Last week witnessed something of a ‘test case’ in the increasingly vital world of digital events when Financial Times hosted ‘The Global Boardroom’ as part of its Digital Dialogues series. A stellar speaker line-up, which included former prime ministers and vice presidents, central bank governors and various high-profile CEOs of MNCs and NGOs, ensured the requisite ‘quality eyeballs’ for the host.

Bar one or two minor tech hiccups, the three-day event was universally acknowledged as a great success. But whether sponsors and partners feel the same way will be the ‘test’, given they were charged the same rates as they would have been for an in-person event.

Few would deny that we are in the throes of a full-scale digital revolution, with the Covid-19 crisis accelerating innovation and disruption as well as heightening expectations. This is reflected in global stock markets, which are primarily being driven up by tech-based firms as institutional and retail investors target the potential for new and emerging businesses and industries.

In addition to tech, the other major investment megatrend of the next decade is likely to be sustainable investing … otherwise known as environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. With the Covid-19 experience fostering a growing collective awareness and sense of mutual responsibility, there appears to be a renewed focus on the importance of strong corporate governance and sustainable and diverse supply chains, as well as on the need to finally address the climate crisis.

Identifying and targeting growth opportunities is of course normally one of the functions of Business Development. But in this age of uncertainty, complexity and volatility, BD teams are adopting more of a supportive role for clients – providing them with clarity, calmness and options.

In a recent webinar with Lawyers Weekly, Sue-Ella Prodonovich, principal at Prodonovich Advisory in Sydney, talks about how BD teams can effectively nurture client relationships during a pandemic and grow the law firm business at the same time.

“Look at the sentiment of your clients and how they work,” she says. “What we’re doing now is business development to a market of one. By that I mean we’re looking at each contact and saying, ‘what’s going on in their world, what is their sentiment, and here’s the information I’ve got that will help them’.”

Creating a personalised buying experience is the very definition of account-based marketing. But while many firms are familiar with the concept, we still see too many examples of content creation without a clear objective or audience in mind. Developing a documented content marketing strategy should be the starting point for any law firm hoping to target growth opportunities in 2020 and beyond.