File under: intelligent intelligence...
Aviva Cuyler and Adrian Lurssen's recent webinar introduction to JD Supra's Beacon Insights included great takeaways for marketers and business development managers looking for ways to use the real-time industry, company, and subject-specific data available via our latest analytics dashboards.
I think these points, which I gleaned from the webinar, are great action items for any team trying to establish a best practices approach to data, and business and competitive intelligence:
1. Arrive with specific questions in mind
The more directed you are when you log into your analytics, the better the outcome and the more helpful the data is to you. I love this tip articulated by Aviva in the webinar.
Focus on a specific industry, subject or company. Arrive with the question you want to have answered. One great example of this came via a use case (presented in the webinar) in which a South Carolina firm used data to validate their instinct that a particular subject had rising interest. That built internal consensus around content efforts - and the next step was to ask: with whom is this content resonating? The answer to that question lead to new work!
2. Use data to build internal consensus or break down silos
Use the data to get buy in from a particular group around a new focus or campaign and delegate this work to a variety of departments, such as Marketing, BD, Communications, Intelligence, etc.
Everyone will bring their own insights and questions to the data, and therefore their findings will be critical for a larger, internal understanding of the opportunities. (Again, there's a terrific use case in the webinar that shows this in action.)
3. Make viewing your analytics and data a regular thing
Just like signing up for the gym, the act of signing up alone will not help you reach your goals. You actually have to turn up.
The same goes for your analytics dashboards. Make checking in on your readership and reach part of your regular routine, whether that is once a week, once a month, once a quarter. It only works if you commit time to it.
4. Use data to guide attorneys to write about topics your target audience actually cares about
Frequently, marketing professionals suggest that, even if they have a willing participant writing inside the firm, that author isn't always writing about the topics their target audience cares about.
Beacon data helps uncover what readers in specific companies and industries care about most. Related to my point above about using data for internal consensus, there's nothing quite as valuable as being armed with the knowledge of reader interest as you walk into a meeting about content strategy and upcoming writing efforts.
5. Look for cross-marketing and new opportunities with existing clients
Do you see a current client you serve in one area (example: financial services) reading deeply about another area, such as employer liabilty issues? Your analytics can help shape how you approach this particular client, or prospect to expand your services.
Interesting story in the webinar about a client who used this data to offer a CLE to a high-value client when they realized the client was interested in a specific topic around which they had solid experience.
6. Gain insight into your competition
Are there firms or attorneys that have great visibility and thought leadership traction with a particular company or industry, or in one of your key practice areas? What are they writing about - and how are they doing it? Beacon data offers great competitive intelligence to influence everything from lateral hires to more focused content strategies to, as mentioned above, more informed client outreach and service. (Always a surprise when you see your clients reading other firms for insights you're not providing!)
7. Better understand your clients' business
Last but not least! I have yet to attend an in-house counsel panel in which the attorney clients on stage fail to say: "I need my outside counsel to deeply understand my business, my pain points, what keeps me up at night."
For all of the examples mentioned above - and many others articulated in the webinar - Beacon data helps you to understand client needs, concerns, interests, and business.
[Kara McKenna is Regional Business Development Director at JD Supra. Connect with her on LinkedIn to discuss Beacon and how JD Supra can help your firm's bottom line.]