Managing Your Legal and Marketing Team Relationship
If you are running a business, you may be getting many messages at once, particularly from your legal and marketing teams. Your trade mark lawyers tell you to register a trade mark before putting it out into the marketplace. On the other hand, your marketing team wants to push forward with the advertising campaign this week. It can be hard to know what to do with these mixed priorities, and it may create discord between your teams. If you have a marketing team and a legal team that might not have the strongest relationship, this article will help. It explores some methods for managing the relationship between your marketing and legal teams, particularly when it comes to trade marks.
Run Legal Training Sessions
A great way for the marketing team to understand legal considerations is to have the legal team run a training session. They should cover the legal considerations they make before giving trade mark advice to your business. The relationship between legal and marketing will improve when the marketing team understands the legal team’s point of view. They will be better able to engage with the legal team’s concerns during marketing campaigns.
Run Marketing Training Sessions
On the other hand, the marketing team should also run training sessions for the legal team. This will help your trade mark lawyers understand the marketing team, their considerations and how they strategise for marketing campaigns. In addition, describing how marketing campaigns work and what goes into them can help create understanding between the teams.
For example, your trade mark lawyers may want to keep your new logo a secret until registration, while the marketing team wants to use it to promote the business as soon as possible. If both teams can understand the other point of view, a compromise may be possible.
Engage With Each Other Early
Engaging with each other early is a great way to get ahead of issues that the other team might not be aware of. For example, the marketing team can approach the legal team early with ideas to undertake a preliminary trade mark search before too much time and money is invested in the new logo. This can save your business significant time and money, as the marketing team will not have to go through a long process for a trade mark that they cannot register.
Secondments involve rotating staff around to different teams temporarily so they can understand different areas of the company. Sending junior and senior staff to work with other departments is a great way to:
- foster trust;
- upskill your workforce; and
- ensure that all parties fully appreciate the complexities of other departments’ work.
You should promote secondments between departments that regularly work with each other if you can afford them. This includes the marketing and legal team.
Create a Common Language
Another way to create synergy is to ensure clear communication between teams.
For example, marketing teams might use words like “SEO” or “Bottom of the Funnel” or “Bounce Rate”, which lawyers would not have much of an idea about generally. On the other hand, lawyers might use terms like “Consideration”, “Impinging conduct”, or “Damages” that have strict legal meanings associated with them.
Therefore, you should agree on a common language and ensure all team members are up to date on the definitions of jargon. This can reduce miscommunication and create more of a sense of teamwork if everyone knows the vocabulary in use.
Encourage Useful Feedback
Having an open dialogue between your legal team and your marketing team is important in creating synergy. The feedback should be positive, and if it is negative, it should be constructive. Of course, formal feedback channels are important as well. However, you should also encourage informal feedback communication, particularly after meetings and projects between both teams.
For example, suppose the marketing team provides good and early draft diagrams. This helps the trade mark lawyer to conduct a preliminary trade mark search. The trade mark lawyer should respond positively and let the marketing team know how helpful their diagram was. This will foster a sense of teamwork.
Marketing and legal teams, particularly concerning trade marks, can sometimes be at odds with one another. This means that you must be deliberate in fostering a close relationship between them. Having open communication, regular meetings, and feedback will encourage synergy between the teams. This will allow your business to function at its best. If you have any questions about creating synergy between your legal and marketing teams, contact our experienced trade mark lawyers on 1300 657 423 or fill out the form on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, once or twice a year is enough, or as the need arises.
A good secondment length can depend on several factors. Usually, six months is a good time period.