are the legal marketer’s client
- Provide more in-person and online networking opportunities.
What Do You Want? Based on the responses, the theme for 2001 is a focus on core skills and strong dose of technology. Following are the programs that drew the most interest:
- 64% Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
- 61% Strategies for improving existing client relationships
- 56% Identifying and measuring target market segments
- 55% Scenario-based strategic planning
- 53% Data mining and analysis for law firms
- 53% Maximizing marketing results with technology
- 53% Effective marketing to high-tech, emerging growth companies
- 51% Conducting market research
- 49% How the new economy is changing law firm clients
- 49% Preparing and delivering presentations
- 49% Writing successful business plans
In addition, several of you wrote that you would like to see more media and branding related programs.
What Don’t You Want?
Following are the 10 programs that drew the most disinterest:
21% How to Build Law-related Subsidiaries as Adjuncts to Your Firm’s Practice Area Specialties
20% Negotiating Complex Contracts
19% Creating In-house PR Divisions
16% Inside Counsel Dynamics (alliances, associate rotation programs, etc.)
15% Creating an Annual Report as a Marketing Tool
15% How to Leverage Technology into a New Legal Compliance/Preventative Law Practice
14% Alternative Firm Structures/Business Models
13% Strategies for Combining Marketing & Recruiting Functions
13% Establishing & Defending Your Firm’s Marketing Budget
12% Recruiting & Hiring of Marketing Personnel
How and Where Do You Want to Learn?
Washington, DC is the most convenient location for LMA meetings (87%) and Northern Virginia is a distant second (10%). 62% of respondents prefer luncheons, 23% prefer breakfast; 13% prefer half-day sessions and only 2% were interested in a full day program. Despite this strong preference for the luncheon format, 67% of the respondents did express interest in participating in a program if it was offered over a period of time (i.e., one evening a week for six weeks or a two-day weekend program).
Finally, if technology assisted programs—such as online chats, conference calls or videoconferences—were available, 24% of the respondents said they would absolutely participate and 42% said they would very likely participate. Although this willingness to participate is encouraging, there is a strong minority (34%) of respondents who said it would be unlikely that they would participate. As is usually the case with technology, it appears that our efforts in this area will need to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.
How Will Your Board Respond? The Mid-Atlantic LMA Board is responding to the results of the survey in several ways. First, virtually all of the programming for 2001 is based on the results of the survey. Second, in response to the interest expressed in the survey, the Board will conduct at least one long-term program this year which will take place on three nights over three consecutive weeks. Third, the Board is also committed to including more Marketing Directors in the substance and planning of the 2001 programs.
Finally, to ensure the continuing satisfaction of our potential and current members, we will be instituting an online program evaluation process. Immediately after the presentation of a local LMA program, all attendees will receive via e-mail an online survey regarding their satisfaction with the program they attended. The results of the evaluations will form the basis for future programs and will help the Board to accurately assess the success of every individual program. We are confident that 2001 will be an outstanding year for LMA’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter!
Felice Wagner, a former practicing attorney, is CEO of Sugarcrest Development Group, Inc., a D.C. firm that gives seminars and training programs throughout the country on business development and client loyalty. She can be reached at (202) 462-7046 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to see how you measure up as a rainmaker? Take the Rainmaker Reality Check today!