The shoe is on the other foot. Confessions of a reformed former in-house marketer.

Forgive me, for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last blog post. But in that time I have gained a far better insight into the pressures faced by the lawyers I work with then in all the years I worked in legal marketing in-house. As a result, I have come to the conclusion that all in-house marketers should, at some point, have to work and bill their time and market their business, in the same manner as they lawyers they work with.

A good part of every in-house marketer’s time is spent chasing and reminding lawyers about the article, blog, slides etc. they promised to deliver. I suspect that if every lawyer started delivering everything on time, the number of unemployed legal markets would skyrocket. While the missed deadlines are entirely predictable, it is still something that drives us all a bit crazy when the pattern repeats itself time after time, again and again.

Now that I manage my own small marketing practice I can appreciate how difficult it can be to focus on marketing my business when I have to prioritize the work for my clients. The second quarter of 2014 was perhaps the busiest of my life. So despite my best intentions, writing a blog post or any other marketing simply had to go from the back burner to back in the fridge so that I could pour all my energy into delivering for my clients. And even though the workload calmed down a few weeks ago, it has taken a bit to catch-up on sleep, attend to postponed client projects, clear the in-box, go through the stacks of paperwork etc. The idea of sacrificing another night or weekend at my desk to write a blog post in the immediate aftermath of such a busy period was just unthinkable.

In-house marketers have an arsenal of effective strategies they can and will continue to deploy to cope with lawyers who are too busy to deliver on their promises. But if more of the in-house marketing team have walked a mile in the shoes of lawyers and experienced first hand the challenge of serving clients and building a business, it would result in less frustration, better understanding, stronger working relationships, more manageable marketing programs and less wasted effort. Once the in-house house team has had that experience, then let he that hath not sinned cast the first stone.

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