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Legal Marketing Trends for 2016: Chambers, Lexology, ContactEase & in-House Experts Share Their Insights

Once again, our team at fSquared Marketing are thrilled to present a group of wonderful legal marketing experts who are willing to share their wisdom related to the trends they foresee for the coming year.

Their predictions this year include mobilization of content, utilizing existing CRM systems to leverage and grow relationships, the evolution of client service delivery, storytelling as the PR tool of the moment, digital marketing (websites & social media) opening opportunities for legal directory exposure for smaller firms, and firms building marketing teams of the future.

A short excerpt from each contributor can be found below. To read the entire piece you can find it here.

Client Relationship Management (CRM)

By thinking differently about the use of our CRM systems, we can utilize existing technology to leverage and grow our relationships. Moving from mailing list management tools to fully functional business development and relationship intelligence tools is a clear trend emerging for 2016.

Jennifer Whittier – Chief Brand Officer, ContactEase CRM by Cole Valley Software, Inc.

Innovation and Client Service Delivery

The most important factor in any service delivery program will be trust and communication. The firms who can leverage new technologies, new service providers and of course, more demanding and discerning clients, who will think out of the box and work with clients, sharing-risk in new endeavours, will be those that excel in service delivery and who will undoubtedly, reap the benefits.

Oliviana Mingarelli – Director of Business Development, Fasken Martineau

Media and Public Relations

Let’s say you finally have a good story – one that clients, reporters and potential recruits will recognize as innovative and trailblazing, there are many ways to disseminate it that are impactful and meaningful. One of the best ways to tell a story is to capture it on video, which creates great content to repurpose.

Reilly Starr – Public Relations Manager, Paul Hastings

Websites & Digital Strategy

While is still amazes me how many law firms websites are still not mobile responsive those who are late to the game have the distinct opportunity to leapfrog their competition. They can do this if they pursue a “Mobile First” approach in the design and construction of their website and the content served on it. This will be the way agile law firms in 2016 will tackle their site re-designs.

Rob Foley – Co-Founder & Chief Digital Officer, fSquared Marketing

Legal Marketing Recruitment

As firms must meet the demands of a market that is more dependent on big data, marketing technology and measureable BD efforts, the time of the “marketing department of the future” is here. In 2016, firms will be forced to decide what their department of the future looks like, how it operates, and how to build it. This will result in firms hiring new talent to support the build out of these innovative teams.

Jennifer Johnson Scalzi – President & Founder, J. Johnson Executive Search

E-Mail Marketing

In 2016, mobilization of content is still a strong trend. Clients still consume and share content mostly from their mobile devices and this means that delivery of content in a way that is digestible on mobile should be the priority of developing a successful campaign and effectively delivering client communications. Since our clients receive communications from a multitude of competing sources, customization and personalization of content will significantly impact ability to get readership and ensure clients engage with the piece and continue on the user journey. Additionally, tweaking the language in campaigns to be short, snappy but still substantive, will help cater to an always on-the-go audience.

Pamela Tobias – Marketing Technology Manager, White & Case

Legal Directories

The other issue which has really come to the fore over the last 12-18 months is succession planning. It’s no secret that clients are concerned about law firms’ abilities to address their needs over the longer term and this is something we are hearing more and more about from both private practice and in-house lawyers. Law firms are increasingly promoting their rising stars both in terms of their involvement in major transactions and cases as well as celebrating their achievements via social media. Chambers has noticed that, increasingly, younger partners are taking on leadership roles of key practices at major law firms.

Joanna Lane – Editor, Chambers Canada

And as for my personal prediction?

Branding for Law Firms

In the coming year we’ll see those law firms who are undertaking a brand refresh to rise above the crowd concentrating as much on the brand message as the brand visual. They’ll be the firms that know their target clients and are willing to let go of parts of the market in order to have an authentic, distinctive message.

There will be an emphasis on the extension of the law firm brand with a clear focus on areas not traditional associated with the brand including client service delivery and knowledge sharing.

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