Business success of any firm. When broken down into

Business Development is often described as
the missing link between Marketing and Sales and, to a certain degree, this is
true in the legal services sector too. Whilst there are undoubtedly enormous
cross overs between Marketing and Business Development in legal services, there
are several fundamental differences that make the effectiveness of both
departments vital to the success of any firm.

When broken down into their specific areas,
Marketing is the promotion of the Marks & Clerk brand, more commonly in an
indirect manner, with the ultimate aim of catching the eye of potential clients
and pushing the brand name further out into the public domain so it becomes more
and more prominent in individual’s minds. This also includes the strapline of
the firm, for example, Ernst & Young use the strapline “Building a better
world”. The aim of Marketing will be to push that four word catch phrase
further out into the public so that individuals or companies subconsciously
associate Ernst & Young with that catch phrase, thus painting the firm in a
positive image.

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Business Development tends to be much more
targeted then marketing. Whereas the job of the Marketing team is to push the firms
brand out into the open, Business Development is more focused around specific
opportunities that the firm can take advantage of in order to bring in more work
and ultimately increase revenues. These opportunities can take many forms – such
as pitches/proposals, hosting events, sponsoring events or organizing meetings
between Partners and potential clients. Once these opportunities have been
identified, there will usually be a plan of action put in place in order for
the firm to maximize potential gains from this opportunity. This will be
discussed between the Business Development team and the Partners and can
involve deciding who to send to a particular event, who should be involved in a
particular proposal team/pitch to a client, or which clients we would
specifically like to invite to an event in order to get our Partners in front
of them.

As I mentioned earlier, these two
departments do not act in isolation and are very much tied together when it
comes to overall success. Having identified the key differences, there are also
major overlaps the make success dependent on both departments effectiveness.
The best example of this is if Marks & Clerk decided to sponsor a
particular external event. The Business Development aspect would be identifying
the event, deciding which Partners should attend and who we want out partners
to target with regards to networking. Marketing then also come into play by
providing effective collateral and branding that can really catch the eye of
prospective clients and ensure that Marks & Clerk are at the front of their
minds for any IP needs. This is the perfect example of Business Development and
Marketing working hand in hand to effectively promote and develop clients and
revenue streams for Marks & Clerk.

So ultimately, although they work very
closely together, the difference between the two areas are that Marketing is
the indirect promotion of the firms branding and expertise into the public
domain, whereas Business Development is the targeted identification of opportunities
for the firm to bring in more work, increase revenue, grow and develop as a
result.