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Reflections on Community

Posted By Heidi A. Ray, Colorado Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Untitled Document

On a summer vacation in London last summer, my husband and I spent a day visiting the British Library and the British Museum, where we had the privilege to take in many symbols that chronicle western civilization.

rosetta stone

In the British Library, I saw the Rosetta Stone. Dating from 196 B.C., the hieroglyphics written on this black, monolithic rock allowed linguists to decode Egyptian writing and open the window of Egyptian history, which is as long and fertile as the Nile. Unearthed again in 1799, it took scholars 20 years to decipher that the Stone contained three versions of the same text. The Rosetta Stone has been on continuous display in the British Museum since 1802, and is the most visited exhibit in the Museum.

I have always been fascinated by language. Did you know that in the Russian language, the word for “world” is the same as the word for “peace”? In German, the word “gemütlich” cannot really be translated, although “cozy,” “warm,” and “comfortable” put together come close. The Eskimos have 50 words to describe “snow.” Indeed, the words we choose to communicate reflect our culture, and our culture is a mirror of our language.

As I stood on tiptoes in the buzzing, echoing, high-ceilinged hall where the Rosetta Stone stands behind thick glass amid throngs of tourists speaking many languages, I wept to think of this Stone as one of our birthplaces of all language … communication … and community.

I thought of our tiny community huddling around the Stone. I thought of the community that was London protecting the Stone as the Nazis bombed the city for 57 consecutive days during the Blitz of World War II. I thought of the 6.82 million visitors the Museum saw walk through its doors in 2016, and every year since the Stone arrived in 1802. I felt wrapped warmly in the rich, layered quilt of generations, cultures, and peace-loving people.

Later that afternoon, in a dimly lit room of the British Library, I saw one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta.  It stands as the basis for England’s system of government, and by the winding path of history, the United States. One of the undying tenets of this document that has endured for centuries is that no one is above the law. No one. Not the King. Not the Queen. Not the President. Our brothers and sisters around the globe have almost unanimously agreed that we are created equal under the eyes of the law. As an attorney, I read this document as the text that binds civilized societies. As a global community, there is a consensus that there are no “others.”

I also read the words of what would become the lyrics of a “A Hard Day’s Night” scrawled in John Lennon’s hand on the back of a birthday card he had given to his son Julian. The note was a father’s apology to his son for the long hours spent on the road away from home. I saw Beethoven’s scribbled symphonies – erased and marked over a dozen times before he decided on the right harmony; Mozart’s melodies — his creative genius manifested perfectly the first time he transcribed it from his imagination to the page; and Chopin’s score — tiny, neat and tight — I had to squint to read it. I read a note from Sylvia Plath to her editor about the gift that insomnia had been to her writing (how I wish I had this gift), and the original, billowy sketches of Leonardo da Vinci.

As I took in these wonders, all manner of humanity noisily scurried around me: languages, cultures, races, clothing, age, politics, and religion. I remembered that while we’re all together, we bring with us all of our differences, our lenses, prejudices, problems, pasts, and peeves. Despite our differences, we spoke to each other with nods and smiles, a wave of the hand, or a bow of the head. We broke bread beside each other at cafés, we said ‘excuse me’ when we bumped into each other crowding around the mummies, and we grinned politely as we passed the sarcophagi ... in peace and civility … as bloody and futile wars raged on all over the world outside the museum walls.

As I stood in the airy expanse of the bright, white, marble bustling Great Court of the British Museum, time hung over my head like a triptych.  I thought about our past, fiercely protected by museums, books, and in the stories of our elders.  I thought about two presents: one international buzzing harmony immediately around me and another so violently divided outside the hallowed museum walls.  And finally, I thought about our future.

What will remain of us in museums in 2,000 years? With much of our world so sharply divided, will it be the remnants of an iPhone XXXX like a stone tablet behind bulletproof glass? Pieces of a wall built between the United States and Mexico? Tour guides telling stories about how Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple were the gods that finally turned our souls to dust and ended civilization as we know it?

I achingly hope these are not our legacy. If we are to survive 2,000 more years, it is my belief that it will be because people from all over the world will visit a museum to see a 7-ton granite statue of our first female President. I hope the tour guides retell history in many languages about the people of our time who came together and rose up against hatred, racism, and bigotry like nothing the world had ever seen. I believe this is the only path available to us now to save not only our democracies, but our very civilization. And I hope they will say that the Beethovens and Shakespeares and DaVincis of our time – our diverse community – mirrored back to us the hard truths we needed to see … brought us from inert to inspired … from talkers into listeners … and from our knees to action.

