Today at the 6th Annual Law Firm Marketing Summit, hosted by the Global Legal Post, we at Passle had the pleasure of hosting a session on the digital marketing journey for law firms - and what a session it was.
We were joined by Joy Price, Head of Digital Marketing at Howard Kennedy as she shared her invaluable expertise and insights into the transformation that her firm and the industry as a whole have undergone.
Here are our key lessons and takeaways from the session:
The right people and the right ambition are essential
The team at Howard Kennedy have been built from the ground up with the ambition to be different, to achieve highly and to challenge the traditional digital presence of a law firm.
To take a firm from a low digital maturity through to a high degree of sophistication in digital marketing in such a short space of time is exceedingly difficult - and impossible without ambitious, confident and competent people.
Credit too must go to the leadership of the firm, who supported and encouraged the digital ambition of the firm. The trust of the firm to invest early in a digital approach set Howard Kennedy in a better position than many to adapt to the events of 2020.
The right infrastructure is defined by need & capacity
A key part of the early work of the digital team at Howard Kenndy was an audit of the existing technologies the firm was using. The firm couldn't move forward without a clear idea of the value these technologies could bring.
Alongside the value those technologies could bring, the team also assessed their capacity to be experts in that technology and to get the most from them. Even the most powerful technology must be coupled with the internal ability to realise its potential.
Content is the basis for client and prospect engagement
Digital marketing relies on quality content to power email marketing, prospect nurture, personalisation and all the powerful components of a digital marketing engine.
The team at Howard Kennedy use the Hero, Hub, Hygiene philosophy to categorise their content. Hygiene content being the website & basic content that the market needs to see. Short, pithy, Passle powered insights from fee earners fill out the Hub content for regular engagement while larger and more wide-reaching content fulfils the Hero component.
Podcasts have been particularly successful for the firm to date, with the content proving to be popular, easy to produce and a limited demand on fee earner time given the quality of the output.
Invest your efforts carefully
Digital transformation does not come easily and not all people are ready to invest the time and effort to take advantage of the possibilities that it offers.
Joy recommends that if you are reaching out to someone to take part in an initiative, whether that be training, a place on a new program or some other part of the digital program, she suggests reaching out a maximum of three times to that person.
If the person you are trying to work with is unresponsive after three attempts at outreach - simply put your efforts into other areas and wait until that person reaches out to you.
What should be done is more important than what can be done
As the digital capability of a firm grows, the possibilities of what it can do online become vast. Less digitally mature firms naturally find limits where they do not have the capability or capacity to extend their efforts in a particular direction.
Digitally mature firms are able to take on more yet they must be more certain about what they are not going to undertake. Joy mentioned that her team knows that they will get more requests than they can cover so they need to be bold in their relationships internally to protect the quality of the critical areas they focus on.