A deep dive on the impact of COVID-19 in the legal marketing industry
In May 2020, KHS People conducted the survey "Legal Marketing Peer Check in: how are you doing" for legal marketing professionals. The purpose was to see how things were going for our industry at that point in time.
In October 2020, we conducted a follow up survey, which covers topics requested by you. It is a COVID-specific survey and does a deep dive on four areas:
Marketers responded with candid insights, sentiments, and feedback. The demographics of the respondents included marketers from all firm sizes, marketers of all levels, and marketers across all the US.
Below is the story that was told.
The response by firms to Covid
Marketers are being effective, despite seeing fewer dollars
A lot more work is being done
These activities were previously not a core focus. Ten months into the pandemic, firms are now re-focusing on their longer-term goals and pursuits.
The dollars are tight.
Solutions for our industry
Consider these solutions for temporary relief during Covid:
- Give permission for a break. Your team needs your acknowledgement and permission to use their PTO or to take mental health days. Without this express endorsement, they are unlikely to take days off because of fear of being judged negatively if they do.
- Lead by example. If team leaders are working around the clock, not looking after their physical and mental health, and not respecting boundaries whilst working from home, the team doesn't feel empowered to do the same.
- What is your plan for alleviating your team now (and in 2021)? An open dialogue helps just about any situation. Team leaders should communicate their knowledge and understanding about this issue to their team, and - together - suggest solutions. Individual marketers may very likely have different 'fixes' for the current workload issues; it will be different for everyone.
- Reallocate the work. Marketers don't typically shy away from the opportunity to upskill. Speak to each member of your team about their true capacity and work hours to make decisions about any reallocation.
- Be professionally vulnerable. Encourage your team to share with you about what is going on for them and what they may need as a result of their own personal circumstances. To read more on this, visit our recent blog where CMO's share on this very issue.
- Seek other perspectives. If team members are at a loss on how to solve this issue, seek the support and perspective of industry peers. Simply sharing and listening how others have dealt with similar issues is a powerful thing. New ideas and solutions will start to unfold as you learn from others.
Working from home options
Contact us to dive deeper into these issues, or to give us your take on this issues; we love to listen.
First, here's who responded:
Secondly, here's what we learned:
People are working longer hours during COVID-19
- 40% of our survey respondents are working 1 - 3 hours more each day
- 17% of our survey respondents are working over 3 hours more each day
- That’s 57% working at least 5 additional hours each week, and some more than 15 additional hours each week
- Is this sustainable in “the new normal”?
- How do we avoid the risk of burn-out? (Many are juggling work, dependents and have less access to support services.)
- Do leaders have adequate plans in place to address and solve these challenges?
Marketing and BD are focused on ‘protecting the base’
- The most common major focus areas were 'thought leadership development and production' (74% of survey respondents) and 'external communications' (also 74%)
- Next were 'strategic BD' (70% of respondents) and 'virtual events' (also 70%)
Old teams, new tricks?
The survey responses show that in reality, few teams have drastically changed their mandate:
- Firms are clearly seeing the value in core marketing and BD activity in these challenging times. This is a sign of respect for our profession.
- Many of our colleagues are showing the ‘change agility’ that so many of my clients ask for in their candidates.
- Professionals who can flex their skills and experience to help out multiple areas across the firm are always valued - even more so in times of change and uncertainty.
Our colleagues prefer working from home
- An overwhelming amount of respondents - 96% - have enjoyed working remotely in some form
- Of that 96%, the majority would ideally have a hybrid model, which allowed them to have flexibility with office interactions alongside the ability to work remote (73% of respondents)
- There was a smaller proportion of respondents (23%) who prefer the remote working arrangement all of the time
Which Industry & Practice groups are the busiest for your firm?
Which Industry & Practice groups are the quietest for your firm?
Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm for BD and marketing people in professional services firms. Kate has done search and recruiting for 10 years and prior to that was an attorney. She loves what she does, and is always open to continuing the discussion: firstname.lastname@example.org
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