Tags:  community  legacy 

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Get to Know Your ACLEA Executive Committee Member Tim Slating

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 24, 2019
ACLEA News, Get to know your Executive Committee Members
Tim Slating

Name: Tim Slating
Organization: Illinois State Bar Association
Position: Assistant Executive Director, Communications

1.  What did you do in your pre-CLE life and what brought you to the CLE world?

Prior to law school, I was a project manager for a construction company. After law school, I stuck around the University of Illinois, worked at a biosciences research institute, and taught a course on the law of renewable energy. I then joined the staff of the ISBA, took over responsibility for the bar’s book program, and the rest is history.

2.  How long have you been a member of ACLEA?

Ever since I started working for the bar in 2013.

3.  What do you remember from your first ACLEA meeting?

How friendly and welcoming everyone was. And meeting my bootcamp mentor Diane Morrison, who remains a dear friend.

4.  What has surprised you most about being a member of ACLEA?

How freely everyone shares their business strategies and their successes and failures.

5.  What other leadership positions(s) within ACLEA did you hold before joining the Executive Committee?

I continue to serve as the co-chair of the State & Provincial Bars SIG and as the co-chair of the Communications Committee.

6.  What motivated you to become a member of ACLEA’s Executive Committee?

I wanted to give back to the wonderful community that has given me so much.  And as a communications director, which is somewhat of a rarity in ACLEA, I felt that I was in a good position to bring a new and needed perspective to the Executive Committee.

7.  What would you tell someone who is thinking about running for a position on the ACLEA Executive Committee?

Just do it! It’s an exceptionally rewarding experience.

8.  What do you think is the most important issue facing CLE organizations today?

Finding a sustainable business model as more and more bar associations transition to a free CLE model where CLE is provided as a member benefit. If a trend emerges where mandatory bars begin to shift to voluntary bars, I think free CLE offerings will increase as they’ll be an important component of the value proposition that will need to be offered to attract members.

9.  What do you think will change about CLE in the next five years?

The proliferation of new, innovative, and online/remote delivery methods.

10.  If you weren’t involved in CLE, what do you think you would be doing instead?

Working for the ACLU or an environmental not-for-profit.

11.  What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Go see live music, get my canoe wet, or play frisbee with my dog.

12.  Tell us one thing that the ACLEA membership should definitely know about you.

If one of my favorite bands is within a reasonable driving distance, you can guarantee that I’ll be trying to get there.

Tags:  get to know  member 

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Benefits of Being an ACLEA Sponsor/Exhibitor

Posted By Amy Ihrke, Co-Chair, Exhibitor/Sponsor Committee, Wednesday, May 22, 2019

ACLEA's 55th Annual Meeting in Chicago

Many of us in the CLE world are accustomed to seeking out sponsors and exhibitors for our programs and events. Securing sponsors/exhibitors can be demanding and many of you have probably been asked by a potential sponsor/exhibitor what benefit will they get from being at your event. Potential benefits are numerous and include both tangible and intangible factors. 

Face-to-Face Meetings

One of the most important intangible factors is getting to meet potential customers face-to-face. By being able to tailor messaging, in-person meetings give sponsors/exhibitors the opportunity to address attendee-specific issues and help attendees better understand the product/service being provided.

Brand Awareness & Visibility

Brand awareness and visibility also increase with sponsorship/exhibiting. Most events, at the very least, offer prominent displays of logos and names on all event materials and on social media platforms promoting the event. Many times, there are branded promotional opportunities too — bags, notepads, and WiFi are just a few. Social media promotion allows exhibitors/sponsors to connect not only with the event host, but also directly with potential customers. 

Competition

Sponsoring or exhibiting at an event can give the sponsor/exhibitor an edge over their competition, especially if the competitor isn’t at the event.  Sponsors/exhibitors have direct access to customers their competition may not.          

Lead Generation & ROI

Quantitative benefits include efficient lead generation and return on investment. Your event offers an opportunity for sponsors/exhibitors to meet lots of well-matched customers face-to-face over a short timeframe and leave with a list of leads. Your event can be the start of quality relationships between your attendees and sponsors/exhibitors.      

Next time you’re engaging with sponsors/exhibitors for your event, remind them of these great benefits.

I hope to see you all in Chicago!  And if you’re interested in sponsoring/exhibiting at ACLEA Chicago, check out the details and sign up today, space is limited! We have tons of great opportunities to meet customers face-to-face during networking breaks and you can raise your brand visibility with different sponsor levels. You’re sure to create lots of great leads and foster quality connections.

Tags:  ACLEA Annual Meeting 

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Ready for the Future?

