“It’s not enough to identify the decision-makers in an organization. For marketing and business development activities to be effective, firms need to focus on those points in the decision journey where they can be most successful in influencing those decision-makers.” McKinsey and Co (2014).
However, for law firms and professional services (PS) firms, this is easier said than done. Client engagement and loyalty can be improved only when firms start thinking beyond dated CRM systems being used and augment their digital technology capabilities to match the language that their clients speak and expect to hear from firms.
There are no quick tips we can suggest for law firms and PS firms here, but what we can suggest is a structured approach that will help firms constitute right decisions.
A recommended, 7 step journey that firms should undertake for improving digital client engagement include:
Ask yourself if you've identified your core personas and then basis that map your clients' buying journeys. Therefore, the first step in developing a digital strategy is understanding your clients and what their needs are.
Begin by defining your clients’ personas by interviewing them, business development teams and practice members in parallel with analyzing your data.
Content becomes the key when it comes to nurturing relationships online. What drives traffic to your site and retains it is great content - a fact supported by the 90% of B2B firms deploying content strategies today. But, it's not just about content. To fuel engagement and create relationships, various tools are needed. SEO, COPE (Create Once and Publish Everywhere), presentation, nurturing of leads and attention to social channels, all fundamentals should be considered.
“69% of North American marketers say dynamic, personalized content is important for their website. Only 5% say it’s of low importance.” – MarketingCharts (2015)
Having capabilities such as responsive design, providing an ideal user experience through a mobile app on smartphones, tablets and mobile devices and built-in social media support accentuates superior engagement including social.
Did you know inbound marketing could do wonders? By using this approach, firms can bring prospective clients to the website, turn unknown visitors to known (when they subscribe or download content), nurture prospects and build relationships.
Just like any eCommerce site, your partners and attorneys are your firm’s “products.” By highlighting their expertise (like shoes or cars on famous sites), you can showcase their talent online. For example, your bio pages position lawyers and their experiences, and you can use a blog or other resources to provide a byline for top attorneys, boosting their industry-wide credibility.
“The adoption of marketing automation technology is expected to increase by 50% by 2015.” - Sirius Decisions (2014)
By all means, an integrated eco-system of technologies will allow you to measure engagement, boost focus, nurture clients, drive conversion, offer consistent and relevant content and have a single view of the client across all channels. Therefore, the must haves to drive engagement include:
To prove how digital marketing is stimulating engagement with your clients and prospects, have your priorities defined.
To justify the investment of time and resources into the above-mentioned strategies, the first step has to be the set-up of consistent measurement standards. This should be followed by drawing up of lists - for both macro and micro goals. Further, it's key to invest in the right digital technology to support your analytic goals and finally, it is critical to pay attention to context.