Industry Group Market Assessment
A regional powerhouse firm creates a strategy to evolve and succeed after learning through client feedback interviews that its core assumptions for an important practice group are false
Wicker Park Group was approached by a firm with a strong regional presence in one industry to conduct client feedback interviews. One of the firm’s more dominant and visible practice groups had been a very successful and key part of the firm historically. The firm hired Wicker Park Group to interview both existing and potential clients of the practice group in an effort to assess client satisfaction and potential opportunities.
While the practice group held strong beliefs about its position in the marketplace and felt it was not getting certain work due to factors outside of its control, the interviews revealed a different story. Over the course of 20 years, the industry had changed and the practice group was no longer competing at the highest levels or maintaining a top market position.
While some attorneys within the practice were less surprised at the revelations, some of the elder statesmen in the firm were very alarmed. Importantly, the firm and practice group had not conducted an honest conversation about how to evolve and succeed within the new industry reality.
After about a dozen interviews and reaching out to additional clients, the firm quickly realized it needed to adapt and reposition itself for new opportunities within the same sector. Some of its initial steps included:
- Shifting the focus of who Wicker Park Group was interviewing on behalf of the firm and why
- Making client feedback an important part of firm and practice group strategy and direction going forward
- Reviewing the firm’s business development spending so that attorneys who had been spending large amounts of money in areas with no real prospects could better focus on areas with genuine prospects
- Changing the mindset among the attorneys to acknowledge that the firm now makes economic and compensation decisions based on current profits and client feedback instead of historical successes
While the practice group is continuing to serve industry clients it has served for years, it is being smarter about opportunities within its industry and more efficiently deploying resources with the intention of going after and capturing the work that will realistically bring in dollars.