Note: originally published in the April 2014 engageBDR Newsletter
engage:BDR would like to showcase one of our valued partners, Rob Berkowitz of Coast Law Group. Below, Rob tells us a little about himself and his expertise.
eBDR: What should our readers know about you?
Rob: All I do is online marketing and technology law. I know the business and I know the people. I can be very effective.
eBDR: What about the performance marketers who recoil at the idea of working with an attorney?
Rob: Some simply can’t afford my services. Others figure they’ll just ignore whatever I have to say, so why bother? The people that seek me out realize that they have too much to lose because of compliance issues or have been unable to resolve very difficult or expensive problems. My clients tend to be more experienced and successful than most.
eBDR: What trends do you see?
Rob: Privacy will continue to be a hot-button issue. Honestly, most people do not understand the legal contours of the topic. I think politicians are exploiting this lack of understanding to promote policies that are bad for consumers, but which are good for getting re-elected. Privacy has swung to a more “pro-consumer” posture and will continue to remain that way for the next few years. This means that businesses need to be more careful about how they monetize personal information.
I also see a lot of businesses exploring international operations to reduce taxes and mitigate liability. The move is very appealing conceptually. There are legitimate tax advantages, which can be quite large for some businesses. Increasingly, online businesses are marketing to non-US consumers to reach audiences that had not previously been a target demographic. These international transactions are an opportunity, but are also more complicated than domestic transactions, so there is a greater need to rely on professional advisors with the right expertise.
eBDR: Can you share any “war” stories with us?
Rob: Ahh no. That’s privileged. What I can say is that I am frequently amazed at how successful people can become in this industry. Performance marketing success stories often happen overnight, and with that kind of swift success, it’s important to make sure all of your bases are covered legally. Typical clients can be 20-something college drop-outs who go from misfit to millionaire because they figured out something that worked, then hammered on it. It is sort of like a video game with guys competing to get the high score. I also see a lot of people “gaming” the system with varying degrees of legality. I think these businesses would see more long-term value if they applied their creative talents and insight in less risky ways. I see my role as a sort of tactical weapon. My clients are often the companies that have been around for a while or serial entrepreneurs who view legal services as a long term investment. I sometimes also get affiliates who want to “step out of the shadows” and pivot to a higher value business model. I can help make that happen.