Thank you, Robert Clarke and Elevate, for the lovely chat and this interview write-up. I enjoyed our conversation immensely ✨
“Roy Sexton on Teams, Leadership and Learning: ‘You’re only as good as the rest of the cast. Bad actors are the ones who only worry about themselves, whereas good performers think: How can I help the entire cast be good? The audience experiences the entire show, not just one performer – not just the lead. It’s the same in business…’ #elevateelite #leadership #learning Click image for more.”
Here are screen grabs of the published summary of the various awards together with comments from the judging panel.
The judges noted (page 15) that “Clark Hill was a clear winner in this category, with its Simply Smarter rebrand and market engagement campaign standing head and shoulders above the rest. This campaign showed clear strategic understanding and deployment of brand as the identity and DNA of the firm’s people”.
Rob Kates and I had a marvelous time chatting with fab Mark Beese, president of Leadership for Lawyers, about the core principles of inclusive, collaborative #leadership, particularly as related to transformational change in #lawfirms. We discuss core change style indicators by leader type (conserver, pragmatist, originator) and how to create greater team balance. Mark also shares with us lessons learned on his recent #scoutjamboree trip to Korea and how #scouting has informed his consulting practice.
Other assorted topics include #dogs, #birthdays, #collecting, #tapemeasures, #tripods, #Cats, #lawyers, #givingback, #millennials, and #compassion.
Thank you, Pinnacle, Charlotte Takács, Simon P Marshall, and team for including me not only in your helpful report but also in this essential conversation. Honored to join Gillian Ward and Matthew Fuller for this discussion. Pinnacle’s 2022 Pitch Management report highlighted significant experiences of top CMOs, who deal with cross border politics, cultural differences, language barriers and overseas understanding in not only the pitching process but internally team to team. To keep firms running smoothly, it’s a balancing act of technology, understanding and communication, which we will explore on this webinar.
Event description: “In the global competitive market law firms operate in, we’re bringing together a panel of global marketing and BD leaders from across the AmLaw 200 to discuss how firms around the world function with cross border teams, what practices they share, what’s different and how they cater and adapt their differences if pitching across seas.
“We will get to the heart of the challenges and the opportunities faced internationally, drawing on the personal experiences of each leader, delving into elements such as how they drive efficiency, what technology they use to communicate across regions, and how they finetune each pitch to the client, plus much more.”
Truly thrilled with this coverage from Law360 of our Clark Hill Law marketing and business development transformation. Every member of our incredible team and their efforts are represented in this overview. So proud to work with these talented souls who all lead with data, ingenuity, strategy, grit, inclusion, collaboration, and heart. And we’ve had a lot of fun along the way!
We discuss a lot in legal marketing circles the need to approach this work with intentionality as other industries do (no more “random acts of marketing”!) and the desire to advocate for ourselves as a substantive profession. For me, I couldn’t be prouder of how my colleagues’ efforts as outlined here align with that direction.
How Clark Hill Makes Use Of Technology To Market Itself
By Aebra Coe
Law360 (May 19, 2022, 3:59 PM EDT) — Asana, SharePoint, Wufoo, Sprout Social, Google Docs, SQL database and PowerBI are all fairly typical technologies for law firms to use in their marketing and business development efforts, but Detroit-based Clark Hill has leveraged those ordinary technologies for some interesting uses, earning it a recent international award.
Susan Ahern, Clark Hill PLC’s chief marketing and business development officer, is the quarterback behind much of the tech-heavy marketing tactics that earned the firm Best Marketing Initiative honors at the Managing Partners’ Forum Awards for Management Excellence in 2020.
Ahern recently spoke to Law360 Pulse, offering a look behind the scenes at the firm’s marketing and business development technology, and the platform around which the technology spins. The system has been up and running for around four years now.
Using off-the-shelf technologies like Power BI and SharePoint for data analytics and team collaboration, Ahern and her team have been able to build an online platform that allows them to track and make use of data in their decision-making around business development.
The data is input through a combination of sources. Digital collection forms are used to gather data directly from attorneys, and other data flows in from the marketing and business development team. Additionally, some streams of data, like digital reach and engagement, are automated through the firm’s other platforms.
“We have been able to implement online data collection processes for different types of data throughout the firm,” Ahern said. “Our systems then organize and store the information into different datasets, [and] our dashboards pivot on these datasets.”
Examples of the types of reports the dashboards can produce include detailed information on client feedback and check-ins, client pitches, event sponsorships and their success, attendance information on events and webinars, and data on social media marketing campaigns.
The dashboards, which are accessible through an online portal, visually illustrate through charts the activities the team engages in and the results of those activities on a wide range of the firm’s marketing and business development operations, according to Ahern. They run and update in real time.
“We have the flexibility to adjust the dashboards to communicate what is most useful,” she said. “Each dashboard is dynamic and can be filtered in multiple different ways by the user. We have been able to identify trend lines year-on-year through dashboards we’ve had up and running over a number of years.”
When it comes to event sponsorships, for example, individual partners and the business development team can see who has requested sponsorships, whether they were granted, and where that money went in terms of industry, client or geography. There’s also data on how much revenue was generated by the attorney making the request.
Since the firm implemented tracking around sponsorships, the number of requests for them has actually declined, Ahern said.
“Having that information has helped hold everyone accountable for what they requested,” she said.
When it comes to pitching clients, attorneys and business development professionals can search and sort data by the rates pitched, client, industry of the client, rate of success by office or business unit, and reasons the pitch was unsuccessful. The firm gathers somewhere between 35 and 40 pieces of information on any given pitch, Ahern said.
