There is nothing like a shock to the marketplace to get everyone appreciating the value of marketing. But there is more to marketing than meets the eye. While most firms have been engaged in marketing for the firm for some time now (though they may not have called it “marketing”), those really hitting their strides are realizing all the different types of marketing which must be done.
What is Firm Marketing?
What most firms have done as marketing historically is marketing the firm as a whole. Buying ads in various local yearbooks, programs, and flyers is indeed marketing. Marketing the firm as a whole is important. Reminding people of the firm’s existence helps increase the odds of being in the right place at the right time – in the minds of someone making a decision about hiring or recommending a lawyer. Other types of firm marketing include the substance of promotional purveyors’ dreams – daily use items embossed with the firm logo. In the old days, it was magnetic calendars, football schedules, letter openers, pens, thumb drives, and cozies. Now, it’s bottles of hand sanitizers and masks. A website serves as a marketing tool for the firms as a whole, as does a firm’s social media presence.
They all have their place in a firm’s marketing budget.
What is Practice Area Marketing?
But there is more. A firm’s marketing goals are not complete unless they also include marketing of practice areas (or types of cases) and individual marketing plans. Marketing a firm’s practice areas serves two functions: education and reminder. This type of marketing educates and informs potential clients and referral sources of the types of work or services that the firm provides. Don’t assume everyone knows what all you do. They don’t. And if they do, they need to be reminded. Why? Because others are marketing to them as well. Someone may know you for one type of practice but not realize that others in the firm are equally skilled at providing other services. Even if those clients or former clients didn’t have a need for those services in the past, they may need them now or might know someone who does.
Leverage those relationships by informing and reminding them of the variety of services and practice areas in which the firm is involved.
You Can Market Your Firm and You
An additional type of marketing which a firm must plan for is marketing its individual members. If it makes you nervous to spend money marketing one of your partners, then perhaps you should reconsider the partnership. Everyone in a firm should devote time, energy and resources to marketing themselves and their practice. Now, all may not need to invest in the same marketing tools. Everyone is different. Play to your strengths. A partner who is a social creature who can generate business from social connections should be supported in enhancing and developing those connections. Others who are active professionally and garner business through referrals from other lawyers should be supported in those endeavors. Still others who have the ability to connect with individuals within a particular trade or business should be supported in those activities. If the firm’s compensation plan is effective, everyone will benefit from a lawyer’s increased production (work generated for themselves or others in the firm).
A rising tide should raise all ships.