Smaller law firms are usually in a better position to make a marketing decision than larger firms. It’s a numbers game. Often in BigLaw too many people are involved, which not only means the process takes longer, but a decision can become so diluted as to lessen the effectiveness of any business development program.

On this, Trey Ryder and I agree. His current newsletter has a short article encouraging firms to“Choose One Quarterback To Call Your Marketing Plays.” The analogy fits.


“Marketing is like football. The quarterback makes a decision, sees how far the team advances, makes another decision, then reviews the team’s progress. Decisions can be made quickly because they are made by only one person. Can you imagine how long it would take if the entire football team offered input and then everyone had to agree before they could make the next play?”


He has an interesting formula that makes the case against more than one person calling the plays, from both a delay perspective and how watered down the decision will become. Take a look, it’s interesting.


Also, he tells a great story about David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy and Mather ad agency. The ad man entered a room of 12 executives and was told by the company’s chairman that he had 15 minutes to make his pitch; at which point a bell would ring and “he was to stop.” Ogilvy first asked how many of the people present would be making the marketing decision, and was told all 12 of them. With that he advised the chairman “Please, sir, ring the bell” and left.


Trey concludes:


“If you aren’t happy with your marketing quarterback, choose someone else. But don’t fall into the trap of allowing more than one person to call the plays.”


I get heartburn just thinking about the stories I could tell on this subject.