5 minutes with… Leor Franks, Business Development & Marketing Director at Kingsley Napley

This month I’m delighted to be speaking to Leor Franks, Business Development & Marketing Director at Kingsley Napley, one of the UK’s leading law firms.

Here’s his 5 minutes with…

What is your marketing background?

I was originally a journalist, then went to business school and started working in consulting. After a few years, I moved over into marketing and 15 years have flown by! My first Director role was at Deloitte in 2008, then EY for four years, then FTI Consulting for five years, and then to legal services firm Augusta as CMO.

What does your role at Kingsley Napley involve?

I lead the Business Development & Marketing and Knowledge & Information functions, and am a member of the board. My focus right now is on building up our team and embedding a business development culture with a clear planning process including defined metrics for our spend and activity.

The team recently won the Marketing/BD/PR ‘Team Of The Year’ at the Citywealth Brand Management and Reputation Awards, congratulations! How important is PR, particularly in the legal sector?

Reputation is incredibly important in the legal sector. To my mind, reputation is one of the 4 Rs of the brand/comms/marketing/BD continuum, or what I call the Favourability Journey: Recognition, Reputation, Relationships, and Revenue.

Prior to your time at Kingsley Napley you were Managing Director of Marketing Communications at FTI Consulting and at the recent B2B Marketing Ignite conference you shared a story where you creatively took on the bigger players at Davos with far, far lower budgets. How much did/do you enjoy developing strategies and tactics that cut through against the bigger players, without costing the earth?

I’ve enjoyed elements of all my roles over the years. But I feel particular pride when I look back at tactics that allowed us to cut through whilst under-spending larger competitors.

What would be the advice you would give to marketing leaders who are in similar position at challenger brands but struggling to make that cut through?

Focus on your target clients. Understand where they are on their journey with you, and what issues are keeping them up at night. If your brand can provide insights that helps resolve these issues, then you will stand a good chance of cutting through, no matter how much others are spending.

Focus on your target clients. Understand where they are on their journey with you, and what issues are keeping them up at night. If your brand can provide insights that helps resolve these issues, then you will stand a good chance of cutting through, no matter how much others are spending.

You’re now working in the legal sector, how has legal marketing evolved in recent years?

There’s an increasing willingness to adopt account based marketing techniques that have been the norm in accounting for many years. This requires a greater focus on the ‘pull’ of client needs, and less of a ‘push’ around whatever you are selling.

It’d be remiss not to mention Covid, how have you had to adapt your marketing approach during the pandemic?

As with every other firm, Zoom has become the forum for many of our client activities, and our social media profile has increased as online engagement becomes increasingly popular.

You’ve had a seat at the table with the leadership team in your recent roles, how important is that for professional services marketing leaders?

I think it’s critical not only to have the opportunity to get buy in to marketing strategy at the top table from senior leaders, but also to add value by offering the ‘voice of the customer’ and other forms of market data to help shape the full range of topics debated at board level.

If you could only report on three marketing KPI’s what would they be?

I’d offer only one: CLV Customer Lifetime Value.

What advice would you give to any marketing leaders who are struggling to get their voices heard in a leadership environment?

Consider how you can add value. Often this can be through data and insights on your clients and the wider market. Take this to the top table without an agenda and in some firms a seat at the table will be made available to you.

Consider how you can add value. Often this can be through data and insights on your clients and the wider market. Take this to the top table without an agenda and in some firms a seat at the table will be made available to you.

Finally, thinking back over your career to date, what’s the best piece of marketing advice you’ve ever been given?

Build it once, use it many times. This maxim is particularly relevant for content – don’t just publish a blog on your website, find the X other channels where it can reach your client, and you’ll get far greater value out of the investment of time and money required to produce great material.