In this podcast, Laura Galeano, the Chief Marketing Officer at Bilzin Sumberg, discusses leadership and how to develop a highly effective law firm marketing team for the future of the legal industry.
Podcast Show Notes
Laura Galeano, Chief Marketing Officer at Bilzin Sumberg. Laura is a lawyer by trade and has spent more than 15 years in legal marketing. She is a self-describe tech nerd who spends her spare time trying to hone her leadership and management prowess, reading crime fiction, and chasing around her 2 year old baby boy.
Evolution in the Legal Industry
In contrast to the change in the legal industry following the 2008 market crash, there’s a different kind of change today in regards to technology, innovation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. While these tools do present great advantages, they also put great pressure on firms to establish a “human” aspect to compete with technology. This same principle can be applied to the marketing department at a law firm. After all, in today’s digital world, every company will ultimately be a tech company.
Building a Strong Marketing Team
There are four key components to building a strong law firm marketing team: keeping the future of the industry and your business in mind, ensuring that those you hire have a commitment to achievement, identifying the necessary skills your team members need to have and helping them grow to achieve them, and sometimes the hardest component, making the tough decisions. The four characteristics to look for when hiring team members are passion, creativity in solving problems, and flexibility. But sometimes, the best way to strengthen your team is through failure. Learning through mistakes, although not ideal, is critical to both personal and team growth.
Ensuring a Positive Team Mentality
The first part of making your team happy is cultivating the right team. If team members do not have a safe space to share their thoughts or have candid conversations, happiness is difficult to achieve. Additionally, ensure that your team has one overarching mission. This can be done by asking each team member what they believe is of the highest priority out of the tasks your department has on hand. You might find that people often have different priorities. This principle of unified thought can be applied toward determining which area of marketing is of greatest importance to the firm as well.
Collaborating With Other Departments In Your Firm
Bilzin Sumberg’s team takes part in an annual retreat with other departments – an experience that not only brings the team members closer as people, but as coworkers as well. Through the retreat, some real goals were established as well as more collaborative relationships. Proper communication is one of the keys to facilitating collaboration with other departments. Bringing members from other departments to participate during brainstorming sessions or department meetings is very valuable to acquiring outsider input.
3 Pieces of Advice to Other Marketing Leaders
- Try to learn and adapt. Never stop educating yourself whether it be through reading books or higher education.
- Allow your team members to fail, but make sure they learn from their mistakes.
- The biggest measurement of a successful team is not retention or how hard people work. It’s how successful a team is and how committed they are to that achievement.
The key to developing a successful law firm marketing team lies within a commitment to achievement, an eye for the future, communication skills, a positive mentality, and most importantly, the ability to learn from your mistakes. In a world dominated by technology, especially in the legal industry, developing your marketing team as the firm’s “human” component is critical to competing with other firms in the future.