Posted By Jill Hoefling, Publications SIG Co-Chair, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I joined ACLEA in 2000, the year also known as “Y2K.” The numeroynm was an abbreviation for the year 2000 software problem related to the formatting and storage of calendar data. Back in the 1960s, computer memory was expensive and scarce, so programmers decided to use a two-digit number to represent the four-digit year. Which wasn’t a problem until, well, the approach of the year 2000. Programmers scrambled to fix the problem and for the most part, things worked okay, but we learned a valuable lesson: when it comes to technology, we always need to be looking ahead.

For the nearly two decades I’ve been around, the Publications SIG has been discussing how to keep our products offerings relevant as technology transforms the legal industry. We know lawyers are typically “late-adopters” of technology, but according to the results of the Wolters Kluwer 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey, lawyer use of transformational technologies will double by 20222. The survey of 700 professionals from law firms, corporate legal departments, and business services firms focuses on current state, future priorities, and preparedness in three key areas: tools and technology; client needs and expectations; and organization and talent. The resulting report is a great resource for those of us planning products and programs for lawyers. The key trends expected to impact legal organizations over the next three years are:

  • Coping with increased volume and complexity of information;
  • Emphasizing improved efficiency and productivity;
  • Understanding legal technology of highest value;
  • Meeting changing client and leadership expectations; and
  • Coping with financial issues, including greater competition, new and alternative fee structures, and cost containment pressures.

The free survey report has a great deal of interesting statistics and findings, including how firms currently use foundational, enabling, and transformational technology; the emerging generation gap with transformational technologies; the top reasons new technology is resisted; and much more. I highly recommend checking it out!

Tags:  Publications SIG  Technology 

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With all the change, one thing remains the same: ACLEA conferences rock!

Posted By 55th Mid-Year Meeting Chair Sarah Fluke, State Bar of Arizona, Monday, December 10, 2018
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CLE Rising - ACLEA 2019 Mid-Year Meeting Logo

Oh sweet change, how I love thee, let me count the ways. I know some don’t share my feelings for change but I for one, love it. It gives us an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective and see things we haven’t seen before. It challenges us to redefine our goals and refocus on what’s important.

There has been a lot of talk about how different it will be at the Mid-Year Meeting in Phoenix. It’s only two days. The event will be at a law school instead of a hotel. Sessions will be in classrooms instead of hotel conference spaces. There are three workshops to choose from instead of four. There is one group event instead of two. Have I convinced you NOT to register yet? Hang in there and keep reading.

As the legal industry changes, so must we. The Phoenix Planning Committee was tasked by the Executive Committee to come up with something innovative and fresh. To design a conference that focused on the content and met attendees where they are in their career. We have accomplished just that. With our tracks Better, Stronger, and Inspired, we have developed content for the newer attendee, the experienced attendee, and the attendee who needs a little motivation and inspiration. The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law offers a perfect setting for this approach. It’s beautiful, sleek, and state of the art classrooms encourage collaboration and learning. You will also see new faces in your workshops. There are 19 speakers who are excited to engage with you that have never spoken at ACLEA before.

We didn’t forget about boot camp. The State Bar of Arizona will host boot campers on Friday January 25 in our beautiful CLE center. With Rob Seto as our master of ceremonies, attendees will feel welcome right off the bat. The same great content will be offered to help build a solid foundation for those new to ACLEA and the CLE world. 

There is still plenty of time to build new relationships and strengthen current relationships with other members and our beloved vendors. The Membership Committee is offering three dine-around options on Friday and Sunday night. With almost an hour and a half in scheduled breaks each day, you are sure to find time to chat with your favorite vendor and build relationships with new vendors. Your SIG luncheons and committee meetings remain the same so you can touch base with your peers and get a sense for what’s happening globally.  Oh, and there’s the food!  Breakfast each morning, lunch at the ticketed SIG events, snacks, and our networking event on Saturday night. You will not go hungry!

I am excited to see you all in my hometown in January. Phoenix is a magical place when it’s not 197 degrees outside. The birds are chirping, the cactus are blooming, and the Phoenicians are smiling. Downtown Phoenix has become quit the spot for foodies, sports fans, culture seekers and those looking to relax and take it all in. Early bird registration is available through January 7 — so register today

See you in Phoenix!

Tags:  Mid-Year Meeting 

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Office 365 vs G Suite

Posted By Lisa Wise, CE21, Friday, November 30, 2018
Untitled Document

To switch or not to switch. That is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler in the minds to suffer
The slings and arrows of tech troubles
Or to take up the learning curve of implementation
And by changing them, end them.

