We talk to lawyers every day about their firm’s history with marketing. Many are frustrated. They’ve tried a few different marketing strategies, and nothing seems to work.
This is the part of the conversation where we start to ask a lot of questions. What, specifically, isn’t working? What have you tried? Who have you worked with? Generally, when lawyers feel frustrated with their marketing efforts, it’s for one of two reasons:
Your marketing strategy’s success relies on your ability to understand what’s working, what’s not working and how to reinvest your time, money, and priorities. It sounds complicated, and sometimes it can be. But there’s one thing that can help you make those decisions:
It’s the cornerstone to building and improving your firm’s marketing efforts to maximize their results. A marketing campaign isn’t going to be effective unless you have a clear plan for how you’ll measure your results. Law firms that can create a data-driven marketing strategy will make smarter investments and see better results than those who judge their marketing efforts on in a more subjective manner.
You should have data to measure every marketing effort you make as a law firm. However, one of the most important pieces of data you can collect is data about how new clients first heard of your law firm. We’re always surprised at how many attorneys we talk to who genuinely don’t know where most of their new cases come from. Word of mouth? Their radio ads? An online search?
If you’re making an effort to find the right mix of marketing efforts, it’s extremely important that you understand the volume of cases each is driving. There are a few ways to start collecting this data.
Setting up unique tracking phone numbers can take a lot of manual work out of collecting data. Rather than having your firm’s intake process ask people how they heard of you, setting up unique tracking numbers for each marketing tactic helps to automate this process. While you may not be able to do this for every single type of advertisement, it should help you identify where the majority of phone calls to your firm are coming from.
It’s likely the case that many of your law firm’s marketing efforts are digital. You should have plenty of data on your legal website and any paid marketing efforts you’re engaging in, whether it’s social media advertising or attorney PPC campaigns. Almost everything that happens online is trackable, so your marketing team should have a solid understanding of your digital presence and how your efforts are performing.
You can collect a lot of data during the intake process. While you shouldn’t ask too many questions on an online intake form, it’s okay to include an optional question that will help you understand how someone heard of your firm.
Collecting the data is just the first step. Once you have the right systems and technology in place to capture the right data, you’ll need to analyze it regularly. Keep these tips in mind as you build your data-driven strategy.
Remember that the best marketing is rooted in data. Let’s say you recently released a radio commercial. The next month, you see an uptick in the number of new cases. It’s tempting to want to say it’s because of your radio advertising, but be careful about confusing causation with correlation. It may be true, but you should have solid data to back up your assumptions about which marketing tactics are working.
Sometimes, it’s not necessarily the case that your marketing isn’t working. It may just be that your goals aren’t realistic. For example, a small practice in a major metro area cannot expect to double their cases in a short amount of time while still spending less on marketing efforts than other firms in the area.
It’s important to understand your business, what you can afford to invest and how much revenue growth you need to justify your marketing investments. It’s even more important that the goals you set are realistic. Take law firm SEO for example. While it has the potential to be a major business-driver for almost every type of law firm, it can take a few months to show results, so you need to make sure you can keep your firm’s business afloat as those efforts ramp up.
Data isn’t incredibly useful if you view it on a one-time basis. The beauty of a true data-driven marketing strategy is that it allows you to view trends over time and develop a deeper understanding of your law firm’s growth. Data analysis is an ongoing process, and your marketing should be constantly evolving if you want to grow your legal practice.
Want to talk about how data can help fuel your law practice’s growth? We’re always up for a conversation. Contact us today.