Increased competition, mergers and acquisitions, and the advent of the digital age have dramatically transformed law firm marketing. With so much change already, can law firms expect even more by 2020? Four legal-marketing leaders weigh in.
Mobile Will Matter More
Daniel Sarath, Digital Marketing Executive for Mangus Legal, points out that mobile traffic has now overtaken desktop, and that points to how consumers will engage in the future.
“For law firms in 2020, this not only means having a responsive mobile website (this should be obvious in 2016, yet many of our firm’s competitors still do not have one) but implementing a digital marketing strategy geared at mobile users,” he said. “It is likely to embrace social media, video marketing, apps and content marketing, as well as SEO tactics that meet the growing use of smartphone voice search.”
Relationships Will Continue to Take Center Stage
You can have the best digital presence, but that won’t matter without strong personal relationships, insists John Remsen, Jr., President and CEO, The Remsen Group.
“Generally, clients hire lawyers not law firms. And they hire lawyers they know, like and trust,” he explained. “Looking ahead to 2020, building and maintaining trusted relationships – especially with current clients and referral sources – will become more important than ever. It starts with demonstrating that you care by delivering great service, by knowing your client, her business and her industry. Beyond that, visit your clients on a regular basis. Break bread with your key contacts from time to time. Invest in relationships. You can’t buy them. They must be earned over time.”
Frank Strong, Founder and President of Sword and the Script Media, LLC, says that the most competitive law firms will increasingly rely on technology to address weak relationships, strengthen existing ones, and identify opportunities.
“Studies show the number of client relationships a firm establishes directly affects the risk of flight. Relationships are essential in a highly competitive legal landscape where services outweigh demand,” he noted. “By 2020, most large law firms will re-affirm that relationships still matter in law firm business development, but how they manage those relationships will be heavily augmented with technology,”
Jill S. Weber wholeheartedly agrees. As Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for Stinson Leonard Street, and the President-Elect of Legal Marketing Association, she is fascinated with how new technology will help serve clients better.
“The impact of artificial intelligence is going to be significant,” she said, “We’re starting to see some law firms implement what I call AI platforms, the phrase I just heard at a webinar I listened to this week is “intelligent technology solutions.” This is where processes that might have been handled manually by a team of lawyers can now be automated…They can do things via technology that reduces the time it takes to get clients an answer, significantly reduces client cost, and creates a platform that can be accessed 24/7. Clients will no longer have to wait for a lawyer to call them back. This technology is just beginning to develop and emerge.”
Jill also noted that client relationships will be strengthened through internal collaboration.
“I think that legal marketers will increasingly be partnering with the finance, IT, and knowledge-management teams to really figure out, in a collaborative and innovative way, how to serve their clients better,” she said.
Do you agree? What do you predict for law-firm marketing? If you’re aligned with what John, Frank and Jill have to say, you’ll want to take two minutes to check out how Introhive is using one-of-a-kind technology to make customer relationship management easier than ever before.