Many law firms have confused lead generation with increasing awareness. The second is easy to do, hence more lawyers have gone down this route.
The problem is that it does not necessarily mean you actually get more leads, increase your law firm client base or get more money. It often also takes place without any measurement whatsover regarding the likelihood of targts actually selecting law firms for specific services.
Most marketing that takes place to simply increase awareness in the hope that people will suddenly walk through the door asking for help fails. And when it fails, lawyers then take marketing less seriously because they don’t think it works for them.
This should not have to happen. Marketing that focuses on lead generation, which does involve activities to increase awareness, and which helps move prospects through a well-designed sales funnel, is what lawyers should be thinking of.
Here, every marketing activity is measurable, flexible enough to adapt to success or failure via various channels or strategies, and should help prospects self-select themselves as potential clients based on gaining their trust.
In a nut-shell, law firm marketing should drive demand and revenue!
Now, how many partners believes this happens in their law firms? Not many would say “yes”.
Getting marketing metrics embedded in law firms is difficult. If lawyers appear to be busy all the time, then there is a reluctance to change what they might be doing even if they don’t exactly know what activity made a prospect become a client.
If lawyers aren’t doing well, then inertia sets in regarding marketing. Cycnicsm stops many from thinking about defining what their sales funnels are and what specific steps they want their prospects to take as they go through each step of the funnel. The lack of confidence in marketing means testing various options is a no-go, and any talk about metrics gets lost as lawyers feel that networking, referrals and success in court are all that is needed to get more clients.
However, marketing technology and systems, and social media platforms, can and should be used by lawyers to generate leads and drive revenue. Marketing should not be an afterthought, but it should be the platform from which lawyers and their support teams build trust and positive experiences so that they stand out as leaders.
Leaders who build trust with prospects and gain followers using carefully thought out engagements are more likely to retain those prospects as clients.
2013, with all the competitive presssure that lawyers will face, is the time that marketing has to become accountable for revenue growth. It is not simply a cost centre!