Continuing Legal Education Vendor Marketing Options: "Thinking Small is the New Big"

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Melissa Renee Rogozinski, founder of ESI Roundtable LLC, shares observations about why CLE solution providers aren’t getting better ROI from their traditional marketing and business development efforts.

Melissa Renee Rogozinski, ESI Roundtable LLC

"CLEs are playing the same game, only with a different name."

Melissa Renee Rogozinski, founder of ESI Roundtable LLC and contributor to Jaffe PR's Legal Vendor Marketing Blog, explains why Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program vendors are not getting better ROI for their constant marketing efforts.

In her latest article for the Legal Vendor Marketing blog, Rogozinski explains why CLEs need to stop selling. “It’s not a sales pitch, I promise,” she says.

Most CLEs still expect business from the same old e-discovery trade shows, and the attendees still expect a sales pitch. “But how much revenue have you really generated from all these CLEs?" asks Rogozinski.

"CLEs are playing the same game, only with a different name." Since there are hundreds of e-discovery service providers offering consulting, forensics, acquisition, processing, hosting, production, etc. at these trade shows, Rogozinski says calling one's own solution by a different name and expecting that to be enough (as in a sale or new business), just isn’t enough.

Instead, she suggests that CLE solution providers think in terms of "KISS" –in this case: Keep It Small Sponsors. A midst the deafening noise of the big-box conventions, a new trend has been quietly developing in some mid-size, under-served legal services markets. Judges and lawyers in legal communities outside the major U.S. metro areas are coming together locally to educate their own in matters of e-discovery. This new forum offers tremendous benefits to locals, as well as vendors.

“When locals present e-discovery CLEs, there is no sales pitch.” Rogozinski maintains that the lack of an underlying sales pitch expectation drives in a true targeted audience of judges, plaintiff and defense lawyers, and litigation support staff from a large number of firms within that community, at least half of whom are EDD decision-makers.

“The local (marketing) game is different,” she goes on to say. “Your content is more rich, more relevant and credible when it’s coming from the folks who play in the same sandbox!” Rogozinski says these types of events are not trade shows and there are no vendors "so there is very little competition." The best part is that local e-discovery forums only last about one to two hours.

Rogozinski also suggests that CLEs consider asking to be the exclusive sponsor of local e-discovery programs. "Sponsoring locally is a much smaller spend, and you can have a room full of decision-makers all to yourself."

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Susan Holmes
Jaffe PR
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