Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Notes from the Marketing Partner Forum

Some quick notes from the Marketing Partner Forum, which wraps up in a few hours:

  • about 35% of attendees are lawyers (managing partner, marketing partner), while the majority of attendees are marketing directors or CMOs. This is a departure from years past, where the balance was often 50/50.

  • One third of firms in the room were more than 500 lawyer firms. Only 20% were under 50.

  • 38% of firms report spending 2-3.9% of gross revenues on marketing (including staff salaries). 2% of firms report spending more than 15% of revenues on marketing; 36% spend less than 2%.

  • 42% saw no increase in marketing spending in 2002, 10% saw a decrease.

  • 31% report that they reward marketing activities by lawyers with “subjective rewards”. Only 7% actually use any kind of formula to reward same.

  • 68% of firms use some marketing training. 49% do presentation skills training, but only 42% do sales training.

In all, the format of this conference has been panel-heavy – which has resulted in many long sessions that fail to adequately capture the value the panelists can convey. Maggie Kavalaris (marketing partner at Gray Cary) was a great speaker – and had some fantastic points – but was fourth on a panel of six. And she didn’t start talking until more than an hour into the panel. (But I sure did appreciate when she proclaimed that one reason for her firm’s success was InterAction. Exact quote? “God bless InterAction!” Nice.)

Not too much earth-shattering discussions took place. It’s certainly a great place to network though. And it was nice to see that the three winners of the awards (sponsored by one of my competitors, no less) were all my customers:

Not looking forward to the red-eye back to Chicago tonight…

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