Marketing and Knowledge Management Are Joined at the Hip, is the
theme today.  How so?  Isn’t marketing fundamentally
outward-directed and KM fundamentally inner-directed?  Not
in my view.  Let’s start with the basics:

  • Law firms’ product is knowledge and intelligence;
  • Your firm gains a competitive advantage in the marketplace
    when your knowledge and intelligence are superior;
  • So your marketing message has to demonstrate same (that is
    to say, show don’t tell); in other words, put
    your broader/deeper legal knowledge on display with greater alacrity
    and flexibility than your competitors.

As loyal readers know, a core conviction of mine is that—cultural
considerations aside, admittedly a large "aside"—the
business of law firms is not fundamentally different from the business
of corporations.  So when CMO Magazine has a piece elucidating
how firms like Jaguar, Delta Faucet, and FedEx, use KM to drive
marketing initiatives, it’s worth reading. Start here:

  • Jaguar used KM to coordinate, integrate, and synchronize the
    efforts of its worldwide marketing managers and regional dealers,
    capitalizing upon such locale-specific intelligence as favoring
    print ads in New York City’s mass-transit commuting environment
    and radio ads in LA’s car culture (duh?!, you say, but are you
    actually doing it?);
  • Delta Faucet used KM to integrate its marketing efforts with
    its financial forecasting models and its factory floor so that,
    for example, they didn’t do a massive print run of brochures
    on a model about to be discontinued;
  • FedEx used KM to deliver real-time information to its deliverymen
    and sales people from the customer profile database; as a trivial
    (or not) example, when the local folks-on-the-ground were empowered
    to deliver birthday greetings to individual customers, shipment
    volumes on those accounts increased 22% in the following quarter;
  • QAD (never heard of them?—neither had I), which sells
    ERP software worldwide (only 40% of their sales come from  North
    America) introduced an enterprise-wide platform to coordinate
    all marketing presentations in a two-way fashion, incorporating
    "best practices" from the field as well as suggesting them from
    headquarters, and saw $3-million in incremental revenue year

Back to law firms:  A cliche of KM guru’s is that the world
is divided into what we know we know (expertise), what we know
we don’t know (opportunities for professional development), and
what we don’t know we don’t know (profound ignorance).  Are
there areas of expertise in your firm that exist but you don’t
know about them?  Could
they be germane in your next bake-off or beauty contest or RFP

KM, meet Marketing.

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