3 Takeaways from the LMA Technology Conference West

JD Supra Perspectives

The 2015 Legal Marketing Technology Conference West Bay Area Chapter has come and gone and, reflecting on the event's first ever 3-day program span, there was a lot to take in.

It's no longer B2B or B2C. Now, it's H2H - Human to Human...

With over 250 attendees, the LMA Tech Conference is the largest conference dedicated to technologies that law firm professionals use to identify, attract and support clients. The event promised — and delivered — a host of new ideas, technologies and methods for legal marketers and lawyers to up their visibility and marketing effectiveness.

This year's keynote speaker was Jamie Moldafsky, CMO of Wells Fargo. Ms. Moldafsky pulled no punches in describing the difficult road of brand growth that Wells Fargo has undertaken over the past several years (more on that below).

This was the first year I attended the LMA Tech Pre-Conference (a half-day event) and I was blown away by the quality and quantity of the day's panels. Track 1 featured the CMO Summit while Track 2 focused on tech and social media workshops. I attended the tech and social media track.

While the LMA Tech Conference Tweeted, LinkedIn'd and Facebook'd though the week, three trends emerged as timely and important for the dawn of 2016. The decade is half over and the financial meltdown of 2008-2009 finally seems to have faded in the rearview.

1) It's No Longer B2B Or B2C.
Now It's H2H — Human To Human

Conducting a panel on the "The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Create Compelling Visual Content," Stefanie Marrone (Proskauer Rose) and Molly Porter (Seyfarth Shaw) ran through a mere 43,000 years of social media and storytelling! In addition to familiar stats on image vs text retention (hint: about 80% higher for pictures), the concept that leapt forth is that we marketers no longer live in B2B or B2C marketing verticals. Social media has proven that it's now about H2H — Human to Human.

...humans are innately complex yet strive for simplicity. The challenge is to find, understand and explain the complex in its most simplistic form.

H2H was brought to the social marketplace by Bryan Kramer @bryankramer who proposes that humans are innately complex yet strive for simplicity. The challenge is to find, understand and explain the complex in its most simplistic form. This means as marketers, we all need to find the commonality in our humanity, and speak the language that makes each of us unique.

2) Plan For Brand Growth While Keeping An Eye On Chaos

After outlining Wells Fargo's massive brand presence, Jamie Moldafsky, the bank's CMO ignited the keynote audience when she described that over the past ten years, the more Wells Fargo has grown (especially with its product offerings), the more their brand had become fractured. Different channels, different messages, different ways of interacting with customers, prompted Wells Fargo to take a multi-year approach to getting all their stage coaches heading in the same direction. If we're not careful, such rapid organic brand growth could threaten well-intentioned social media efforts.

3) Content Marketing is the New Swiss Army Knife

Relevant, meaningful and well-written content is hard! As content consumers revolt against advertising with ad blockers and news aggregation app, getting your stories in front of the right eyeballs is proving to be more difficult. Jann Dudley (Archer Norris) and Erika Ritzer (Greenfield Belser) presented a compelling example of developing Archer Norris's CA State of Mind research campaign. They carefully "sliced and diced" it to pay it off the marketing through many different channels. Guy Alvarez chimed in from the audience about best practices for Tweeting frequencies across multiple days.

Random Observations

In no particular order:

  • Humans are now subjected to 5,000 marketing messages a day
  • Less is more when posting (I guess I blew that today.)
  • You better start learning Web personas
  • Looking for content on a slow news day? Talk about your firm's history
  • Consider storyboarding as an alternative to lists
  • Emojis will become more prevalent, especially on Twitter and in email subject lines
  • Find ways to budget for real research. It will pay off in content marketing
  • If you're not looking at your Social analytics, you can never improve
  • Don't just share links. We need to know why you are sharing

The LMA Tech Conference is now firmly established as the go-to event for technology and social media practices in the legal profession. It's so good in fact that it's spawned a sibling LMA Tech Day event in Chicago on June 23, 2016.


[Jeff Yerkey is President and Creative Director at Yerkey Design, a San Francisco Bay Area-based web, branding and print design firm specializing in design for legal and professional services companies. Post reprinted from LinkedIn with permssion of the author.]


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