The world has seen the rise of rapid and easy access to raw information in this century. The ability, however, to gain insight from information abundance has failed to keep pace.
Law firm competitive intelligence (CI) is no exception. Information flows freely but insight remains scarce. And insight is a key ingredient for firms to win new business and deliver the highest client value. Many surveys have found that clients want outside counsel who understand their company, their industry and their challenges. To help firms gain this understanding, CI must deliver the right insights.
Working on this issue is why I’m excited about the upcoming ARK Group conference, Competitive Intelligence in the Modern Law Firm, on September 25 in New York City. LAC Group is sponsoring this thirteenth annual event and I will chair it.
At ARK CI, I will moderate a panel that will discuss the insight issue. I appreciate the participation of:
Loubaba Mulcahy, Manager of Competitive Intelligence, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Angela Petros, Chief Marketing Officer, Morrison & Foerster LLP
Trish Lilley, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Setting the stage
To set the stage for discussion, I’ll start with a basic model of how competitive intelligence is delivered. We’ll take a very quick look at the full lifecycle but focus on steps during initiation and delivery that CI professionals can take to deliver insight:
I will then tee-up the question of how best to deliver information. One illustration is going from a 20+ page report to an infographic:
Engaging requesters to capture their attention
Insight requires engagement—requesters must internalize results CI provides and act on it. To engage requestors with a helpful answer, we have to know the real question. We’ll discuss how often we know the full context and real question. And what we might be able to do to get more of it.
Knowing the real question is necessary, but not sufficient to engage. CI analysts also have to present a compelling answer. We’ll discuss what types of output we deliver and whether, as illustrated above, we should move from the text-heavy to the image-heavy.
Have you noticed how the most successful consumer digital services anticipate what we want? Think Netflix, Amazon and Spotify. So we should also be interested in whether CI professionals can anticipate requester needs. Do they need to wait for questions or can they deliver meaningful information on competitors before requestors even know they need it?
I doubt we will have a complete answer in one session but we will make some headway exploring approaches to anticipating, which may include using data science or creating user profiles. And consideration of how much is too much—when do we become too intrusive?
Some more information about the conference
Registration starts at 8:30 AM accompanied by a networking breakfast, with my opening remarks following at 9:00 AM.
Learn more about the conference and book your tickets now to reserve your seat.