Leaders with Ambition - Kevin Iredell

Leaders with Ambition - Kevin Iredell

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Kevin Iredell - Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer and President of the Legal Marketing Association.

Everything that has come before in his career has perfectly positioned our guest on this episode of Leaders With Ambition for today’s demand for professional services support.

Kevin Iredell, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer at Lowenstein Sandler, and President of the Legal Marketing Association in 2024, shares with Host Nicky Acuna Ocana the complementary skills he has developed through stints in retail, telecom, media and legal marketing.

Kevin explains why the current moment – increased competition, technological advances and growing client expectations – requires ever more sophisticated business management strategies.

“The need for law firm business support professionals is at a level that it’s never been before,” says Kevin, who also serves as President of the Legal Marketing Association. “It’s reflected in the number of LMA members, the size of the annual conference and how many service providers come to talk about new products and software.”

His career demonstrates the power of staying open, networking as well as paying it forward within the full spectrum of career development opportunity. You’ll learn about how Kevin’s exposure to retail sales management, telecom marketing, media brand development, legal PR and in-house business support together represent far more than just a CV.

In his role as a Chief Marketing Officer as well as President for the LMA, Kevin continues to stay curious, diving into the latest data and machine learning technologies, sharing best practices with peers and mentoring younger generations.

He also actively promotes healthy workplace cultures and growth opportunities in the changing and challenging the world of legal professional services and support. Kevin's parting advice for aspiring leaders?

Don’t give up and remember, forums like the LMA offer the perfect platform for stretching those all-important networking skills!

Ready to sharpen communications skills and build community? Check out the many international opportunities available through the Legal Marketing Association, including regional workshops and career events highlighted in this link.

If you enjoyed this discussion, please click here to find previous episodes of Leaders with Ambition.

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Key takeaways

  • Kevin’s early experience with retail car rental sales and management, and learning Chinese – both of which have served him well in his career.

  • How an early mentor empowered Kevin to develop messaging expertise while on the job – including learning what worked and what didn’t in real time.

  • B2B expertise, what made Kevin a perfect fit for a role at Lucent that stretched his knowledge of professional services marketing and support in the telecom space.

  • Timing is everything, how Kevin hopped into a new role at Lawyers.com at its inception, refining his understanding of digital marketing and the legal space.

  • Going global, why Kevin’s working knowledge of Chinese opened a key career opportunity and unexpected chance to build out LexisNexis’s presence in Asia.

Building the brand

Kevin’s roles over a decade of leading market research teams, formulating strategy and developing data-based products for ALM Media (The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and Law Technology News).

Adding skill sets, what Kevin learned about legal public relations, account management operations and values-driven culture while at Greentarget Global Group.

Web of support

How the Legal Marketing Association provides networking and learning opportunities as well as a platform for sharing best practices with competitors and mentoring younger colleagues.

Remarkable Inroads, the exponential increase in demand for professional business and marketing services to help law firms navigate an ever more sophisticated, technology-driven legal marketplace.

Evolving best practices

  • The ways in which clients locate and choose legal representation are influenced today by social media, AI and networking events.

  • In-house experience, why Kevin deliberately re-focused, seeking out legal firms that could provide him front-row insights into their inner workings and culture.

  • Bringing value and taking on his role as CMO at Lowenstein, the culmination of Kevin’s experiences, professional development and ability to deliver business ROI.

Kevin’s current career challenges

  • Managing the rapid pace of technological advances, including large language models like Open AI and virtually unlimited access to data.

  • Harnessing new tools to increase efficiency and sharpen communications.

  • Staying on point and getting ahead of market trends.

  • Sponsorship v. Mentoring, why a mixture of both is key to career cultivation both for personal growth and for developing and nurturing along new talent.

Kevin’s career highlights

  • Working with teams of people who have moved on to bigger and better roles.

  • Exemplifying the values his hard-working parents modelled and instilled.

Words of wisdom

  • 'Stay curious.'

  • 'Ask the questions: How did you get where you are? Who helped you? Why did you do what you do?'

Key quotes

  • “Marketing is all about trying new things and getting people to react to the messages you’re putting out in the market.”

  • “One of the things I absolutely love about working at a law firm is the people – highly educated, highly intelligent, really interesting people. It makes every day a challenge and makes me better.”

  • “(A stint in China) definitely furthered my career. It gave me a global perspective that most people don’t have. Living and being completely immersed in a different culture opens your eyes not just to that culture but to global perspectives.”

  • “As I go through different experiences I take a little bit from each one.”

  • “To get to this point and be able to give back and pass on some of what I’ve learned and look out for the next generation is an honour.”

  • “The need for law firm business support professionals is at a level that it’s never been before. It’s reflected in the number of LMA members, the size of the annual conference and how many service providers come to talk about new products and software.”

  • “You can do a lot of (marketing) stuff and not get found if you’re not doing the right things or not in front of the right people. Business professionals can sort through some of those things and come up with a plan while the lawyers do lawyering.”

  • “Staying on top of (technology) and knowing what’s next and figuring out how to use it to be more efficient and further your message and get in front of the right people – it’s critical. There is nothing more important than that today for CMOs.”

  • “It’s incumbent for people who get to a certain level to look out for the next generation.”

  • “You don’t just wake up one day and you are great at networking. You have to actually practice and the LMA is a great place to do that because the people are friendly and welcoming.”

About Kevin Iredell

Kevin Iredell brings to the CMO role a strong background in and hands-on knowledge of marketing, communications, branding, business development, operations, and public relations–all with a specific focus on demonstrating ROI. At Lowenstein, he drives growth across business units by creating and executing firm-wide and practice-group strategic plans and leading the marketing and business development team through strategic resource allocation, creative campaigns, and marketing technology platform optimisation.

Kevin is an active speaker on marketing and business-of-law topics, and is also currently the President on the International Board of Directors of the Legal Marketing Association, where he has served as an Executive Board Member for the past several years. Most recently, Kevin has been elected to the College of Law Practice Management's Class of 2023 Fellows-Elect. He holds a B.A. in economics from Villanova University.

About Nicky Acuna Ocana

Nicky has led high performing recruitment teams for over 25 years. As the Regional Managing Director of Ambition UK, Europe and US, she leads a team of highly-skilled recruitment consultants who are experts in their niche specialist areas. 

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