If you or your firm lawyers have a formal marketing plan, it was likely prepared with the help of a consultant.  Often these plans are lengthy and full of jargon or boilerplate to justify the fee.  As a result they are frequently put on the proverbial shelf and not implemented.

Worse still is the failure to have a plan at all and/or have one that is too broad and vague bordering on the worthless.  A discussion on LinkedIn initiated by lawyer and consultant, David M. Ward asks the question whether your marketing plan is “void for vagueness?” The reasons for having a plan are straight forward, according to Ward: you need one, it should be simple, and it must be specific.  I concur:

  • To paraphrase the comment by the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland “if you don’t know where you are going (with your marketing efforts), any path will take you there.”  And “there” is nowhere;
  • It has to be simple, or it won’t get implemented; and
  • It must be specific (and measurable) as to the who, what, when, where and how your efforts will be accomplished.

The plan cannot be made up of generalities; for example, saying you will take part in a networking event, take a referral source to lunch, or write an article or make a speech in the next quarter.  Rather, it needs to be more detailed as to what events you will network at (best if ones that your clients or referral sources attend); the person(s) you will take to lunch and when; what publication/blog you will write an article/post for and on what topic; and what focused organization you would like to speak before and on what topic in the next quarter.   These are just a few examples of the specificity a plan needs.

Short of that your plan is void for vagueness.