Let me start with a caveat, I love G Suite. But I wasn’t always such a G Suite evangelist. Once upon a time, I worked for a small company that ran everything on Microsoft Office and Outlook. Some folks had to even settle for the free version of office tools, like Libre Office or Open Office. Then we were bought out by the largest printing company in the world, and they switched us over to G Suite. Panic ensued. How could they do this to us?! This was followed by several months of warning that all of our emails would disappear as they switched from a server-based service over to a cloud-based solution. We were also told that going forward, no one would get their Office licenses updated. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MY BEAUTIFUL REPORTS?! The idea of the switch felt dire at the time, because humans in general just hate change. However, in the end, it was rather uneventful. If I really needed that email from 6 years ago (hint: I didn’t) then the IT group had stashed it away just in case.

How could this giant of the printing world want to use such an inferior product? This was many years ago, and G Suite was relatively new in the enterprise sector. What were they thinking? Well, frankly, once we got settled into the system, it made perfect sense. They have an international company with over 50,000 employees. They need to quickly and efficiently collaborate across business units. Over the next year, I was continuously being floored by what G Suite could accomplish that I struggled to do in Outlook/Office. Now I’m a full convert.

Before I dive into why I love G Suite, I want to state up front that I asked several IT professionals while I was writing this blog what they love and hate about Outlook or G Suite. I was first informed that it is no longer “Outlook” but rather, Office 365, and that the update there has been for the better. They have all said that Office 365, in the last few years, has come a long way. They now have their version of the cloud-based solution, which allows for more collaboration, for example. When I then ask them what these IT professionals use personally, however, it was always G Suite. So take that with a grain of salt. But because of this, I have made a list at the bottom of some of the reasons why a person may choose to stay on Office 365. I took their suggestions of why they have NOT switched some of their offices over to G Suite. There are some valid reasons, I will admit. But I’m still going to tell you that the switch — to me — is worth it.

Why choose G Suite?:

  1. Price: While it's not free, like the personal version of gmail, the cost is much better when compared to the costs of running Office 365. Especially when you factor in the features that you get with the simplest G Suite which is comparable to Office 365 Business Premium. If you don’t need unlimited storage data (and most of us don’t), the basic is ample. So $5 vs $12.50 per month/per user is quite the savings. Even if you want to upgrade to unlimited storage (at $10/month - and something that Office 365 doesn’t even offer), a small office of 20 people would stand to save $600 per year. Now you get why RR Donnelley with its 50,000+ employees worldwide opted for G Suite. And I’m pretty sure we all had the Basic version at $5 per user/month (for fun, that’s a price savings of 4.5 million dollars a year… not peanuts).
    • The doc types that you’re able to create/download in even the basic G Suite are pdf, ppt, doc, xls, even html or epub. But have you played with Forms, though? They are seriously cool.
    • You can compare features here:
      1. G Suite
      2. Office 365
  2. Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration: I honestly cannot express this enough. For example, I’ve collaborated with about 5 different people on an RFP and the turnaround time for that was a fraction of the amount of time it would have taken if we had to wait until so-and-so was finished with his portion before tackling our own. I also use Google sheets (spreadsheets) to collaborate with partners outside of my organization to track the status of product development. While all of the articles I read did mention Office 365 is better at collaboration than its predecessor, everyone still praised G Suite specifically on the ease of collaboration.
  3. Instant Saving: Ever had a power outage? With Word docs, if you forget to save and something happens, all is lost. Sometimes it’ll remember something close to the end of what you were working on. However, with G Suite, the document is being saved constantly, assuming an internet connection.
    • Similarly, have you ever had a person in your office make edits to something they shouldn't have? Or maybe they delete a whole, important, paragraph? G Suite has revision history so you can go back in time on the document to before they messed up your work.
  4. Email images and links render better: My company sends links out via email (reminders for online CLE programs for example). We’ve found that if ever anyone is having problems with the URL links, Outlook is the culprit. Picture scaling and other HTML features don’t get rendered as smartly either.
  5. App integration: I’m integrated with Copper (a Salesforce-style app), Hiver (a collaborative email-sharing app), and my calendar can either instantly add a video conference from Zoom or GoToMeeting. It seems that everyone wants to integrate with Google. G Suite is the belle of the ball and everyone wants to dance with her.
  6. Sites: Google has an incredible collaborative feature called Sites. You can use this to create internal-facing or even external (albeit simple) websites. We currently use one as a company wiki that helps our tech support understand processes and rules of every different client and industry.
  7. Searching: You know that Google is now a common verb for internet searching, right? They do a pretty decent job at it. Well, they apply that tech to their emails and Drive (where you store all your documents). Gone are the days of needing to meticulously store all your emails in the right folder so that you can find them in a year on that CYA activity. So deal with and then just archive your email. No need to figure out which bucket it goes into. Search will find anything quickly.
  8. Calendar: I just love my google calendar. It shows up on my phone. I can integrate it with my own personal gmail calendar too, so I can compare my personal life with my work life. The calendar sharing between my coworkers is also incredibly easy.
  9. Chrome: G Suite works so seamlessly with the Chrome browser. If I have to sell you on why Chrome is a superior browser to Internet Explorer… well… Just trust me and stop using IE, ok?

