What is Marketing?

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Believe it or not many people can’t answer this question.

The definition we like best is:

    “Marketing is a term that describes the process used to identify, create and maintain profitable relationships with clients.”

Each word in this definition is carefully chosen.

“Marketing” is a term.  It’s just a label.  Why is that interesting?  Because many people get hung up on verbiage.  Have you ever known an attorney to get hung up on a single word in a deposition?  The term itself is unimportant.  It’s just a word.  I don’t care what you call the process of identifying, creating and maintaining profitable relationships. 

More important is the fact that marketing is a “process”.  It is not a program.  It is not a plan.  It is not a strategy or a tactic.  Marketing is a process.  This is critical because a process has no end.  It is on-going.  Marketing must be continuous. 

If marketing ends, your business ends.

In this process we “identify, create and maintain relationships with clients”.

Many people who proclaim to be great marketers only do one of those things. 

You need to do all three…all the time.

You must first identify who your ideal clients will be.  Next you need to begin a relationship with them and finally you need to maintain that relationship for as long as it is profitably possible. 

How many times do we do some work for a client and then forget that they ever existed after that case has concluded? 

Now I understand that your business is different.  Everyone says that.  For example:

Once someone gets divorced, they are probably not going to get divorced again for a long time….or once someone is injured and their case has settled, you are certainly not going to be able to successfully represent them again….or once you handle an estate matter for someone, they are not going to die again so why would you keep in contact with the family….

Does this sound stupid yet? 

Well, I hear this kind of thing all the time.  Being a professional, I respond with: 

“I understand.  That is different.  But what about referrals?”

You clients, their families or their friends can refer people to you for work in your area of specialization.  Even better, they can refer work to you – outside of your area of specialization – that you can refer to other attorneys and you can collect a referral fee for passing the work along. 

Everyone benefits from long-term relationships with clients. 

That is what marketing is all about…identifying, creating and maintaining profitable long-term relationships with clients.