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The rise of BD and marketing

The rise of BD and marketing

The Business Development (BD) and Marketing teams in Law firms continue to grow in 2023, with firms embracing and realising the benefits and the value of a well-run BD and Marketing team. Thomson Reuters notes an industry growth of BD and Marketing employees of 4% over the past 12 months. BD teams are now the 2nd biggest contributor to a firm’s overhead expenses, after office expenses. The roles on offer in these teams have never been greater or more diverse and now include:

  • BD Coordinator
  • BD Advisor/Consultant/Executive/Specialist
  • Senior BD Advisor/Business Partner
  • BD Manager
  • Bids and Pursuits Executive/Manager
  • Client Experience/Client Relationship Executives/Manager
  • Events Consultant/Manager
  • Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist/Manager
  • Chief of Marketing and Business Development

The growth of BD and Marketing teams across the industry has seen a lift in demand for experienced candidates resulting in salaries increasing by as much as 30% over the last 2 years.  As the talent war intensifies firms are looking to utilise the following to attract talent:

  • The more sophisticated BD teams have the luxury of being able to offer candidates more specialised roles enabling them to focus on the aspects of the job that might interest them, including client relationships, bids, or the pursuit space.
  • Flexibility. A hybrid or flexible work environment continues to be the number one concern when considering other opportunities in the market. Given many BD teams are national they can often offer more flexibility than afforded to lawyers.  Of course, for the more client-facing roles you are likely to be required in the office 3 to 4 days a week.
  • Bonuses. BD professionals work hard and over the last couple of years, bonus schemes have begun popping up (and rightly so). The firms with the more transparent and generous schemes continue to attract the most talent.

With not enough BD talent available within private practice in Australia, we have seen firms increasingly look to other professional service industries such as accounting or management consulting to fill the void. We are also seeing an increasing number of lawyers making the move across to BD teams; particularly those with plenty of client development experience who always had a natural flare for BD.

Finally, many firms are now considering BD professionals from international firms across the globe including HK, Singapore, NYC, London, and Europe. Given the now accepted value add of a high functioning BD team, many firms are open to sponsoring candidates.

If you are a candidate looking to explore opportunities in the market or a firm hoping to secure some talent, please contact Sommer on 0407 062 845.

Sommer Bath

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