In my opinion, this is just scratching the surface of the great G Suite features. This is just a blog post, though, and not a dissertation, so I’ll stop here. Plus, I’m a bit worried with the changes that I may be claiming that Office 365 can’t do something that it now CAN do. So I’ll just give you these other great comparisons, more succinctly written, and maybe a little more platform-agnostic than I’ve been:

(Want more? I’ve Googled it for you… See what I did there?)

As promised though, I do have a few reasons to stick with Microsoft tools instead.

  1. Like I said, and have read, Office 365 has changed a lot in the last few years and I’ve been told that Microsoft has been making great strides with all of its tools. That coupled with the fact that they now have a cloud-based solution (unlike Outlook which is hosted locally) that offers collaboration, it really is a more viable solution. I think Microsoft has seen the Google Doodle on the wall and have made pretty good strides to changing their own platform.
  2. You need to be able to create documents offline.
    • Is anyone ever really offline anymore?? No, really?
    • However, Google docs will keep the changes you’ve made offline and when you’ve come back online will go back to the document and save the updates.
  3. Spreadsheets. Look, I’m an Excel nerd. I can write most of the formulas I need from memory. But most folks can’t. Even I have a version of Excel on my computer. I didn’t buy any of the other Office tools. I think, however, you can’t do that anymore. You have to buy their whole suite, or maybe even get a license to 365 now.
  4. Some folks really shut down when you show them any new technology. Those folks are typically not going to like any new interface, no matter the benefits offered.
  5. Some industries/companies require you use a specific document type not supported by G Suite. One IT guy I talked to said that the lawyers he works with must have everything written up in Wordperfect. This is actually a whole debate apparently...
  6. Changing technology can be a very large undertaking. You may not have the time and energy in your organization to make such a switch.
    • So, ok. But are you at least on Office 365 rather than Outlook?

Honestly, I care most about the whole collaboration thing… it’s the wave of the future. So long as you’ve got the ability to do that, I’m not going to be mad at you. Just please don’t sit on broken workflows rather than learning a new (awesome) thing.

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You're Invited to a Free Colorado MCLE Virtual Provider Conference — Register Now!

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 26, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Untitled Document
Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel Logo ACLEA logo

December 18, 2018
1:00pm EST/12:00pm CST/11:00am MST/10:00am PST

 

>> Reserve Your Seat!

One of the biggest challenges when dealing with the accreditation of continuing legal education programming is keeping up with rules and regulations. How do you know when there has been a change in a jurisdiction’s rules? When do they go into effect? And most importantly, how do they affect you as a provider or the attendees of your programs?

The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court and the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) is hosting the first “MCLE Virtual Provider Conference” to discuss recent changes to the Colorado MCLE rules and regulations and their impact on providers of Colorado-accredited programs.

Join Gina Roers-Liemandt, American Bar Association’s Director of MCLE, as she interviews Dawn McKnight, Colorado Deputy Regulation Counsel. This is your chance to:

  • Meet the Colorado CLE staff.
  • Learn about the new CLE rules and regulations that went into effect July 1, 2018, as well as recent updates to the regulations and how they affect you as a provider, including:
    • A general overview of accreditable and non-accreditable topics;
    • The definition of legal ethics and practical considerations for program planning for ethics credits;
    • Process for program accreditation, reconsideration, and appeals;
    • CLE credit calculations for your faculty and authors;
    • Two-tiered sponsor levels;
    • Comity and reciprocity– what lies ahead;
    • The difference between “independent study” and attorney self-submissions; and
    • Office technology update – future plans.
  • Participate in a live Q&A with the Colorado CLE Staff.

This COMPLIMENTARY webinar will be held on December 18, 2018 at 1:00pm eastern/12:00pm central/11:00am mountain/10:00am pacific. Note that ACLEA membership is not required for participation; this program is open to all CLE program providers.

>> Learn more and register today!