According to Ahern, she is often approached by legal technology providers trying to sell her platforms and services related to business development and marketing, but when she asks how they would capture, collate, organize and leverage the data the firm is currently using, the response tends to be underwhelming.
“The more I see of these technologies, the more I realize that they are limited. They are different versions of the same thing,” she said.
Earlier this year, the firm hired a data coordinator Todd Krigner.
Ahern says she remains happy with the system the firm has created in-house, which allows her to translate data, and at times non-numerical data, into something measurable that can help direct the firm’s actions and strategy.
“What we did was look at information that could be useful in influencing the firm’s direction and strategy,” she said. “Most technology in law firms is not being used to its full potential. There are so many other creative ways it can be used to really bring the firm forward.”
EXCERPT: “Human interest is key to understanding the buyer, yet as Roy Sexton of Clark Hill Law believes, the journey is a two-way process. Buyers are increasingly interested in the firm’s culture and each person’s passion for individual causes. Putting himself in the client’s shoes, Sexton expands on this sentiment, ‘I see what your pitch materials look like, but what kind of people are you and do you care about the environment and your community, diversity and equity? They want to know that you’re decent human beings, on top of the fact that you’re a good lawyer. You should provide an authentic performance and tell people that you’re doing things that show your passions.’”
Charlotte writes, “Leading U.S. law firms are looking at pitching in an increasingly wider context and use automation and analytics to free up time to understand the buyer journey and bring more personality to pitches. Months of work is paying off today as we release Pinnacle’s review of ‘How Winners Win’ in North American law firms. It’s different. It’s inspiring. It’s insightful. It’s a glimpse into what firms, who are ahead of the curve do. Reading it, will be 20 minutes well (very well) spent.
“As always, getting ahead is only possible with a community wanting to do bigger and better – with people who will lead from the front, empower others through the benefit of knowledge and see the value of sharing. … Read, share, pass on to a colleague with as much love as I do and if you can spare 15 minutes to let me know what you thought about it, please drop me an email on email@example.com!”
“Marketing Dynamics: Lawyers and Marketers in Unison … In this episode of the Digital Marketing Master podcast, Roy Sexton speaks acutely on the interactions between lawyers and legal marketing teams on the forefront of his work at Clark Hill Law.”
Rob (“Guy Fawkes”) and I had such a great and informative chat today on cybersecurity with Fortress SRM’s Peter Cavrell and Chuck Mackey. A timely topic for sure.
Thank you also to Richard Levick who joined us for the show opening to salute legendary Michael O’Horo, who will be so deeply missed. We discussed Mike’s candor, heart, authenticity, leadership, and … Porsche-buying negotiation skills, among other things. ❤️
Shout outs during the show to Denise Zdena Pouza, Timothy Corcoran, Mark T Greene, Kimberly Bell Schultheis, Patrick Fuller, Deborah Farone, Amy Payton Verhulst, Gail Porter Lamarche, Dianne Rychlewski, Don Sexton, Susie Sexton, V For Vendetta, and Phyllis Diller.
The conversation with Peter and Chuck dives into the risks and opportunities for lawyers (and consultants) to help their clients map processes, policies, and rules to anticipate, avoid, and mitigate risk. Cybersecurity isn’t a tech problem, but a people one.
We discuss how bad actors avail themselves of human weakness, and talk about the importance of table top exercises to increase agility in one’s organization. We cover how legal marketers and business development professionals can frame their firms’ messages on this topic and help keep their firms safe in a digital landscape. And the essential role of crisis communications, public relations, and media relations.
Join us on June 2nd from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm CT at The Chicago Athletic Association.
Registration and networking breakfast, welcome by event producer Susan Freeman [she/her] 🗣, opening remarks by Joel Stern, Esq., a word about Dress for Success Worldwide by Natalie Altonia Borneo, morning keynote by Michelle Wimes (she, her, hers), Esq., luncheon keynote by Wendy Doyle, closing remarks by #EWE Committee Chair Joni Wickham & Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr., and TED-style talks throughout the day by the many remarkable women seen below and the event emcee, Roy Sexton.
The event will be followed by an on-site networking cocktail reception!
Kat Kelly-Heinzelman on my mom Susie Sexton: “Every now and then someone special comes into our lives, and we don’t always know they are going to be special until we have known them for a while. Susie was like that for me. I first met her late one night on Facebook when I came home from work – when I was working second shift and I was relaxing and catching up on the things that had happened while I had been working. We got to talking and I found out that I knew her son and didn’t even know it. Not well yet but that too would come. I found that Susie and I had a lot in common and that we liked a lot of the same things. She lived in the house she grew up in which I found very cool. I used to tell her I would come a paint her porch and then we would sit in a rocking chair and gossip while we drank coffee in the morning or wine in the early evening. But life got too busy for both of us to do that and now we won’t ever get to that.”
Love you, Kat – thank you for this. Your friendship was a lifeline to her, and she truly felt “seen” by you in all the best ways. I’ll always be grateful to you for that. ❤️
Every now and then someone special comes into our lives, we don’t always know they are going to be special until we have known them for a while. Susie was like that for me. I first met her late night on Facebook when I came home from work when I was working second shift and I was relaxing and catching up on the things that had happened while I had been working. We got to talking and I found out that I knew her son and didn’t even know it. Not well yet but that too would come. I found that Susie and I had a lot in common and that we liked a lot of the same things. She lived in the house she grew up in which I found very cool. I used to tell her I would come a paint her porch and then we would sit…
🎲🎤 Ahem 🎤🎲 We need to interrupt your usual programming to share a special message from Legal Marketing Association President-Elect Roy Sexton on why you should consider joining him at #LMA22 in Las Vegas!