Allen Matkins Engages Attorneys in Gathering Client Intelligence with Manzama

Business and social intelligence tools have become established applications for business professionals. Law firms have been rapidly adopting these platforms, which isolate client or prospect information from legal and industry-specific news sources, blogs, Twitter feeds and other social media, and deliver these results to the desktop. Though many law firm administrators have embraced the value proposition that business and social intelligence platforms offer – insights into activities that allow the firm to proactively address potential problems and opportunities with current clients and advance notice regarding opportunities with prospective clients, to name a few – encouraging firm members to use novel technologies can be an uphill battle. There’s institutional inertia—the inclination for staff to “do things the way we always do them.” And there’s the simple matter of time, especially for attorneys attempting to maximize billable hours and provide superior client service.

An Alternative to Google

“Before we were introduced to Manzama, we were working on various client and prospect tracking initiatives using results we obtained with Google, Google Alerts and other similar search engines,” recalled Helen Rizzo, Marketing Technology Administrator at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP in Irvine, California. “It was quite a cumbersome process to organize these results. Our Director of Marketing and Business Development, Adam Stock, and CTO, Frank Gillman, asked me to test Manzama. I was pleasantly surprised, even at the beginning – not only by the product but in dealing with the people at Manzama. I have never seen a group so dedicated to getting a product off the ground by listening to your comments and implementing them (sometimes overnight).

“Manzama quickly became an integral part of our research process, condensing efforts for both client and prospect pitches and management reports. It’s become an important part of our research ‘bundle.’ In many cases, we can combine intelligence gathered with Manzama (e.g., information from publications, blogs, etc.) with our internal relationship tools, and company filings/website listings to compile a complete company profile. We recently started utilizing Manzama to produce our weekly newsletters. Once fine-tuned and fully-implemented, this will result in huge cost savings to the firm— research that used to take 10 to 15 hours a week can now be completed in less than five hours. Early critiques concerning the content from the author attorneys have been extremely complimentary.”

Initiating a “Partner Blitz” to Foster Usage

In some Am Law 100 firms where Manzama has been deployed, business development and marketing personnel make up the core user constituency. At Allen Matkins, the platform has become a regular feature on attorney desktops. “Many of the attorneys have grown to depend on the daily reports that they receive from Manzama to stay on top of their clients’ business,” Helen Rizzo continued. She went on to explain how the firm engaged practitioners with the platform. “We introduced Manzama with a roll-out program we called the Partner Blitz. Out of 20 partners, only one partner was unable to participate due to a client meeting—but we had attorneys ready to step in to fill the slot. We got many positive comments, and the questions used by Manzama to develop the customized profiles (that program searches according to user/practice group criteria) are currently being used by our team to assist attorneys in developing their profiles. I would say the Partner Blitz was the single most important factor in causing the organic growth of the product within our firm.

“We’ve also implemented a “token” application which allows users logged into our system to access Manzama through our Marketing Center wiki without providing another username and password. This is huge when trying to get attorney buy-in. To foster use, you need to make access as easy as possible.”

Allen Matkins is a California-based law firm specializing in real estate, litigation, labor, tax, and business law, with approximately 220 attorneys in four major metropolitan areas of California: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, and San Diego. From the firm’s base in California, Allen Matkins serves the needs of clients whose interests are national and increasingly global. For more than 30 years, the firm has prided itself on providing creative solutions, pragmatism, exemplary quality, and approachability, and its network of contacts and connections in business and government is unparalleled.