In this edition of Training Tips from Terri we cover industry-centered marketing. TerraLex is presently developing an industry-centered marketing focus and infrastructure to help our members identify new ways to collaborate with each other and with clients. In client interviews and General Counsel forums, we resoundingly hear that your clients expect you to understand their business and industry so your legal advice has ever-more meaningful context. There is much to learn by studying industries. Understanding the risks and opportunities facing a particular industry lends itself to marketing and business development activities and can help move you from a service provider to a trusted advisor.
I recently attended a program in which there was a panel of four General Counsel, each representing different industries. One question posed to the panel asked them to identify the key drivers of innovation in their industries. Here’s a summary of the replies.
- Healthcare – In the US, the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act has everyone’s attention but there is a larger issue represented that impacts the healthcare industry globally. Generally, for companies that provide services to hospitals and others in the healthcare industry anywhere, they are impacted by things that cause hospitals and other providers to cut their budgets. A service an outside lawyer with a good industry perspective could consider is to monitor country-specific key legislative and regulatory developments and then provide that information rapidly, coupled with specific advice about how clients should react and respond.
- Pharmaceuticals – There is a significant increase in the amount of generic drugs (80% of drugs now are generic, yet that only represents 20% of the amount spent on pharmaceuticals – the cost of non-generics is huge). Pharmaceutical companies are seeking new revenue streams. Some are focused now on “bio-similars,” which are somewhat like generic versions of biologics, drugs made of live protein that are not synthetically manufactured. You can’t exactly replicate biologics since they are live, but you can create something quite similar. For outside lawyers, this could have an impact on services you provide to pharmaceutical clients, such as in the areas of patenting, licensing and financing.
- Banking – There is a lot of consolidation in banking. In many parts of the world, the cost of the regulatory compliance burden is causing many smaller banks to get acquired because they can’t survive on their own. Generally, it’s clear that banks won’t be the innovators in financial services; rather it is the payment processing companies such as Bitcoin and others in the Fin Tech industry. Innovation in this industry is generally slowed down by regulations. An outside lawyer seeking to leverage these trends should become knowledgeable about what’s happening in the payment processing companies.
- Online Brokerages – These companies are seeking ways to add value as many previous avenues are now considered merely the normal way of doing business. Things such as access to information and speed of execution are no longer differentiators for a brokerage looking to compete. Instead, these companies are focusing on the user experience through front end desktop applications. Also, they are using artificial intelligence to innovate such as with the online application process and risk management. A lawyer seeking to add value to clients in this industry should be well informed about the risks faced by these companies, such as cyber security, and be ready to give practical suggestions.
We’d welcome your comments and insights about the industries you serve, too.
Terri Pepper Gavulic
8350 NW 52nd Terrace, Suite 410
Miami, FL 33166