Rating marketing efforts

There are pockets of excellence in the marketing operations of some law firms. But many do not make the most of best practices in performance management that have been successful in other sectors. This is according to findings from Totum's recent joint research with Calibrate Legal, the ‘2017 Law Firm Marketing Operations Index’, which explored ways in which marketing teams could improve their effectiveness and gain recognition for their contribution (click here to view the Executive Summary).

Our research surveyed law firms in the UK, US and Canada, asking them to rate their marketing teams across a range of business practices including alignment and accountability, marketing performance management and use of marketing data. Results showed that marketing leaders are confident that their teams are aligned to business needs. But they are less sure of their ability to measure marketing performance.

In our view, if marketers can't do this to prove their value over time, they will find it difficult to argue for a seat at the table. In some cases, the Marketing/BD budget may even be reduced or restructured.

So how can law firm marketing leaders move toward the goal of demonstrating Marketing/BD's contribution? Our research findings suggest the following as starting points.

Experiment with Return on Marketing Investment measurement


The survey showed that marketing teams rate themselves particularly low on their ability to measure Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). But while it may not be possible to calculate ROMI for the entire marketing budget, it is feasible at the level of an individual programme or campaign.

The key is to design the campaign to achieve a quantifiable revenue goal – for example, capturing leads for a particular type of matter. Determine a value for the average income that each new matter will generate for the firm. Add up all the costs associated with the campaign, including staff time. Estimate the average probability that each lead will come to fruition.

Then apply a formula. For example:

Your firm may use a different calculation, and that's fine. The point is to get agreement with all stakeholders around one methodology, and apply it consistently for all comparable campaigns. You'll then be able to use this information to plan future marketing budgets.

Consider adopting Account-Based Marketing (ABM)


The survey shows that most law firms are not organising their Marketing/BD around their most important clients - those who generate the greatest value for the firm over time. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) involves treating individual prospects or client accounts as markets of one, and designing strategies, campaigns and tactics against those markets. ABM has proven a strong connection to revenue growth in many other B2B sectors.

Use metrics to create a data-driven Marketing/BD culture


The survey shows that use of marketing metrics is quite variable at law firms. But that is changing rapidly because of the digital transformation that has affected all industries, including law firms.

Consider holding yourself and your team accountable for a small number of relevant Key Performance Indicators for marketing success. Define those rigorously, produce them on a regular schedule, and make sure they are noticed – ideally through a real-time Marketing Dashboard and/or quarterly scorecard.

Move Marketing/BD up the revenue value chain


The survey shows that law firms are working on improving their marketing business processes.

What's less clear are the objectives of those process improvements. The priority should be to connect marketing activity with revenue generation. In summary, when we improve a business process, consider how doing so can help the Marketing/BD team move from being obedient executers to revenue enablers.

Build the business case for more IT integration


An important survey finding is a strong relationship between law firm marketing directors and their CIOs / IT functions. We believe now is time to leverage those relationships to address a critical pain point - poor integration of marketing systems and data. Marketing leaders should consider partnering with IT to understand the technologies, envision the future, and create business cases for the investments that will be needed over time.

Map your team's skills so you can grow them.


Very few law firm marketing directors maintain an inventory of the skills available within their teams. By mapping the technical, interpersonal and organisational competencies that will be required to ensure your team is successful, then you will be able to develop your existing team, and refine roles when it's time to hire.

Totum regularly works with with US based firm Calibrate Legal on global research and recruitment projects. Click here to find out more about Calibrate Legal and Jennifer Scalzi, its Founder and CEO.


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