Tags:  CLE  Colorado  Virtual Provider Conference  Webinar 

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Marketing Trends That You Need to Know

Posted By Annette C. Buras, Marketing SIG Louisiana State Bar Association, Monday, October 1, 2018

Nidhi Dave recently wrote an article for Single Grain in which she details the current status of digital marketing trends. Ms. Dave noted that the digital marketing landscape is witnessing a dramatic shift. Digital marketing trends are changing and in order for businesses to succeed, staying on top of the trends is key. What used to work may not work now.

Below are key digital marketing trends that Ms. Dave suggests can’t be ignored.

1) Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in the marketing process today. AI can analyze consumer behavior and search patterns, utilizing data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how users and customers find their products and services.

Artificial intelligence also offers information and tips to users by getting into conversations. According to Gartner, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without the need for a human.

Businesses adopting AI in 2018 will be able to save costs and accelerate growth, getting an edge over their competitors.

Learn More: How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing the Digital Marketing Sphere

2) Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is essentially using AI to automate the buying of ads and being able to target audiences more specifically, which increases the chances of success of the marketing campaign and reduces the customer acquisition costs.

As per eMarketer, 84% of the digital display ads in the US will be programmatic by 2019.

3) Chatbots

Chatbots are an important digital marketing trend in 2018. This AI-based technology uses an instant messaging format to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors, and many businesses are already using this feature.

They have the ability to meet the growing demands of customers of this highly connected digital era by enabling smooth and instant communication with customers and prospects. By 2022, chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum, especially in the banking and healthcare industries.

Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive and give answers promptly and accurately and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service, meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks that let organizations focus on more important work.

Chatbots can answer questions, provide complete information about your products and services, and ask for an email address to send details without any human involvement. They can also retain information so that a customers doesn’t have to start over with every new interaction.

Uber uses chatbot technology to communicate with customers, making it easy for them to hire cars even on Facebook Messenger. Passengers can use the menu to choose the type of ride, make a request, track the location of the car, send friends a time estimate of their arrival, and even make payment.

Learn More: How E-commerce Companies Can Drive Sales with Facebook Messenger Chatbots

4) Personalization

Personalization or personalized content has become a major aspect of marketing and will be vital as 2018 progresses to ensure customer delight. It delivers a unique experience to customers based on their choices and preferences and is considered a better option than “one-size-fits-all” marketing.

With the availability of data like purchase history, consumer behavior and links clicked, businesses can customize their content and boost their ROI. Keep in mind that 74% of marketers believe that targeted personalization enhances customer engagement.

In fact, as Kevin George, Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, says, “The future of e-mail is real-time, behavior-based personalization. A study by Marketo shows that personalized, triggered e-mails based on behavior are 3x better than batch-and-blast e-mails.”

Businesses these days are leveraging the power of personalization by customizing emails based on behavior, interests, and demographics. According to Statista, the open rate for e-mails with a personalized message was 18.8% as compared to 13.1% without any personalization.

One of the examples of personalization is of Coca-Cola, which came out with “Share a Coke” campaign in the U.S. in 2014 with an aim to reach millennials.

“Share A Coke” created a personalized brand experience for customers with individual names of the most popular first names printed on Coke bottles. The campaign resulted in a 2% increase in soft drink sales — after a decade of steady decline — spiking Coke consumption from 1.7 to 1.9 billion servings per day.

Learn More: How AI Helps Add Personalization to Your Email Campaigns

5) Video

  • Check out these stats on video marketing from Forbes:
  • According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year.
  • Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • These numbers show the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy in 2018.

And don’t just think YouTube. To witness higher engagement with your video marketing, you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook.

Providing informative content through visually-rich video allows you to convey your message effectively to a large number of people. As per Forrester, one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.

Live video is gaining popularity, with a large number of businesses using it for interviews, product demos and “behind the scenes” glimpses of events, life in the office, how products are made, etc. Live videos are a great way for companies to unveil the faces behind their brand, which viewers embrace and love to see, as this instills trust in your audience and humanizes your brand.

According to Livestream, 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video over social posts.

With social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram launching their own live streaming video features, it has become simpler for businesses to include live videos in their digital marketing strategy.

Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing

6) Influencer Marketing

As Raghav Haran puts it, “Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market…. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead pay influencers to get out the word for you.”

Using influencers is a very effective marketing tool that works to attract customers. Influencers can be anyone from celebrities and Instagram or YouTube stars to well-known bloggers and journalists who help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.

These people interact and engage with their large network of followers and consumers on social media, talking about a particular brand that they love and use to an audience with whom trust has already been established. Because this is not an ad or coming from the company, influencers are able to build up a brand’s positive image in the minds of people, thereby helping attract more customers.

Because two out of three people say that “they trust consumer opinions posted online,” influencer marketing delivers 11X ROI over all other forms of digital media!

