Chapter 16. Case Study: LawTalk

They Have to Buy It from Somebody

A few years ago, I became fascinated by, and ultimately a minor investor in, a company called LawTalk that seemed to have that dream-come-true market position: customers who have to buy their product. The catch, of course, is that the customers don't have to buy the product from LawTalk. There are plenty of competitors for the business.

The product is continuing education. Currently, 40 states have Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements as a condition of maintaining a license to practice law. These states include approximately a million lawyers. Each lawyer is required to complete from 10 to 15 hours of MCLE per year. These lawyers have to buy this education from somebody. So far, so good.

How lucrative is this market? The North American market for MCLE programs and products is estimated to be over $2 billion annually. Additionally, there is a growing global MCLE marketplace, especially in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. So you've got a big, fat, growing market for what LawTalk sells. Sweet.

It's precisely because of the sweetness of this market that other companies are hot and heavy into it, and vying for the same customers as LawTalk. So how does LawTalk become indispensable to its customers? They change the nature of what the customer is buying. By using the Drivers of creating a big picture outcome and constantly seeking to engage, enchant, and enthrall their customers, LawTalk ...

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