In today's USA Today, there is a story about the growing number of firms outsourcing legal work to India. Thus far, it's mostly research and paralegal duties. But it's hard not to see a future in which the work of lawyers becomes increasingly commoditized through such outsourcing, as well as services like LegalZoom. There are a number of ways for companies to respond when commoditization starts to happen, including ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Perhaps the most effective strategy is to put the emphasis on customer service (an area in which most law firms are woefully lacking) and…..on marketing. Like water and vodka, both invisible and nearly tasteless, success depends on the design of the bottle and the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. And, in your thinking about marketing, consider niches and specilization. Those will be much more difficult to outsource.
This is my new favorite commercial, apparently one of a series for the Instinct Phone from Samsung. With a wink and a nod to female bonding movies, it bills itself as "the most heartwarming product placement movie of the year!" It takes place in outdoor cafés and in spa treatment rooms and ends with one of the women challenging the other with that great cliché: "Maybe you’re afraid to be in love!"
Instead of a "bailout" you should have called it a "guaranteed taxpayer loan" or maybe "the great mortgage buy-up" — on which the Treasury (and the taxpayers) will make some really good money. In marketing, if you can determine the language, you can often win the war for hearts and minds.