LMA Recap: It’s All About the Relationships

April 24, 2014 John Simpson

Eight of us from One North traveled to Orlando the first week of April for the 2014 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference. There’s something really special about this event that comes when you bring 1,200 like-minded professionals together. It consistently delivers some of the most valuable, information-packed, fun-filled days of the year.

The legal marketing industry is a closely intertwined and interconnected group, and many of these individuals have known each other and worked together – sometimes in different roles at different firms – for years. With a common denominator in terms of professional interests and more often than not, personality, this community has forged some tight, enduring bonds of friendship.

But it’s more than friendships. It’s relationships. We’re all in the relationship-selling business, and this event has a way of bringing the meaning, and the power, of relationships to life. Together, we share ideas, information and insights designed to collectively advance the industry. We understand each other’s needs. We build a rapport through our shared experiences, and we create trust through transparency and authenticity. Our bonds are genuine and honest. We forge working partnerships with one another, and we turn to each other for support, feedback and inspiration.

This year’s inspiration was sparked by presentations addressing topics ranging from social media, big data and CRM to winning profitable new business, generational marketing and trends in law firm PR. Keynote speaker Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon, was rallying, insightful and incredibly dynamic in her talk about leadership and relationships. She offered wonderful wisdom sound bites (no pun intended) that resonated with the group ("If not me, who? If not now, when?” and “If you don’t build new relationships and new partnerships, your competition will.”).

Kalev Peekna and I were very excited to represent One North as we led one of the breakout sessions, a game show-styled presentation we call “Playing the Relationship Game in Today’s Connected World.” We pulled a handful of contestants from the audience and invited them to participate by taking a guess Price Is Right style to help identify interactive trends, reveal best practices for building digital relationships and shed light on some of the key findings from our most recent General Counsel Survey. It was entertaining and lively to have a roomful of marketers not only competing for prizes, but also sharing some of their challenges and success stories so that others can learn and grow.

LMA reminds us all of the awesomeness that prevails when relationships are strong. It’s so great to connect with this community! It brings our One North team closer together, too, as we bond with each other and our clients. And this is why we come back, year after year.


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John Simpson Chief Executive Officer

John Simpson is one of One North’s founders and serves as the Chief Executive Officer. For more than 20 years, John has been helping professional services marketers engage with their clients and grow their organizations through brand-based digital marketing experiences. He is a frequent author and speaker as it relates to relationship development, digital strategy and marketing innovation.

  • Favorite season: Summer. Summer makes everyone feel like a kid again.
  • Super power: Positivity. A psychology professor once told me that humans are predisposed to be positive. His logic was that the cave man faced so many challenges – sabre tooth tigers, starvation, cold weather, disease – that they had to be positive just to survive until the next day. I can’t say whether or not this theory has scientific merit, but it’s good enough for me!

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