If you are a marketer, you probably think of yourself as a creative person, and when you think legal, maybe you think…not so creative. But is this a fair assessment? As someone with experience in both marketing and legal departments, I can say both are driven by a determination help the customer succeed. In this blog, I’ll outline five tips to help your marketing and legal teams work better together.
Help Me Help You
Perhaps the biggest misconception about legal is that it is their job to say no. But that is simply not true. Legal wants to say yes. Yes to connecting with the customer. Yes to showcasing our company. Yes to helping our team. In-house counsel wants to help you create the best possible relationship with the customer. At the same time, however, our job is ultimately about limiting risk. While this means we cannot always say yes right away, it also means we will work tirelessly to help you until we can.
We Like to Read…But Not That Much
It is not wrong to assume that most members of your legal team enjoy reading and writing since it is such an integral part of our daily work. I know I do! But here is a little secret; sometimes, thinking like a member of a legal team is as simple as using your critical reading skills. One of the best ways to help me help you is to put on your lawyer hat and read through a document before coming to legal. That way, you’ll have a much better understanding of what questions to ask, and how we can help.
All This = Creative Collaboration
Just as marketers work creatively and collaboratively to share their message, a legal team brings the same spirit to drawing up contracts and negotiating deals. This creative energy not only runs through teams, it can also exist between them. Next time you approach legal, instead of simply handing something off, consider ways you can work together to solve your challenges. With a little preparation beforehand, you’re already halfway to a solution.
We’re More Than Just “the Law”
It’s important to remember that, just as your interests don’t all center around marketing, your legal team’s interests don’t all center around the law. It’s also important to remember that legal advice regarding personal matters should be solicited from your attorney. The casual conversation with someone from your legal team at the water cooler about your neighbor’s incessant dog barking, and what you should do about it, isn’t legal advice. Just like this blog you’re reading isn’t legally binding.
The Secret Weapon of the Marketer
Last, but certainly not least, marketers can share their passion for the product they’re marketing with their legal team. You know what sets your product apart and makes it special in a way legal might not. Imparting this knowledge and passion with the legal team is a way to share your message. After all, it’s not just about reaching customers, it’s also about educating employees within your company as well.
How is your relationship with your legal team? What might you do differently when you approach a situation that requires your legal team? I’d love to hear about it.