How serious are law firms about their marketing? And how are attorneys working with their in-house marketers and business development professionals to reach their goals? Are attorneys and their legal marketers on the same page?
Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association have just released a report called “Are We There Yet? Revealing the Latest Trends in Legal Marketing and Business Development”), which helps answer some of these questions. The report is based on a survey of attorneys, legal marketing, and business development professionals, who were asked about some of the latest trends in their industries and work environments.
Here’s what stood out in the report:
1. Law firms are stepping up their marketing and business development game. The report showed that 67% of attorneys, marketing/business development professionals say their firms are focusing more on these types of efforts. They also said the number one driver of this change is internal pressure to generate more revenue (68%). Meanwhile, the second biggest driver was corporate counsel cutting down on the number of firms they work with (46%), and the third driver was pressure from other firms doing marketing effectively (43%).
2. Attorneys, legal marketers, and business development professionals are now juggling more responsibilities. For attorneys, the biggest new role they had to take on was managing their social media presence. For law firm marketing and business development professionals, they are now doing more social media activities, content marketing, client service, client relationship management, practice and business planning, practice and process improvement, firm strategic planning, and attorney coaching.
3. Marketers and business development professionals are more optimistic about their relationship with attorneys than the other way around. Fortunately, both camps say their relationship has been generally positive and has improved over the past 2 years (88% of attorneys and 99% of marketers). However, the majority of attorneys describe their relationship as “challenging at times” in the top 5 responses compared to just a quarter of marketers. On the other end of the spectrum, about 40% of marketing/business development professionals say they’d like to see more responsiveness and buy-in from the attorneys at their firm.
And while the biggest challenge for both sides is lack of time, marketing and business development professionals are more worried about lack of budget and insufficient staffing, while attorneys seemed to be more heavily focused on attracting the right lead leads and getting appointments with potential clients.
4. A good portion of attorneys have marketing technology, but they could be using them more effectively. The data from the report shows that two-thirds of law firms are using client relationships management (CRM) and business intelligence software. However, it also showed that these systems and others technologies are largely being underutilized by marketers and business development professionals, due to barriers such as complexity and cost.
As we can see from this report, law firms are feeling the pressure of ramped-up competition, and that is leading to a greater investment in marketing. That creates a great amount of opportunity for law firms (better marketing = better leads and more cases), though, it does put a certain level of strain on both the attorneys and their in-house legal marketing teams as they take on more responsibility.
There is also the challenge of strengthening the attorney-marketer relationship. It is important that both sides properly communicate and ensure that they have aligned goals and strategies. In addition to that, marketers need to ensure that they are taking full advantage of the technology and resources that are available to them—enabling them to work more efficiently and streamline their various marketing efforts.
Is your law firm taking advantage of the best marketing solutions out there?
If not, you should give Scorpion a call. We are an award-winning Internet marketing company that partners with law firms and works as an extension of their marketing teams. We handle everything from designing websites to creating the campaigns that bring those websites more traffic, giving legal marketers a chance to breathe and attorneys peace of mind that are getting enough clients. Contact our law firm marketing experts to find out how we can help your team.
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About the Author
Peter Webb is the Senior VP of Sales at Scorpion. He has been at the company since its inception and has more than a decade of experience helping law firms develop tailored marketing and business plans so they can better achieve the growth and case types they want. Peter has two daughters and spends time golfing, reading, BBQing, and cooking. He currently lives in Southern California, but he has also lived in the Midwest and British Columbia.