For decades, the concept of marketing and all that it entails has been strictly linked to the activity of a company. It is inconceivable to optimise a firm without its marketing strategy or plan. But do we know for sure what it is? Although it is a concept on people’s lips, there are many misunderstandings about it. Therefore, we aim to explain what marketing is, in particular legal marketing, and what are the different ways to apply it to the sector.
What is marketing?
Based on the definition of the Royal Spanish Academy, it is the “set of principles and practices that seek to increase trade, especially demand”. Defined further and applied in the legal field, it could be understood as a management process that recognises, fulfils and anticipates the needs for legal advice in a cost-effective manner.
So let’s take it one step at a time. First of all, it is a management process, so it is optimal to make a plan, based on steps that set the path to achieve the established objectives. This will require an analysis of the market, the competition, the company itself, among others, which will facilitate optimised decision-making, which will be reflected in the marketing strategy.
When it comes to recognising, meeting and anticipating the client’s legal advice needs, the key is to be forward-looking in order to build client loyalty; to know them well enough to know what their demands will be.
Last but not least, profitability. If the reward in terms of results is greater than the resources that have been allocated, we are talking about a profitable marketing action. And profitability is not only economic profitability, but also to be able to generate more influence, traffic of potential clients, notoriety, achieve a certain cache, among other objectives.
A company, whatever its field, lives according to the customer demand it has. A law firm, whether it is a small, medium or large firm, also needs this marketing to maintain a constant activity. Therefore, any activity or action that is carried out in that law firm with the objective of maintaining a constant flow of clients will be considered legal marketing. Examples include organising events, posting news on the blog, managing relationships with clients and other lawyers, among many other possibilities.
How to implement legal marketing strategies?
To improve the flow of clients, cache and positioning of the company, among other objectives of legal marketing, different actions can be carried out. Specifically, they should focus on the strengths of each firm. Here are a couple of examples:
- Optimisation of the website and its SEO positioning. Nowadays, the Internet is indispensable for searching for information. In order to give an image of seriousness and neatness, the aesthetics and the functioning of the law firm’s website must be taken care of. Any potential client who enters a website that does not work properly or does not provide the information they need will look for another website – and therefore another firm – that meets their needs. This is why optimising it will be a key point both in attracting customers and in the image given to the outside world. In addition, working on SEO is key to appearing in the searches of potential clients.
- Manage the website’s blog. One of the most commonly used strategies is to have a blog in one of the sections of the website. This blog needs to generate content on a regular basis and to solve, as far as possible, the doubts that visitors to the website may have. By generating a flow of users who enter the website, a better positioning of the website is achieved, so it is a process that feeds back on itself. The best way to manage the blog is to adjust the length to the subject matter. If the enquiry received is on a very specific topic, the best option is to provide a short and concise answer. On the other hand, if the content generated deals with a broader topic, it is advisable to write a post of more than 1800-2000 words in order to optimise the website based on Google’s algorithm.
- Social media activity. Another action related to content generation is to keep social networks active. Infotainment is becoming more and more present in our lives thanks to technological developments. We live in a constant supply of content: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc., so to get information – and with it your service – to potential customers, it is no longer enough to advertise in a classic way, but offering content related to your product or service will attract people who may need it.
Marketing does not always have to be online
Looking at the above activities, they all depend on the Internet. While a permanent connection may have its positive points – that ‘communication mode’ can bring in customers – there are actions beyond the online connection.
One of the most important points is relationship marketing. It is based on personal relationships, not only with clients, which is also important, but also with other lawyers.
As far as clients are concerned, the aim is for them to feel that their lawyers are someone they can trust and rely on in case they need legal help. Conveying that confidence and making help available are key actions that will enhance the client-lawyer relationship. Good communication is also key. To improve communication, understanding and fluidity, it never hurts to make use of tools or software that streamline some costly processes and keep the customer on top of things, such as a contract management tool like Bounsel.
Having contacts in the work environment can be seen as having allies. You never know when you might need help – for example a doubt on a very specific issue, they can help you on the basis of their experience – or when a lawyer who is dispensing with a case might delegate to you and take advantage of that business opportunity. This is why taking care of working and professional relationships can be a key point in relationship marketing. In order to care for them, a social effort has to be made, which at certain times can be helpful, such as attending events or talks that they organise.
Is outsourcing a good option?
If there is no experience, it never hurts to have marketing actions, which require a certain degree of experience and knowledge, carried out by specialised agencies. In addition, outsourcing reduces the firm’s workload in relation to marketing, so the firm will achieve more efficient and productive results. By professionalising this section, you start to think about the customer, which brings a number of benefits, such as conveying brand value more effectively.
However, outsourcing these activities entails an extra cost and, although the work is done by an external team, this team continues to work for the company, so meetings will be necessary from time to time (7, 15, 30 days) with the person in charge of the marketing department, with the aim of coordinating and communicating what is intended with the campaigns and that the office goes to one.