Monday, July 26, 2004

What we learn from our marketing predecessors

When starting to work with a law firm as their in-house marketing director or agency, it is important to ask some very specific questions of your predecessor when possible. When taking over the helm of a marketing department, you should ask:

-Who has the final say on all projects? Firm wide? Practice area specific?

-Who thinks they have the final say? What alliances are there with vendors that must be preserved?

-What is the firm culture, not apparent in the collateral communications?

-What has been tried in the past and has been perceived as valuable?

-What has been tried in the past and is perceived as worthless?

-How have past efforts been measured and tracked?

-What are the most common stumbling blocks to getting work completed and approved?

-What are the perceptions of the marketing department? 

-Who finds the marketing department valuable and who sees it as unnecessary?

Of course, there are many more questions to ask, like "why are you leaving, where's the nearest restroom and where's the best local restaurant . . . ." But all things considered, if you have solid answers to all the questions listed above, you are better able to plan how to work with the firm and how to anticipate stumbling blocks and turn them into opportunities.