I came into the legal profession in the early 1990’s, just as the age of the “national” law firms was dawning. The big downtown Vancouver firms of my formative years – all independents – were soon swept up in a maelstrom of merger mania with their equivalents in Toronto and Montreal. When the dust settled a few years later, we had the basic framework of the large law firm landscape that has prevailed in this country for the better part of the past two decades. In the ensuing years the nationals built out their networks with offices in Calgary, Ottawa . . . [more]
Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns
Many marketing professionals have been in a situation where they are packed up and leaving the office when a partner comes by and says they need a promotional package for a perspective client they are meeting first thing in the morning. Generally what will happen is the marketing person will sit back down at their desk and put together a package of material, much of which is available on the website, so that the partner has something to give to the client as a take away the next morning.
Funny thing is, potential clients don’t want it.
Often, not always, . . . [more]
Lawyers’ eyes usually glaze over when marketers talk about the six Ps of marketing: Product, Position, Package, Promotion, Price, and Place. You can’t sell legal services the same way you sell soap, they declare, because the products are different.
OK, so how would you define your product?
That’s where the fun starts. The usual first words are some combination of the three E’s—education, expertise, and experience. Well, the fact is, while each of these has a role in making a good lawyer, none of them is actually the lawyer’s product. Education is nice to have and it makes your mother . . . [more]
What can legal business developers learn from a consumer brand expert? Quite a bit, actually, Forbes Magazine contributor Patrick Spenner points out in his article that engagement is important… but that the new frontier in 2013 for consumer brands is… SIMPLICITY. How simple can we make it for a customer to make a decision to choose you?
As you know the legal profession is behind when it comes to adapting to trends… some lawyers are still not convinced that market engagement is a worthy goal. If you are one of the believers, then you know that market engagement matters! If . . . [more]
We all want our marketing efforts to go the distance. We want our work to be valued and valuable. I don’t know any legal marketing professional who doesn’t want their efforts to count. For these reasons, I believe, the Legal Marketing Association, Vancouver Chapter, asked me recently to present a session on how to increase marketing’s return on investment (ROI). How can our firms get even more from the ‘busy work’ of their marketing teams?
Put lightly, it’s a deep and complex topic and a challenge to skim its surface in a lunch session. Nevertheless, four key ways to . . . [more]
Over the past year, Google has made a number of significant changes to its delivery of search engine rankings. In light of those changes, law firms that employ various aggressive search marketing tactics need to reconsider them. In this column, I want to highlight some of the major web-spam filters that Google has created and offer some important (and ethical) lessons for maintaining a strong search engine presence.
Let’s start by discussing a couple of those changes.
Penguin and Panda
Major alterations to Google’s ranking methods tend to be given nicknames, kind of like hurricanes — but for some businesses, . . . [more]
A law firm client once asked me to facilitate their retreat—with two weeks’ notice. Gulp.
At the hastily called planning meeting, I asked the crucial question: why were they having the retreat? From my knowledge of their situation, I could have anticipated any one of several answers—except for the one I got. The managing partner first looked puzzled by the question and then said, “Well, we always go away somewhere!”
OK, so maybe I should have asked what they wanted to achieve, or what their goal was, or what they saw as the theme…but actually, I’d rather have an . . . [more]
One of the hottest ‘new’ tools for marketing and business development is infographics. Infographics are visually appealing, highly shareable and, when done right, can convey a lot of information quickly and easily, or make a mountain of data easy to understand. By combining text and visuals into one, infographics make the most of both to reinforce a message.
For lawyers, infographics are another tool that can be used to help differentiate a firm from others in the same practice area and a way to help clients and potential clients understand the legal process.
Lawyers are generally a text-heavy bunch. For . . . [more]
“I’m convinced half of all the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” - John Wannamaker
If you manage – or help pay for – your firm’s marketing expenditures, this quote likely has some resonance for you. “How do you know if it will work?” is a question I hear frequently in meetings with lawyers while discussing different marketing initiatives.
How does a firm track the effectiveness of its marketing efforts? The answer in most cases is anecdotally, if at all. If you are a sole practitioner dealing with every phone call . . . [more]
Recently I decided to move house. We love our neighbourhood and neighbours but the house itself just wasn’t what we needed for our family. We had done a number of renovations to make it work but it was still missing a few things we really wanted so it was time for a new home. By “new” I mean moving from a house that was built in 1913 to one that was built in 1920…
When speaking with our agent about our wish list for the new house, inevitably the question of budget came up. I had a rough idea of . . . [more]
I suppose it could be like setting up a start-up with their first set of corporate records and related legal documents. There’s a nervous excitement in the air of what’s to come. The possibilities. The probabilities.
What’s not to love? For me, the only thing better than branding a start-up business, is getting invited to rebrand an existing mature firm whose current brand is gasping for air and no longer really … sorry to say… visually relevant. In fact, most of the tired brands don’t say much or stand for anything. In reality, most legal brands are developed without much . . . [more]
Are you developing business solely by optimism and serendipity? Be honest. If that is how you have done it in the past, declare that 2013 is the year it will change! But, change to what? That is the question. In order for it to be driven by more than optimism and serendipity you must think about where you want to go and how to get there. That is a PLAN.
Your plan can be a page, 10 pages, a binder full or simply some notes on a napkin. It's not about the form; it's about the content. Write it down, . . . [more]