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The Marketing Technologist's Guide to ILTACON2016

By Cynthia McCollough posted 07-19-2016 11:57


I was on a Facebook group for legal marketers the other day, and someone posed the question “What one conference would you go to if you are responsible for marketing technology at your law firm?” Without hesitation I answered ILTA, for so many reasons:

1.      Marketing is all about technology. When was the last time your marketing department implemented a new program that didn’t rely on technology to facilitate its success? Whether email marketing, websites, social media, pitches, blogs, client management…, marketing programs require technology to help make the magic happen. You’ve probably seen the stat that, by 2017, the CMO will outspend the CIO on IT. It is the job of marketing technologists to evaluate, recommend, and manage the technologies that marketers use. So attending a legal-specific and technology-focused conference just makes good sense.

“I'm in marketing but I work with IT quite a bit. ILTA is a great opportunity for me to get time with our IT people and learn what our firms plans are for the coming year. I've been able to sit in on lots of demos with them and bring marketing's perspective to the conversation. It's also helps when I'm evaluating new products for our team - what will work better overall with our firm's larger infrastructure. I've learned a ton of info from ILTA that has strengthened my overall tech knowledge.” Ann Meyer, Technology Manager, Marketing and Business DevelopmentMcDermott Will & Emery

2.      Marketing technology is all about how things work together. If you're in marketing tech, you need to understand project management, database structure, data governance, APIs, and how your tech fits in with the tech of all the other administrative departments. ILTA gives marketers the opportunity to listen to and meet with the people who can help make your job easier, and help you learn about how your piece of the puzzle fits in with the other administrative departments.

"ILTA…is amazing. The key to great marketing tech solutions is usually integrating information from systems that marketing doesn't 'own'. As others have said, knowing more broadly what's out there, what's possible, and how to make it happen is incredibly valuable." ~ Kelly Harbour, Associate Director of Client Relations at Goulston & Storrs

3.      ILTA is all about making connections between people, processes, and technologies. I am listing out the marketing technology sessions below, but I always make sure to attend sessions outside of my comfort zone. Learning about best practices in information governance, for instance, can provide great insight into how new privacy regulations might impact your CRM system, and the sessions on leadership are incredibly powerful and help you think big picture, no matter your role.

Marketing Technology Sessions:

Date and Time



Monday, 08/29/2016  1-2pm

BFFs: Marketing and IT Are in This Together!

Marketing and IT work together on projects all the time, but they don't always speak the same language. We're putting some marketing and IT duos on the hot seat and asking them a series of revealing questions to determine how well they know each other (or don't). Walk away knowing how to better communicate with your other half!


Monday, 08/29/2016  4-5pm

Stand Out from the Crowd: Building the Brand Called You

What is your personal brand? It is your unique calling card outlining who you are, what you do and how you do it. In today’s competitive job market, there is no room for being just another face in the crowd. Whether you are at the beginning of your career and looking to advance or a seasoned professional changing your career trajectory, you can benefit from focusing on your personal brand. In this hands-on workshop, learn how to identify and develop your unique brand to help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Walk away with a template and action plan for building and managing your personal brand.


Tuesday, 08/30/2016  1:30-2:30p

Using Competitive Intelligence To Improve Strategies and Decision-Making


The use of competitive intelligence (CI) as a critical tool to improve performance, drive revenue and gain competitive advantage is now commonplace in law firms. Yet there are marketing and library professionals who have taken big (and little) data to great new heights. Learn about their innovative processes, including the use of marketing and competitive intelligence dashboards that provide users with easy-to-use CI data.


Wednesday, 08/31/2016  9-10am

Finding a Needle in a Haystack with 21st-Century Expertise Systems

Expertise location systems are ubiquitous at law firms of all sizes and are key solutions that help with everything from responding to client proposals to finding the right attorney to help with a particular matter. An effective expertise location tool can be a differentiator for law firms, yet they are tricky because of the need to pull together multiple sources of information while providing clear answers. People from the trenches will share their experiences of implementing various solutions and tips and tricks to keep in mind when you're evaluating a new solution.