An example of influencer marketing the Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington, which joined up with influencers on Instagram to promote its watches with a caption that included a discount code for 15% off.

Learn More: How to Grow Your Business with Influencer Marketing

7) Social Messaging Apps

Think social messaging apps are just for sending emojis to your friends?

Consider these numbers:

  • 1.3 billion monthly users are active on Facebook Messenger
  • 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger every month
  • WhatsApp has 1.3 billion monthly active users
  • 55 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp every day
  • YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly users

These statistics show the growing popularity of social messaging apps, giving the opportunity for businesses to direct their efforts towards these apps for expanding their market. Since people are spending more of their time in various messaging apps, it makes sense to market your company’s services where your potential customers are hanging out.

Social messaging apps can be very useful in sending messages to customers directly, as they allow personalization and add value to the users’ experience. With social apps becoming more popular, 46% of people now prefer to communicate with a business via messaging apps rather than email, and 49.4% prefer messaging over phone calls with a business.

8) Visual Search

Visual search is a new type of search engine and can take the user experience to a totally new level. With visual search, users can upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results.

Not surprisingly, Pinterest has jumped on the visual search bandwagon – they’ve raised $150 million in venture funding at a $12.3 billion valuation to focus their efforts on visual search. They came out with Lens, a new visual search tool that allows users to snap a photo of an item to find out where to buy it online, search for similar products, or view pinboards of related items.

And Pinterest is not the only one with visual search.

Google Lens is a visual search engine by Google, which recognizes objects, landmarks and other things visually through a camera app (currently only available on Pixel phones).

Microsoft also has its own version, called Bing Visual Search that allow users to easily search for a particular element within an image. After doing an image search, you then click on one of the results and a “search” icon appears, letting you select a particular area of interest in the picture. This visual search tool will not only find matching images, but also display product pages for that item.

And CamFind is a visual search mobile app, which enables users to search for anything from their mobile phones simply by snapping a picture and this app will tell you what it is. Instead of typing queries into a search engine, you can directly search through images to find similar images, price comparisons, local shopping results, etc. You can also take a picture of a movie poster and CamFind will show you movie information, trailers, showtimes, and local theaters.

Marketers can get the edge on competitors by jumping on the visual search trend in 2018 to draw customers and serve them the perfect product.

9) Micro-Moments

Consumers in the U.S. spend an average of 4.7 hours each day on their smartphones, checking social media at least 17 times a day. This is changing the way brands must work to capture buyers’ attention.

Micro-Moments is a “new consumer behavior,” as termed by Google, that delivers your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumers – all within a span of seconds (otherwise, they lose their attention and are onto the next article!).

Micro-Moments also provides the right information to the customers when they need it. People generally make instant decisions on what to eat, which restaurant to choose, what to purchase, or where to go.

It will be vital for businesses to anticipate and address micro-moments in 2018 and offer targeted advertising to the buyers based on user-generated activities.

10) Voice Search

In today’s digital era, it is possible to answer almost all questions through search engines. While people can get comprehensive information easily, they don’t always have the patience to read through several paragraphs to fetch information. Voice search plays an important role in providing all the relevant information through audio content. Artificial Intelligence is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google has reduced, too.

Many brands have included voice search in their digital marketing strategies to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers. Domino’s Pizza uses voice search technology as a way to increase its sales, thus allowing customers to order pizzas through Alexa.

The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2018.

  • 50% of all searches will be voice searches by the year 2020
  • 20% of mobile queries on Google are voice searches
  • 25% of all Bing searches are voice searches
  • 10% of Baidu’s search queries are made using voice

11) Social Media Stories

With the growing popularity of social media “stories,” it is important for marketers to consider this format in their digital marketing strategy. Savvy marketers can make use of live video, one of the most profitable social roll-outs to date, to promote engagement and brand awareness. Once again, it is crucial to tailor your marketing strategy to the people, not force the people to engage with your business on your terms.

First Snapchat came out with the concept of “My Story,” then Instagram and Facebook stories were introduced, and now YouTube has unveiled their own story format, “Reels.”  In November 2017, Instagram Stories hit 300 million daily active users.

Since stories disappear after a set period of time, this is a great opportunity for marketers to make good use of FOMO (fear of missing out). With short attention spans, users like to view content and visuals whose time expires, so brands are putting their efforts in the Stories feature and generate more exciting but transient content.

You can feature your employees in the Stories, show the story behind the making of a product, ask for reviews about your products and services, and give a glimpse of behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your company. Use this list of creative Instagram Stories marketing campaigns as inspiration for your own.

