ABA Hires Consultant to be First Chief Marketing Officer

Chris Gloede, ABA CMOChris Gloede will become the first Chief Marketing Officer of the American Bar Association effective November 1, 2010. One of his first tasks may be to reverse the continuing decline in ABA membership.

In the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer, Chris will direct development of creative, market-driven strategies for the association’s product and service offerings.  His areas of responsibility will cover all aspects of marketing, including positioning, advertising and profitability.  Chris will supervise all efforts to attract new members to increase dues revenue and non-dues revenue. 

He was director of general management for SapientNitro, a marketing firm, and he is a former partner and interactive marketing director with OgilvyOne, the global marketing, advertising and consulting firm. 

From his experience at OgilvyOne, Chris also brings important familiarity with the ABA business and marketing environment.  He supervised the firm’s consulting work on the ABA’s member growth initiative.  

The ABA has been bleeding 2,000 and 4,000 members per year since 2008, when membership stood at 408,000. ABA membership isn't growing at the same rate as the profession, said former ABA President Carolyn Lamm,>> a partner in the Washington office of White & Case. The association doesn't even represent half of all U.S. lawyers anymore, she said.

Recently, the ABA has been calling fallen-away members and offering them a 50% discount in dues if they rejoin.

"We've all been very concerned about the drop in the membership in the last few years," said Kathleen Joan Hopkins, a Seattle attorney at the Real Property Law Group.

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