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Brand Quarterly






Brand Quarterly

8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success

More than 150 Marketing Pros Weigh In On "8 Mandates For Social Media Marketing Success" by Kent Huffman, with Eric Fletcher. More information.

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Open door to dark room with bright light shining in. Background Illustration.

Successful business development is not a big mystery. Anyone who has been seriously working on the isue for very long has a good idea what is required. Precise process can vary. Termonology can differ; but it is not rocket science. In substance, in virtually any arena, business development is about the same thing.

Create visibility and deliver value to a target market; listen and learn what drives your target; and then connect the value you provide with what your market cares about.

Sure, you can leverage efforts by being more strategic (and we've explored it plenty in other posts); but follow the above formula in a sustained fashion and you're on your way.

There are plenty of resources that will provide advice on some of the questions. What does a viable target look like? How do you decide where to network? Should you blog and/or engage in the social media arena? Should you speak? Where should you speak? What should you write about? What do you talk about at those networking functions?

It is easy to find good advice and helpful tools.

So, if the formula is simple; and support is readily available, this begs a question. Or two.

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If you're considering a deeper dive into social media for business development punposes, are attempting to evaluate your current investment in social, or are among those just now waking to the reality that social media is actually out there changing the market, this post is for you.

And it is a response to the fact that I continue to hear professionals wonder whether there is any value in blogging, whether Twitter has a place, and whether we should mess with Linked In.

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There are a few things that are either black or white. But very few.

Most of the time almost everything is defined based on perspective.

Thursday many  in the United States will enjoy a holiday tradition that has come to combine turkey and the National Football League. We'll argue the blurry line between solid defense and pass interference. Or the one that separates a legal hit from a suspension-worthy blow. Even with the multiple camera perspectives and the benefit of instant replay, there will be a handful of plays that are far from black and white.

This is the problematic nature of lines in the sand. Or absolutes. It is next to impossible for our view to transcend our perspective.

My friend, Petri Darby said it this way:

When I don't know how I feel, or what to think, I turn to how I want to feel, and what I want to think."

Great counsel, friend. Here goes.

I want to think that violence, hate and fear do not define who we are -- who I am. We are better than our worst moments. I want to think that good outweighs evil. I believe this; but some days it is difficult to remember.

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Marketing BlackboardFew sectors of the professional services arena are experiencing the disruption currently being felt in the legal industry. As we deal with unprecedented and constant change, many marketers as well as law firm leaders are exploring where the functions of marketing and business development fit in the new normal.

What is the role of Marketing, and how must marketing leaders adapt? Here are five ideas offered as fodder for the discussion.

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Change GraphicI am biased -- but in my opinion one of the more innovative looks at issues of leadership is authored by my friend and colleague, Kevin McKeown. His Leadership CloseUp Blog adds perspective, humanity and real-world chops to the conversation of leadership. So I was honored when Kevin invited me to do a Guest shot under his masthead.

Published earlier this week on Kevin's site, here is fodder for a leadership conversation -- A Kodak Moment and The Consequence of Organic Change.

Leaders at conference tableHeadlines, conference keynotes, water-cooler conversations -- whatever the venue, today there is more than a little talk about Leadership.

In political seats, board rooms and executive suites, in neighborhoods and homes -- in the midst of confusion, disruption, and uncertainty, we bemoan conditions. And a question looms -- where is the leadership?

Not -- who has the title? Or who is skilled at vying for position?

Who is articulating a vision with such clarity that it inspires action? Who is defining a direction that resonates? Who has the equity necessary to instigate progress?

Title, position, office — these may come with a pulpit; but the brand of leadership that envisions, innovates, and has what it takes to navigate a storm is not dependent on titles or labels.

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Thankful PerspectiveFrom where I sit, most days it is easy to maintain a thankful perspective.

Shelter and nourishment are taken for granted. Relative to any benchmark, I enjoy good health. And thanks to family and friends, I am surrounded by relationships that add a richness to each day that cannot be measured.

But there are moments when my gratitude seems painfully anemic.

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The perspective of the lawyer was clear; “My time is far too valuable to be spent writing advertising copy or blogging.”

Notwithstanding the fact that his comment belies complete disdain for what he believes professional services marketing and business development to represent, his pronouncement points to a critical way the marketplace has shifted.

The marketing message of yesterday was largely one-way, built around what we do, and how well we do it.

And while that approach might have served in the past, things have changed. A new model has emerged.

This thing we throw the “marketing” label over is increasingly built around a multi-dimensional experience. Clients and savvy prospects not only have more options; they have questions, feedback and an expectation of dialogue.


Cordell ParvinDuring a couple of decades in professional services business development, I’ve met a handful of individuals that could make it rain in any condition. Cordell Parvin is one of them. When I met Cordell he was a progressive practice group leader for an Am Law 100 law firm. Following great success in that arena, he branched out and built a new business, training and coaching other lawyers in the art of building a thriving practice. He is tireless, tenacious, and he genuinely loves coaching lawyers. His passion for progress is evident in today’s Guest Post. After you’ve enjoyed his contribution here, you can connect and follow him daily, here and here.  Cordell — thanks for this Post.


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 dust.

There is talk (hours of it at times) about web sites and collateral materials, staffing, technology, and a platform that seems to perpetually shift.

Experience tells us there are few, if any short-cuts to business development; yet we search for a quick-fix or a silver bullet, and repeatedly invest in the latest flavor-of-the-month solution.

The law firm leader concluded with an exclamation.  “We dissect analytics, reorganize groups and support functions, and reengineer process and procedure.  And progress is negligible.”



On the other end of the call Rebecca Helterbrand from TEDx San Antonio was saying,  “congratulations…you’ve been selected…”

And before I had time to process the news, she had me taking notes on “several important dates.” Required dates. Meetings and rehearsals. Mark them down. Don’t miss them.

That was my introduction to an unwavering commitment to excellence on the part of the TEDx San Antonio team — a group of volunteers who invest months organizing and producing an amazing program. (A few, but not near all are pictured in the photo above.)



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