When it comes to law firm marketing, objectives may have stayed the same but the tactics certainly haven't. A really interesting panel discussion sponsored by the IBA recently sought to answer the overarching question of 'what will the future law firm marketing department look like?' Lavinia Calvert, Michael Hertz, Gaia Francieri, and Jennifer Johnson all looked into their crystal balls to give us more of a picture.
3 distinct areas were discussed with the main highlights as follows:
How Has Legal Marketing Pivoted During The Pandemic?
- Less focus on deals and wins with a shift to the promotion of core values and initiatives like CSR, Pro-Bono, ESG and charity.
- A personal approach to marketing has proven far more effective with an effort to deepen the 'trusted advisor' relationship with clients. Interactions have become far more authentic between lawyers as a result.
- More law firms are adopting the consultancy model when it comes to marketing and business development by focusing on a sector and industry approach with lawyers encouraged to speak the language of the industry.
The Growing Importance Of Technology
- CRM, ERM, E-mail marketing and content management roles have all been underlined and reinforced over the last 12-18 months.
- Huge value has been placed on experience management and knowledge management tools. With an emphasis on the analysis of past experience in search of useful trends and insights that can then be used to identify white space opportunities for growth.
- In house marketing technology teams are growing with the acceptance that certain technology tools are needed in order for firms to grow in the market.
How Marketing & BD Roles Are Changing
- The first point discussed was the physical to virtual event shift. After an initial reluctance, it was agreed that lawyers have now embraced the fact that digital events allow for a more effective and customised follow up with the ability to track attendees and questions. Attendance, in general, was also unexpectedly high.
- Social media has emerged as an essential channel for communication with clients, users and the content produced has increased rapidly.
- Data, information and how it can be visualised has also become far more important in a marketing tool kit as it helps understand clients and practices. As a result, many firms are putting more emphasis on CRM and recruiting specialist BI professionals.
The panel finished by looking at how marketing leaders are looking towards solving the next challenge of attributing marketing and BD activity to ROI. Tracking metrics on marketing content is the first step and if done well it can help shape the whole marketing strategy by revealing what content is most engaging.
We know from our many law firm clients here at passle, that this is always timely, authentic, digestible, expert-led (the lawyers) content.