As a law firm owner, you may be wondering about the future of marketing in the legal industry and what strategies can benefit your law firm. As the host of the Profit with Law podcast, I recently had the pleasure of hosting Tanner Jones, Vice President of Business Development for Consultwebs and host of the Law Firm Podcast. Our conversation was insightful, covering important topics that can help you navigate the evolving marketing landscape.
Meet Tanner Jones: A Marketing Guru in the Legal Industry
Tanner Jones has been working with lawyers for over 14 years and joined Consultwebs over a decade ago. His previous experience in the insurance business and human resources has been instrumental in his current role. Consultwebs focuses on digital marketing for law firms and has grown to over 130 clients across the country. Their mission is to help law firms grow their business and make a positive impact in their communities.
Agile Marketing: The Future of Legal Marketing
One of the key topics we discussed was agile marketing, which Tanner highlighted as the future of legal marketing. Agile marketing is all about being accountable for your marketing spend and constantly reallocating resources to platforms that are producing results. However, managing fragmented budgets and inconsistent reporting from multiple marketing platforms can be a challenge. Tanner emphasized the importance of testing, measuring, and optimizing your marketing efforts to achieve progress and increase profitability.
Measuring Success in Marketing: A Multi-Stage Approach
When it comes to measuring success in marketing, Tanner explained the importance of allocating your marketing dollars to different stages of the marketing funnel. While the majority of your budget should be spent on the bottom of the funnel, where potential clients are actively searching for lawyers, it's equally important to invest in the top of the funnel to create awareness and build brand equity. This can be done through strategies like content creation and longer-tail SEO. Investing in brand equity can ultimately lead to lower costs per client acquisition in the long run.
The Challenge of Marketing Spend Allocation
Determining the allocation of your marketing spend can be challenging, especially if you don't have a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in place. Tanner suggests taking an inventory of your existing assets, such as your website, to assess their performance and identify opportunities for improvement. He also encourages law firms to tap into their own networks and engage in grassroots marketing efforts to reciprocate value.
Setting Benchmarks and Tracking Success
To make informed decisions about your marketing spend, Tanner recommends conducting assessments and setting benchmarks. This includes tracking the cost per case and holding vendors or internal marketing teams accountable. Establishing SMART goals tied to each marketing strategy and regularly evaluating the metrics to determine if they are trending up, flat, or trailing down is crucial.
The Importance of Touchpoints in Consumer Decision Making
Tanner mentioned a Google report from the summer of 2020 that highlights the growing number of touchpoints required for a consumer to feel comfortable enough to hire or purchase from a brand. Google suggests that consumers now need at least 26 touchpoints before making a decision. These touchpoints can include seeing advertisements, reading reviews, or exploring a brand's website.
Nurturing Leads and Staying Top of Mind
This highlights the importance of nurturing leads and staying top of mind with potential clients. Just because someone stops responding or communicating doesn't mean they're not interested. They may be observing and evaluating their options. By consistently providing valuable content through email, you increase the chances of being the one they choose when they're ready to make a decision.
The "Messy Middle" and How to Navigate It
Understanding the concept of the "messy middle" is also crucial. The "messy middle" refers to the exploration and evaluation process between the first touchpoint and the final decision. To navigate this process effectively, it's important to implement strategies like email nurturing and showcasing credentials and social proof. This helps to grow your practice and increase your visibility in the marketplace.
Taking Action: An Action Plan for Law Firms
To help you take action, Tanner suggests starting by taking an inventory check and soliciting assessments from marketing consultants to gain an objective understanding of your current marketing. Then, identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter to your business and establish benchmarks. Walk through the process of setting goals and aligning your marketing strategies with those goals. This increases accountability and the probability of success.
It’s also important to seek comprehensive reviews from outside vendors who can provide unbiased feedback. Consider independent consultants who don't have a service to offer behind their review. Tanner offers a free assessment from Consultwebs for listeners, providing an excellent starting point for law firms looking to optimize their marketing strategies.
In conclusion, the future of marketing in the legal industry is evolving, and it's crucial for law firm owners like you to stay ahead of the curve. By embracing agile marketing, allocating marketing spend effectively, nurturing leads, and understanding the "messy middle," you can optimize your marketing strategies and grow your business. Take action today and start implementing these insights to make a positive impact in your law firm.
[00:00] Introduction to Tanner Jones
[05:09] What is Agile Marketing?
Explanation of agile marketing and its application to law firm marketing, focusing on the need for consistent reporting and measurement of success.
[09:00] Understanding the Marketing Funnel
Explanation of the marketing funnel and how different types of advertising and metrics should be tied to different stages of the funnel, such as top-of-mind awareness and brand search.
[11:27] How Much to Spend During Each Phase of the Marketing Funnel
Discussion on funnel marketing and the importance of allocating a significant portion of marketing budget to the bottom of the funnel, focusing on search engine optimization and sales activation efforts.
[14:02] Phases of Growth and Shifting Marketing Dollars
Explanation of the different phases of growth for law firms and how marketing budget allocation should change accordingly, with a focus on investing more in brand equity as the firm reaches the market dominator stage.
[18:44] How to Find the Right Marketing Solution
Discussion on evaluating current and potential marketing efforts and the importance of using key performance indicators to make informed decisions.
[25:58] The Consumer Journey
Exploration of a Google study that reveals the increasing number of touchpoints required for consumers to feel comfortable hiring or purchasing from a brand.
[37:13] 3 Step Action Plan
Provides a step-by-step action plan for listeners to implement after learning about marketing KPIs and strategies.
[42:17] Overcoming Mindset Limitations
Discusses the mindset limitation that lawyers often have when it comes to marketing and encourages them to see themselves as business owners first and foremost.
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Tanner joined Consultwebs over a decade ago with a mission to support Consultwebs' long history of helping law firms grow their business through the Internet. Now, having consulted thousands of attorneys, he is Consultwebs' Vice President of Business Development and Host of the popular legal marketing and management Podcast, Lawsome.
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