Updated: May 28, 2020
The Irish Law Society: Growth Strategy Workshop
This discussion occurred at a recent full day's workshop on Growth Strategy in the Law Society of Ireland. The event, ran by Law Society Finuas Skillnet took place on the 11th March and had a panel which included Mary Cloonan from Marketing Clever and Dorcas Réamonn, a lecturer at the Smurfit School in UCD. There were a lot of great topics covered but I wanted to expand on some thoughts I shared around marketing strategy over tactics for law firms that day.
Law firm owners don't have time to keep up to date on every new effective marketing hack. There are always new emerging tactics, from chatbots to funnels. Some partners will catch wind of a new idea from time to time and attempt to implement it within their own firm. However, before you implement any new hack, it's important to take a step back and ask:
What is it that we want marketing to achieve?
What are some key objectives we want to achieve in our business and how can marketing help to get us there? Sometimes law firms can forget that marketing is a lever to achieve specific business goals. When things get busy within a firm, which so often happens, marketing campaigns or activities can be one of the first things to get pushed.
Our business, Evolve Marketing, acts as a legal marketing agency for firms of all shapes and sizes and we sometimes face resistance from partners before they become clients. This resistance to marketing usually falls into one of a few brackets:
1. Lack of time to do anything
2. Lack of confidence in its effectiveness
3. Lack of budget at the moment
So, why bother with marketing at all?
Is marketing that important?
Why do the biggest brands in the world invest millions in it every year?
Well, marketing is there to help you achieve your key business objectives.
Marketing can help you achieve numerous strategic goals. Every law firm is different and you will have different goals for the months ahead. So before you do anything marketing related, figure out what your key goals are, then identify a suitable strategy to get there. Tie your strategy to your goals and the suitable activities will be clearer.
Your firm may decide the following:
"We need to grow this service area of our firm", working back from that larger goal, you then get a series of objectives that can be achieved through different marketing campaigns. For example, to grow that service area of your firm you may decide;
- We need to open up more conversations with this type of business.
- We need to be seen as a thought leader in this field.
- We need our firm to be associated with this field.
The image below depicts a strategic decision a firm might make and the tactics that might be associated with that goal.
Of course not every firm does this but unfortunately, marketing can be pushed aside within a busy firm. Especially now with digital marketing and so much to cover. There are new software tools and marketing acronyms being spouted every day, it can be easier as a partner to turn a blind eye to the area as a whole.
To simplify, try reframing marketing as storytelling as opposed to this ever-changing digital area. There will always be new tools, new chatbots and new trends that you will hear through the grapevine.
But instead, simply see your marketing department as your storytelling team. They are the ones who engage with your current and prospective clients and tell their stories every day.
Your marketing is how you communicate the stories you engage within your firm every day.
Your law firm should be the hero of the stories you tell. The antagonist or the dark force in the stories is all the problems that your potential clients face.
Business is all about solving problems. Your marketing needs to communicate the problems you help people solve and the best way to communicate is through stories.
Strategy supersedes tactics and your strategy decides what you want to achieve. The tactics you will implement will dictate how you get there.
The Evolve Marketing firm works at the cross-section between the digital and legal industries.
Our work takes on different forms depending on the firm. We work for some firms as an outsourced marketing department and for others as an extension to their team. We also do some custom ad hoc project-based work for firms depending on the requirements.
We impose a cap with the number of firms we work with per market so if you would like to have an introductory consultation, then please book a time that fits your schedule.