Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog
Category: Law Firm Competitive Intelligence
Apr 10, 2012
I am managing director of a 45 attorney firm in Pittsburg. Due to changes in our client industries, competition from both regional and national law firms, and shrinking demand we are starting to work on our first strategic plan. I have been hearing a lot about competitive intelligence. Should this be part of our planning process?
Competitive intelligence is a popular term being used to describe information gathering (secondary research) on your clients, client industries, prospective or target clients, competitors, geographic markets, emerging practice areas, etc. Its goals are to provide actionable intelligence that provides a competitive edge. It reduces risk and identifies opportunities.
All strategic plans should contain a secondary research (competitive intelligence) component. Research objectives might focus on one or all of the following:
1. Identify prospects
2. Spot litigation activity for current and prospective clients
3. Identify emerging litigation issues and trends
4. Improve the quality of your client proposals
5. Identify lateral candidates
6. Identify potential acquisition and merger partners
7. Identify emerging client and industry needs
8. Identify emerging new practice areas
9. Explore expansion into new geographic locations
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC