Archives: Strategic Planning

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The Key To Identifying The Best Targets For Your Business Development Efforts

In our last post — You Say The Market Isn’t Beating Down Your Door — we suggested two things that are often true of professional service providers wrestling with how to develop new business — an anemic network, and the absence of strategic targets. The post suggested the way to address the network issue. The … Continue Reading

Is Your Business Development Strategy Really Just To Hope The Market Picks You?

Does the success of many of our marketing or business development plans hinge on the hope that our market somehow finds and chooses us? Oh, we talk about strategies and grand plans. We might even flirt with data, throw a few targets up on the whiteboard, and make a pass at mapping relationships. But reality sets in. … Continue Reading

Contrary To Conventional Wisdom, These Are The Good Old Days Of Business Development

Fifteen years ago a know-it-all business development and marketing guy was given a career-limiting assignment: to create national marketing plans for a dozen practice groups in an AmLaw 100 firm. Naively certain, and with the finesse of the proverbial bull in a china closet, the not-so-smart hot-shot asked a practice leader to describe his ideal target … Continue Reading

Targeted Business Development, Or Pursuit Of The Broad Side Of An Empty Barn?

Where business development efforts are consistently slow-going, there’s a good chance the issue is related to smart targeting. Specifically…the lack thereof. Here’s a quick exercise. Pull out a business development plan (it’s likely stashed in that lowest drawer), and comb through it for two things: the names of individuals that are the subject of the action … Continue Reading

Two Steps To Better Business Development and Marketing in 2015

It is our annual ritual. Marketing and business development professionals hunker down to create fresh plans that will make the best use of resources, resonate with management, and somehow penetrate the market more effectively. We did it last year, and the year before that. And most of us will do it all again twelve months … Continue Reading

Closed Circuit To Legal and Professional Service Marketing Teams: Clarity Is As Close As The Matrix

Full disclosure — Allen Fuqua is a friend as well as a respected colleague. He ushered me into the legal marketing arena, and I had the pleasure of being a member of his team for 7 years. He takes seriously his skills as both a mentor and strategist. Allen is currently the CMO at Winstead, … Continue Reading

Smart Targeting: Does Your Business Development Begin Here?

(Note: This is an update of an early 2012 post on one of the cornerstones of effective business development.) If you wrestle with knowing where to begin, and then actually executing on a strategy designed to develop new business (you’re not alone!), very few things will bring the clarity that comes with a focus on Smart Targeting. From … Continue Reading

Five Keys to the Role of Marketing and Business Development in Today’s Law Firm

When marketing first inched its way into the legal industry, the mere announcement of capabilities seemed to serve a firm’s needs. As competition increased, the function evolved to include advertising, public relations, the new media, and the support and tools associated with a business development capability. As we deal with what seems to be constant, … Continue Reading

Getting Value From Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Investments

The setting was a roundtable session.  The floor belonged to an Am Law 100 law firm leader.  And the question she posed was clear:  “what must we do to get the highest value from our marketing / business development investments?” The context for her question was the all-too-familiar drill. Plans are drafted.  And they gather … Continue Reading

Three Keys To Business Development That Produces A Harvest

How do we (really) measure progress?  What constitutes appropriate ROI on what is plowed into business development efforts? In a recent post on the similarities between business development and planting a tree, we recounted the story of French Marshal Lyautey. The story underscores the fact that growing something strong takes time. The practical challenge is that … Continue Reading

5 CMOs Identify The Characteristics of Successful Teams

Strategy, no matter how insightful and comprehensive, does not insure execution. Action plans, no matter how detailed or innovative, are no guarantee goals will be realized. And every leader that has managed through crisis knows benchmarks are not the be-all-end-all measure of resources. The market is shaped by teams that move boundaries and redefine arithmetic. … Continue Reading

Build A Robust Network And Create A Pipeline of Business

More than a dozen years ago I stepped into my first business development meeting with a lawyer. When I asked this individual to describe his target market, the reply was something like “my ideal client is the next person that calls or walks into my office, needing help putting a business deal together.” Translation: this … Continue Reading

The (Genius) Preschooler’s Approach to Strategic Business Development

(Note: this is a reprise of a post that originally appeared on  Alicia Arenas‘ Senera Camp Blog.) A university grad student challenged me to come up with a practical approach to marketing, sales and business development — one not dependent on mega-budgets, Big Data, or unlimited human resources. One the garage entrepreneur or corner donut … Continue Reading

Want Marketing That Connects and Resonates? Pick A Target Before You Begin.

Every marketer is familiar with the challenge of crafting a strategy that rises above the noise of a crowded marketplace. It goes something like…“If our name was just out there more…what can you do to help us stand out?” It is as if delivering the right artwork will transform a mere mark into a logo … Continue Reading

The DNA Of Strategic Business Development

Labeling something as Strategic does not make it so. The presence of a plan, no matter the number of pages or accompanying detail, should not be mistaken for the existence of a strategy. Desk drawers are littered with detailed business development and marketing plans that are decidedly not strategic. (I know this from personal experience.) And even … Continue Reading

Big Hairy Audacious Goals Versus The Devils You Know

Bill Taylor’s HBR Blog post today — “Don’t Let What You Know Limit What You Imagine” — strikes at the heart of a strategic planning challenge for professional service organizations in today’s marketplace.  Begin with bright business minds, add expertise and deep experience, blend with volatility, unpredictability and a touch of fear, and you have … Continue Reading

Open Letter To Law Firm Marketers

Several weeks ago I was part of a discussion on marketing in the legal industry. In the course of the conversation a successful, respected law firm leader looked around the room and announced, “I just don’t get this whole CMO thing.” His pronouncement wasn’t argumentative or confrontational. He wasn’t lobbying against marketers. He was giving … Continue Reading