Services to build trust with international clients
“One of the main questions business clients ask is: ‘Can you grasp and respond to my issue in the context of diverse markets where we operate?’ Client trust is still paramount, but global business dynamics change how trust is built and delivered. Trust is not just one-to-one – it has to extend across borders, with a diverse range of professionals working in different cultures, legal systems and time zones. ITand communications structures to deliver legal advice across geographies become the brick and mortar that creates and sustains trust. Knowledge management is more important to clients, and directly connects to a law firm’s capabilities in multi-jurisdiction project management.
“For these reasons, future legal services on the international front will emphasize the service as much as technical legal aspects. Given that many law firms provide roughly equivalent technical legal skill, the differentiator is often a combination of where the firm (independently or with affiliates and good-friend firms) can offer expertise, and how services are packaged and delivered in multiple geographies. In the international context, service is often the key to effectively serving business demands.”
- Leigh Dance, The International Horizon, from Future of Legal Services book
Sophisticated Professional Services Marketing
“Generally, I see larger consulting firms as far more advanced than law firms in the area of marketing around the world. They are able to develop and launch sophisticated marketing campaigns and initiatives that are very integrated with the business; they are real pros at gathering and using qualitative and quantitative data in developing products and winning clients; and their execution is broad and long-term. The multi-polar initiatives of Accenture at Davos for the last few years, as well as their thought leadership books, exemplify stellar consultancy marketing.
“Finally, despite the variations we find in legal marketing around the world, there is one common trait worth pointing out among firms worldwide. The degree to which law firm marketing staff is involved in strategy and product development is completely dependent on law firm leadership, regardless of location. I have long felt that it is weaker than it should be around the world.
“Few firms give marketing heads a real role in this important area, and I think it’s for a few reasons: The firms don’t tend to hire real strategists for senior marketing roles — they hire implementers — and often they don’t see growth strategy, pricing and product development as squarely in the marketing domain.”
- Leigh Dance, from The Strategy Lag, LMA Strategies, Feb 2012