August 6, 2016
To law firm marketers:
Our Law Firm Marketing Guide measured the astonishing growth and variety of law firm communications. Since then, much has been written about what works and what doesn’t in law firm marketing. But until now, no one has put those questions to the people who count: corporate counsel on the receiving end of our daily barrage of marketing missiles.
Rule One is: Know Thy Client. With that goal in mind, Market Intelligence interviewed lawyers and other executives who buy legal services for 170 large companies—a random sample of America’s largest corporations. Three-fifths of our respondents were from companies that have annual revenues of over $500 million; the remainder were from companies with revenues between $100 million and $500 million.
From their answers, we can draw an accurate picture of the buying methods in all large companies. Conclusions expressed as percentages have a maximum error of ±7.5 percent.
Though legal needs vary from company to company, buying patterns are strikingly similar. Companies of all sizes follow a basic two-step process: the initial search process, which we have called “Finding a law Firm,” and the final selection phase, which we have called “Choosing a Law Firm.” When lawyers fail to recognize these two distinct phases of the buying cycle, marketing materials become muddled or are used ineffectively. The most valuable lesson to be learned from the survey is that different marketing techniques are needed in each marketing stage. Corporate counsels’ needs for information evolve as the search process passes into the selection phase. Marketing techniques judged helpful early in the game may not work as well later on.
We hope that by understanding why different messages are needed in each stage of the buying cycle, you will be better equipped to plan efficient and cost-effective marketing communication tools for your firm.
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