The report, titled Enhancements to Martindale.com Reflect the Changing Law Firm Marketing Space, does a nice job of placing into context our “shift in perspective, from a traditional directory model to a tool for sophisticated buyers of legal services – the in-house counsel who make key decisions on legal spending for their corporations.”
What’s interesting to me is that the process of transformation is always a long road but the evidence, now, is that we are right in the middle of it. It starts with a change in leadership. Then improvements are made to the solution. Analysts take note and the press follow by starting to report on the positive changes. The market learns about what’s new. A few thought leaders jump on the band wagon.
Finally, perception changes and the overhaul is complete. I’m not optimistic that the press will immediately start reporting on all of the positive changes, but it’s a start.
We still have a lot to do, frankly, but we’ve already come a long way. In the Outsell report, for example, without naming all the features, it briefly explains a few of the enhancements to martindale.com including our side-by-side comparison tool, My Martindale Network, Client Review, and the new content from atVantage we provide on federal litigation activity and mergers and acquisitions transactions. That’s a lot of change to our solution in a relatively short time. The report also briefly mentions our change in leadership.
It’s really not surprising that we’ve got a perception problem. But perception is a lagging indicator of actual value delivered. Our predecessors — and I say that because I’m part of a brand new leadership team led by Ralph Calistri our new CEO of Martindale-Hubbell — enjoyed the benefit of this lagging indicator because the perception remained high for many years prior to us introducing these real changes.
So, as we continue to take action on what we learn, it will likely take some time for the market to take notice. But I’m used to that; I remember walking into law firms not that much more than a decade ago who laughed at the idea that they might consider hiring a Chief Marketing Officer or managing their relationships in an organized way (for those who don’t know, I was one of the founders of InterAction after leaving my practice at Sidley Austin). Hopefully as we continue to listen, learn, and take action that adds value, the market will take notice and start to present the full story of the real transformation underway at Martindale-Hubbell.