In many professional service firms marketing has a poor reputation and is sometimes regarded with scepticism. Yet in an increasingly competitive environment, marketing issues such as business development, client satisfaction and branding are becoming more important. Here we explore some ways forward as taken by Mishcon de Reya.
The legacy of restrictive marketing practice within the professions for many years has inevitably resulted in less expertise, knowledge and evidence compared toother sectors. Whereas faculties of law and medicine can be traced back in time and have gained legitimacy overcenturies, marketing is a relatively new discipline. This can result in fee-earners holding conflicting views about the value of marketing and having limited knowledge of what marketing is and in particular, the importance of brand building.
However, it is possible to become well versed in how an effective marketing strategy might be applied in the professional services world as law firm Mishcon de Reya has shown. Leaders need to embrace the power a strong positioning and brand can give their business and decide whether they want to oversee a period of growth or not; investing in brand – defining and living the differences – can mitigate against the risk of no growth. For Mishcon, there was complete clarity that creating a brand would significantly help the firm grow. Kevin Gold, Managing Partner said in 2008, ‘Mishcon has a famous name; we need to create a famous brand”. And the appropriate investment has followed – not just financial, but in support and belief from the partnership and the wider firm.
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