Learn More: Instagram Stories: How Brands Can Benefit from this New Feature

Conclusion

According to Ms. Dave, “This year looks promising for digital marketers. It provides tremendous new opportunities for brands to engage and interact with its target market in a whole new way. Customer experience has become the most important factor for digital transformation, and 2018 will be more about personalized engagement.”

Tags:  AI  apps  chatbots  influencer marketing  marketing  marketing trends  micro-moments  personalization  programmatic advertising  social messaging  video  voice search 

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Providing Effective Feedback

Posted By Jill Castleman, Georgetown Law CLE (Executive Leadership SIG co-chair), Friday, September 7, 2018
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This month’s blog post focuses on the topic of providing effective feedback. It’s not uncommon for managers to struggle when providing constructive feedback to employees. Providing feedback is important as it gives employees an opportunity to improve and grow professionally. It’s also a two-way street as employees should be given the opportunity to provide feedback to their managers. When preparing feedback, it’s important to remember that providing both the positive and the constructive is important. The employee or the manager will quickly tune out if the feedback is only constructive in nature.   

Included below are some quick tips for providing effective feedback and some helpful examples to help you master the skill. 

How to Give Effective Feedback

  • State the constructive purpose of your feedback
  • Describe specifically what you have observed
  • Describe your reactions and your observations of the effects on others
  • Give the other person an opportunity to respond
  • Offer very clear and specific suggestions – avoid ambiguity
  • Express your support, summarize clearly and follow up
  • Make your feedback specific to related behavior
  • Give timely feedback

TYPE OF FEEDBACK

SPECIFIC

VAGUE/POOR

Make it about a specific behavior

I am concerned about your punctuality. You have been 20 minutes late for the last three mornings.

You do not seem to care about your job.

Consider your timing (before in the form of advice)

I would like to review the content of your presentation with you before your speech next week so we can make sure all items are covered.

You have done such a poor job in the past, I need to preview your presentation you plan on giving next week.

Consider your timing (positive after an event)

You did an outstanding job in organizing your presentation for the meeting. The speech was well-researched and logical.

No feedback given.

Focus on behavior the employee can do something about

We would appreciate you keeping the team informed about the status of the project. How about scheduling a weekly status meeting?

Why are you so shy that you don’t like to talk to other people?

Solicit feedback rather than impose it

Linda, I heard you say you would like to learn how to handle your most difficult customer more effectively. Would you like me to share some techniques I have seen work?”

Vague/poor: – “Linda, I saw how you handled Mrs. Dawson during this crisis. It really stinks.

Do you have other tips for providing effective feedback to employees?  If so, please share!

Tags:  leadership  management  providing feedback 

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Uniform CLE

Posted By Ruta Stropus, Tuesday, August 14, 2018
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Recently, Jayne Reardon of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, posed an interesting question – Does a Uniform Bar Exam Call for a Uniform Regulatory System? The post outlined how the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) has been adopted in several jurisdictions and asked whether national standards for attorney regulation are on the way. Indulge me as I pose a corollary to that question – are national CLE standards on the horizon?

Could you imagine the glorious world of uniform CLE standards? Whether you are in-house, a national provider of CLE or a bar association, such thoughts are the things that daydreams were made of.  No more multiple applications for credit, no labyrinth of rules and regulations to navigate, no more convoluted calculus in trying to determine carry-over credit. Oh, to sleep perchance to dream! 

Prior to joining a national law firm, I was with a state government agency, and, therefore, only had to gain expertise in one state’s CLE rules. In fact, I was lucky enough to “grow up” with the Illinois CLE rules – they came into existence as I was easing into my career in government. And, it was no small tasks to start the process of understanding how CLE works in one state – the policy, the administration, its evolution. I must admit, I didn’t quite understand the hardship of juggling multiple states’ various CLE rules until I transitioned into a private firm with a nationwide presence. Wowza. 

On any given day, I spend numerous hours studying the intricacies of the CLE rules of various jurisdictions, determining whether credit is appropriate, and if so, what kind of credit, how much credit and the parameters of such credit (does it depend on format, on who is attending?).  The lawyers I serve as customers often don’t understand why or how one program is accredited in state a, but not in state, and might be in state c, but we have to wait for an answer. And don’t even get me started on reciprocity! I believe that these complex and sometimes contradictory regulatory schemes result in less innovation (I for one, am always advocating that we should design activities, not information, but in doing so I often risk being outside any given states’ CLE requirements, so why bother?) and more frustration for attorneys who engage in a multi-jurisdictional practice. 

I don’t know if we will get there in my lifetime, but I will continue to dream about a uniform CLE scheme...

Ruta Stropus
National Training Manager
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Tags:  CLE  credits  regulatory system 

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