Marketing Trends from Down Under: With Account Executives and More Business Development, Australian Marketers Are Honing Their Message

Article excerpt

When U.S. and Canadian marketers look across the ocean for peers and best practices, they typically look to the U.K.; legal marketers in other countries tend to be viewed as poor cousins who more typically can learn from, rather than teach, their North American counterparts.

But Australian and New Zealand marketers have become at least as sophisticated as those in fellow Anglo countries, according to Graham Seldon, director of Seldon Gill Consulting and a professional services recruiter based in Melbourne, Australia.

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They have long since moved past the days when "marketing was short on ideas and long on lunches," as Seldon said during a presentation at the LMA Annual Conference in March.

"As brands are difficult to differentiate, it is how the service is delivered, how the process is managed and how responsive a firm is that can make a difference," says Seldon, speaking with Strategies after the conference. "Consequently marketers are charged with more responsibility around making it easier for lawyers to 'get closer' to the clients."

Rather than those long lunches, marketers in Australia and the Asia Pacific are expected to deliver a more tailored approach for their attorneys. It's part of a shift away from marketing communications to business development, specifically client management, says Seldon, whose presentation at the conference included data from a recent Seldon Gill study, "Marketing in Professional Services Review 06/07."

"There has been a definite shift in focus from marketing communications to business development, specifically client management," he says. "Increasing competition was given as the primary driver for this [in the study]."

During his conference presentation, he pointed to a law firm in Australia that hired an account executive to work with Telstra, the Australian telecom company that is a major client for the firm. …