Earlier this month, Adam Stock, Chief Client Service and Marketing Officer at Allen Matkins, delivered the keynote at the 2014 Legal Marketing Technology Conference. In his talk, titled “The technology horizon: Essential technologies for law firm marketers”, Adam spoke about the birth of the Chief Marketing Technologist, who will lead the way with technology in marketing. He cited Gartner, who suggest that by 2017, CMOs will spend more money on technology than CIOs.
Adam advised law firm marketers to ensure that mobile is a key part of their marketing strategy. The way people consume content is changing rapidly, and today smart devices have an immeasurable impact on how firms do business and present themselves to others. Law firms need to adapt to the fact that people increasingly consume information on the go on their mobile devices; marketers need to be able to reach out to clients and potential clients via mobile too. Adam urged marketers to make sure that their website is easily viewable on mobile devices, and that marketing emails are easily readable on mobile devices.
Adam also raised social media, which he said was important both for client engagement and relations with in-house and outside counsel. Adam stated that a large proportion in-house counsel uses social media (particularly LinkedIn) to vet outside counsel, and described LinkedIn as an online store for clients to shop for lawyers. Adam referred to a generational gap that is emerging between law firms and their clients, explaining that law firm leaders are typically older than the leaders of large companies, and law firms need to adjust their communications to match that of the companies they deal with. This includes building social media into their marketing strategy.
Adam also reinforced the importance of practicing joined-up sales and marketing within law firms. Although law firms may not think of themselves as sales-led organisations, business development is the link between the two. Adam advised that firms invest in sales automation tools to keep client and prospect information up to date. He stressed the importance of regular database scraping to ensure contact data is current and as valuable to business development and marketing practices as possible.
Finally, Adam emphasised the importance of content marketing for today’s law firms. No longer should expertise and knowledge be considered an exclusive resource, restricted to paying clients only. It is now expected that degrees of this expertise and knowledge should be shared as widely and freely as possible, no longer used only as a business tool, but also as a promotional device. Adam explained that great law firm content trains firms’ target markets on the value the firm is capable of providing. This leads to law firms becoming trusted brands, and trusted sources of information. This is why content marketing should be a key part of a law firm’s business development strategy.