According to a 2018 joint Legal Marketing Association and Bloomberg Law survey of the latest trends in legal marketing, the majority of law firms (63 percent of respondents) are planning to increase their investment in marketing and business development activities over the coming two years. Along with this continued commitment to marketing, respondents to the survey acknowledged the importance of technology as a tool in bringing in new business. For example, attorney respondents reported that increased social media efforts (52 percent) and the investment in new technology (34 percent) were among the most effective marketing initiatives implemented over the prior two years.
While law firms may be among the more risk-averse sectors in terms of investing in new technology, attorneys are increasingly aware of the importance of incorporating tech into business development. As a result, there has been increased crossover and partnership between the once siloed marketing and technology departments, with some law firms employing marketing technology specialists to officially link the two functions. IT departments and marketing teams can work together to stay on top of new innovations and implement technology to reduce costs, which could evolve in the future to include blockchain and increased AI. Small firms might not have the budget to hire dedicated marketing technology specialists, but they can take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of their IT departments to bring in new business leads more efficiently and cost-effectively by using a few tech tools as described below.
There are many ways that law firms can harness technology to build existing relationships, develop new prospects, and bolster a firm’s brand and reputation, but some examples include:
- Search engine optimization and strategies to determine how content can be best adapted to yield the largest and most targeted audience;
- Social media management to broaden the reach of attorney and firm communications;
- Automating the input of data into contact relationship management systems, saving time and helping ensure accuracy; and
- Using data analytics to scrutinize and draw conclusions from client relationship reviews to make changes to attorney team structures and service offerings.
When a marketing team works with their IT counterparts to identify new ways to use technology, the partnership enhances rather than displaces the services they provide. Especially in small firms with a limited budget and staff, utilizing technological expertise often results in cost efficiencies and more targeted use of existing resources. Further, as more millennials and members of Generation Z become clients, they will expect a greater level of tech expertise in their service providers. Marketing teams that help their attorneys appear well-versed in new media, with the partnership of technology staff, will have greater success in reaching these new audiences.#MarketingandBusinessDevelopment#DesktopandApplicationServices