What Makes Focusing on Industries SO Difficult.
Understanding your Client’s Industry is the single biggest differentiator among law firms according to 5,000 interviews with top legal decision-makers, reported by the BTI Consulting Group. YET, we still have a problem. Many lawyers don’t get it . . .
• Lawyers do NOT understand Industries.
The Legal 500 was seeking submissions for its US Ranking of law firm practice and industry groups “to help in-house lawyers and legal teams find the right advisors.” Amongst the list of Industries in which you could enter included “Environmental” and “Native American Law.” Important areas to be sure, but are these really industries, especially when you cannot help but add “Law” to the title? Then their categorizations go on to include “Media, Technology and Telecoms” . . . all lumped together as one industry?
• Industries that mature are comprised of a number of granular levels.
If you are a player in the Construction Industry, recognize it is comprised of 4 different Sub-Industries (TIER 2) like Special Trade Contractors; and those various Sub-Industries include 51 different Segments (TIER 3); and then there are numerous Micro-Niches (TIER 4) like 3D Printed Prefab Homes. So, listing yourself as an expert in the Construction Industry without going deeper, guarantees – that prospective clients are shopping elsewhere!
• What label you attach to your industry team actually matters.
Some law firms combine Health Care and Life Sciences as if they were the same industry. They are two very different groupings. The Health Care Industry is comprised of 4 Sub-Industries (like Hospitals and Health Services) and 89 different Segments; while Life Sciences has 5 Sub-Industries (like Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals) and 143 different Segments. And there are all kinds of TIER 4 Micro-Niches in both Industries capable of providing lawyers highly lucrative opportunities. Anyone name a firm specializing in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine, a multi-Billion dollar market niche?
• Some areas of lucrative opportunity may defy simple industry categorization.
The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is about connecting millions of digital objects, from trucks, refrigerators and hydro meters to the Internet. Data gleaned from the sensors and systems applied can then be used to monitor, control or redesign business processes. There are four expanding segments: makers and installers of physical sensors; connection providers (landline, wireless, telecoms, etc.); storage and security hardware and software (server farms, the cloud) to hold on to and encrypt all the collected data; and data analysis software. Networking titan Cisco Systems Inc. believes IoT represents a $19-trillion (U.S.) global market and predicts that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet in 2022.
So, any interest in better understanding industries?