Wednesday, 08/31/2016  1:30 – 2:30pm

Mapping the Customer Journey

Mapping the journey our customers take will help us identify touchpoints so we can serve them better. Hear from law firms and vendors that are bringing together a full spectrum of marketing technologies, including client relationship management, social media, websites and business intelligence tools, to help firms identify the who, what and where of client engagement.


Thursday, 09/01/2016  2:45 – 6pm

Learning To Prosper Using the Client Data You Already Have

Law firms have much more client data available to them than they realize. Financial data, matter experience, client budgets, client touchpoints and your knowledge of your client's business exist in different places within your firm and from increasingly sophisticated external sources. If brought together, this information can help you do a better job for your clients, make your firm more profitable, improve your development of new business and strengthen your client management. We'll look at ways firms can break down the walls between business units to uncover, share, analyze and use information to accomplish multiple goals. We will explore real-world scenarios in which you can use data you already have to improve results and then rethink the results to tell the next chapter in the story.


Thursday, 09/01/2016  2:45 – 4:30pm

The Gang's All Here! A Marketing Technology Roundtable

Join this interactive session with your marketing peers! Proposed topics and questions will be gathered during the Communities of Interest on Sunday. Come ready to ask questions, express your thoughts and share ideas.



And a few sessions that aren’t marketing specific, but that I recommend from years past (get there early to nab a seat!)


Date and Time



Monday, 08/29/2016  2:30 – 3:30pm

60 Tools in 60 Minutes for IT Professionals

Every IT professional develops a collection of favorite tools and software to manage their network, provide end-user services and execute a particular task or function. Some are free; some are not. Come listen as a panel of IT pros lay bare 60 of their favorite apps geared to enhancing your IT efficiency.


Tuesday, 08/30/2016  1:30-2:30p

Leadership Through Change (Sharon Swartworth Leadership Development Seminar)

It’s time to talk about leading through change. Brigadier General LeAnne Burch (retired) will look at the profile and qualities of a great leader in terms of position, ranks and actions, and the concept of modeling vs. mentoring. She will discuss strategies in the battlefield — assessing the battlefield, the troops and how training affects success. How can you use these qualities and strategies in the legal environment? Let's discuss embracing change, recognizing future leaders and capitalizing on their initiative, and why mentorship is such a big deal.


Thursday, 09/01/2016  9-10am

ILTA Showcase: Fast and Furious Presentations by Distinguished Peer Award Nominees

Watch as some of ILTA's Distinguished Peer Awards short-list nominees share their stories with ILTACON attendees. Presented in TED-style talks, each presenter will have five minutes to share something valuable. Expect to hear about project highlights, innovations and accomplishments. Come see what your peers are working on!


Other tips:

·        Download the app early, and start planning your sessions. The app really is awesome (due to be available July 2016).

·        Don’t plan on doing other work while at conference – there is so much to see and do, even during coffee breaks, that it would be a shame to close yourself off in your hotel room. Even just sitting in the open spaces taking it all in, you’ll likely run into a friend or two, and who knows what happens next.

·        Get social – if you’re on Twitter, tweet the key takeaways from each session. Not only will you be helping peers that couldn’t make the conference (or the session) but you are also improving your chances of being quoted by media following the conference (yay personal branding!). Follow ILTACON on Twitter @ILTAConf and use the hashtag #ILTACON plus the hashtag of the session you are attending.

·        Don’t skip breakfast – you will meet loads of interesting people. Ask what was their best session so far, what they are attending next, how many times they’ve been to the conference. There is always something to learn.

·        Newbies: take advantage of ILTACON2016 Buddy System -  you’ll be paired up with an experienced ILTACON attendee who will you take you under their wing and give you the insider’s perspective on having a great ILTACON experience.

·        Don’t miss the vendor exhibit hall – when I was new to legal many moons ago, I was stunned at how different (read: better) the ILTA vendor booths were. Tons of good info, truly high end swag, and great food and drink. Vendors don’t just send out booth people either; they send their product people, who can answer your tough questions.

 Looking forward to seeing everyone at ILTACON2016! 

#iltacon2016 #Marketing #ILTACON #martech #MarketingandBusinessDevelopment #ProfessionalDevelopment