I always used to say to clients that I wasn't an expert in Marketing and that they needed to speak with a specialist in order to get some good advice.
I don't say that anymore.
Mostly this is because I have sat in an awful lot of marketing meetings and so have some of the basics (which is often what is needed in smaller firms and chambers) under my fingers now. More importantly, however, it is because of the importance of strategic understanding in the sales function.
Sales and Marketing will only work properly if the firm/chambers knows what it is trying to do. This may, of course, be a pragmatic decision based on the mauling that Legal Aid has had recently or may be a change of strategic decision. How ever it has been reached, however, it is vital that there (a) is actually a strategy in place; that (b) that everyone knows what the strategy is; and (c) that the strategy is used to drive the marketing effort - not the other way round.
Marketing specialists are wonderful people, on the whole, but are often not the best people to look at a business strategy. Being marketing professionals, any strategy the help to device will inevitably be marketing or sales focussed - which can be a problem if the organisation isn't clear on what it wants to sell more of.
It sounds obvious - but I've seen it done badly more often that I would like to admit. The outcome is an expensive campaign which, at best, brings in some additional sales in an area of the business that is declining or in which the business isn't interested. At worst, it's just a waste of money.