Last year I was delighted to be asked by PM Forum if I’d like to present a webinar to their members. Of course, I said yes please! So, on 14th January 2021 I duly logged into Zoom and presented my thoughts to over 200 members (full disclosure – I’m so glad it was in webinar format so I couldn’t see so many faces staring back at me!)
I’d spent quite a lot of time before Christmas thinking about what I could possibly talk about that could add value to a bunch of highly experienced marketers working across a range of professional services businesses.
I knew I didn’t want to talk tactics, as interesting and effective as tactics invariably are. And I knew I’d have to keep my talk slightly generic – so taking me out of my comfort zone of law firms. Getting deeper and deeper into my thoughts, I started thinking about the past 12 months and the challenges that we, as a business have faced, in terms of dealing with COVID19. Now I’m not saying I handled things perfectly (of course there were many mistakes along the way with hindsight!) However, not only are we still a functioning business, but also one that is starting to grow again, which is great.
Anyway, the process of thinking about the steps I took during the first and subsequent lockdowns, and where I think I did get things right, started me thinking about the strategy that I developed. I remember very clearly back in March realising that things were about to change dramatically and that I needed to start to plan. As I said, lots of mistakes (in particular not keeping a close enough eye on cash, spending on something that I now realise I didn’t really need and still haven’t been able to achieve the actual thing I was aiming for – FAIL!) BUT lots of things I did get right.
I do also remember very clearly not being able to think at all during the first two weeks of lockdown one, but then realising that I had to clear my brain, put my thinking hat on, and be proactive, sensible, ambitious, realistic and sharp. My mantra (I don’t really like that word but haven’t found a suitable replacement) became ‘maintain… and be ready to grow’. It was that simple.
That mantra though only came about as a result of a lot of deep thinking about where the legal profession was going to be heading over the following weeks and months and how we, as a business, could face the challenges that were coming. If you’re interested in that thought process and the conclusions I came to – you can read a post I created on LinkedIn at the time. If you are a member of The Law Society’s Management Section, you can also read my reflections on that original post and my predictions for 2021 in January 2021’s Managing for Success (£).
So what does all of this have to do with the PM Forum webinar? Well broadly, my thoughts and actions during the various lockdowns and school closures have been intentionally strategic. I have tried really hard to ‘zoom out’ and ensure my actions and indeed decisions not to act have been strategic. Being strategic during times of real stress and uncertainty is, I’ve found, quite a skill and certainly it can often feel much easier and comforting to drop into what I’m going to call the tactical ‘comfort zone’.
This realisation and the putting into effect of a ‘strategy first’ mindset then led me to thinking that other marketers in professional services might also benefit from following my approach. And that is what led to me presenting my first PM Forum webinar on ‘Creating an Effective PR and Marketing Strategy for 2021’. PM Forum members can watch the webinar, and everybody else can view the slides.
The session generated some great feedback, from junior marketers: “As someone who is a junior in my team, I found it interesting to hear about what happens “above” and learn ways I could potentially influence those conversations. Thank you for giving such a great talk”, through to more seasoned professionals: “I thought it was useful and informative”.
If you are a marketer in a law firm, a partner or if you run your own firm, then the good news is that we have a training session, Creating an effective marketing strategy, that we can deliver for you and your firm. The training session will take you through how to get into the strategic mindset and start to create effective marketing strategies that not only take into account the huge changes of the past 12 months, but also build upon the short-, medium- and long-term trends that we are starting to see emerge as a result of COVID19. My hour-long webinar will focus upon:
- The 6 key elements of a marketing strategy
- The importance of key messages and target audiences
- Using 2020’s lessons to guide 2021’s practice
- Identifying the trends that should inform your marketing strategy
- Choosing tactics that will be effective
We are delivering this session as a bespoke in-house training session. Contact us to find out more mailto: email@example.com.