Law firm marketers are faced with a significant challenge today – they are in a highly competitive space that has seen flat growth for some time now and therefore clients prefer those law firms that can clearly differentiate themselves from others. Client preferences and the choices they have been having a disruptive impact on how marketers need to, and must, engage with them.
When a client considers a law firm to work with, it usually is well informed, has done good research and has started its decision-making process well before it decides to approach the law firm or speak to one of the firm’s attorneys. If one were to map such a client’s buying lifecycle, one could easily ascertain that the research and evaluation stages of this lifecycle are the ones where the bulkhead of the decision-making process resides.
With this scenario as the battlefield, are law firm marketers doing enough to create effective engagement with clients at the start of clients’ buying cycles? The answer is – probably not. Do these marketers see the massive opportunity that digital presents to improve engagement with clients and influence their buying decisions? Based on our experience of working with several AmLaw 100 firms, the answer to this is – partially yes.
In a recent research, we did on AmLaw 50 websites, firms market in a one-size fits all way, where they push the same content to all clients, there are no repeat visitors to their websites, content marketing is not aligned with clients’ buying journeys, law firm marketers are unable to measure if their efforts are engaging clients.
In one of the revealing outcomes of our research, we found that just 2% of the top global law firms include active personalization on their websites. This brings out the largely prevalent ‘spray and prays’ marketing and content tactics that are in practice – there is a lot of content that is being published on law firm websites but very little is targeted at or directed to the right clients at the right time in their buying journeys.
Such incoherent marketing effectively results in ineffective client engagement on digital and broken experiences for clients. The bigger risk of ineffective client engagement, off course, is that clients may lose interest and become disillusioned when a law firm that they may have considered but decided not to pursue, presents them with few good reasons to reconsider their decision.