I had the privilege of studying under Dr Shiv Mathur, former marketing guru at Cass Business School (he retired in 1997). Mathur pointed out a major problem with ‘marketing’. There are no fixed definitions for any of the terms used. Marketing people make them up as they see fit. Fashion and changing markets throw up new definitions. What ‘banner ad’ meant then is very different from what it means today. From that standpoint, then, it’s not surprising that marketing and legal services often don’t mix very well. Though their aims may be the same (helping clients achieve things), the methods of communicating can be very different. Dr Mathur suggested marketing would never achieve its full potential until the marketing industry fixed the meaning of the terms it used. The professions had to do this more than a century ago. Medicine and the law have very strict and clear definitions which make communication very clear, efficient and effective. Here are what I believe to be the generally understood roles of marketing activity: Marketing directors – strategy: Deliver the answers to questions like, where will our customers be? What will they want between now and three to five years’ time? What does our organisation need to do profitably to serve our future client needs? Equivalent to a partner. Marketing managers – turn strategy into action: Organise the business’s internal processes profitably to serve future client need. Define the client groups and look for ways to communicate benefits to them through promotions. Equivalent to a senior solicitor fee-earner. Marketing executives – daily work towards strategy goals: Usually the production end of the scale dealing with print, websites and promotional activity. Equivalent to an associate or trainee solicitor. Of course, these are subject to change at any moment, and I may be a little out of date. People tend to make up job titles to fit their career aspirations or as an alternative to pay increases. As marketing management becomes increasing important to the future of legal services, a clear understanding of where and how marketing skills can complement a solicitors’ firm will save a lot of time and expense.