Marketing strategy for personal injury lawyers at MASS conferencePosted on: October 30, 2013
At the MASS (Motor Accident Solicitors Society) http://www.mass.org.uk/ conference last week, I was asked to introduce the panel on marketing with an overview of the need for a marketing strategy for personal injury lawyers when trying to reach the consumer. And in just 15 minutes!
The key points I covered included:
- Too often I see firms in desperate straits flailing around trying out every new marketing tool in the hope of generating work. This ad-hoc approach is likely to fail. There needs to be a strategy and a plan. And the thing about strategy is that you have to make choices. Considered choices.
- It is also important to remember that the essence of marketing is about anticipating customer needs and finding a way to meet those needs profitably. Too often, firms are so busy pushing their existing services that they don’t take time to find out what the customers really, really want and how. Innovation for new services or delivery is often overlooked.
- There is a simple framework that I use with firms to develop a marketing strategy for personal injury teams and individuals:
- Where am I now?
- Where do I want to be?
- How will I get there?
- What do I have to do?
1. Where am I now?
This bit requires both internal and external analysis. Whilst firms might be rigorous in their internal analysis (volume and value of cases, cost per enquiry or case, fee income and profitability, sources of work, web analytics, sales cycle etc) they may be less familiar with external analysis. This might cover, for instance:
– What are the trends in motor accidents and claims?
– How is the motor accident market broken down? What new segments are emerging?
– What do clients really want from their advisers after an accident?
– Where do clients go to obtain information about their accidents?
– Who are the main competitors? What alternatives do consumers have?
– How is my firm/team perceived in the market? What’s our reputation?
– Why do our clients come to us? What do clients value about our service?
2. Where do I want to be?
Often, firms will only have an idea of how much fee income (and profit) they want to generate over the next year – this isn’t really a business plan or a strategy
- There needs to be a longer term view of how the PI practice will evolve over time – for example, the introduction of technology and new services
- There should be consideration of the mix of the size and type of cases and different types of client – as well as the profitability of different types of work. A big impact here will be on how much they are prepared to invest to generate the right sort of cases
- The pipeline must be analysed – how many web visits convert into how many enquiries and then how many meetings and actual cases
As well as financial aims, firm’s need to consider what they want to achieve in terms of market position and reputation. A key strategy for smaller firms is to develop a niche and create/support the relevant (on-line) community.
As well as providing a mechanism to monitor and measure marketing effectiveness it is much easier to choose the appropriate strategy and tools when you know specifically what you are trying to achieve
3. How will I get there?
At this stage you are deciding what markets (geographic areas, types of injuries, types of clients, niches etc) you are targeting and through which channels and what type of service (e.g advisory vs. commodity, general vs specialist, on-line support, integrated with other services such as medical, rehabilitation, psychological etc) you are providing.
These are overall decisions about whether you are aiming at a broad, general market or a niche and the method in which you will differentiate your firm – its specialist expertise, neat technology services, particular style of delivery or relationship or related therapeutic support.
Then you can consider your promotional campaign. There are many techniques to choose from – and each has its own strengths and weaknesses, some are cash intensive and others are time intensive:
Traditional PR – Whether community relations (either geographic or based on some other issue such as “those suffering brain damage” or “those who drive for a living”) or media relations and publicity these are effective ways to raise profile and generate interest. It becomes more powerful when combined with some important research for the market to become a sort of thought leadership campaign. Many firms will have programmes designed to reach influences and referrers and provide talks, presentations and seminars.
Advertising – There is a multitude of options from television and radio advertising to more affordable transport adverts and posters to local newspapers and specialist magazines for specialist groups. There are newer online options using pay per click (PPC) and keywords. Major players have significantly more resources for these approaches though – see an example of the £10m campaign from First4Lawyers http://www.first4lawyers.com/tv-advert-first4lawyers/
Digital marketing – The starting point is a web site with good content to support good search engine optimisation (SEO) to attract traffic. Many firms are publishing high quality guides and advice as White Papers and booklets. Then there is a wealth of social media techniques – whether blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Slideshare or Google+. Some firms have invested in developing Apps as a means of capturing leads – although I’m not wholly impressed with what I have seen so far
Personal selling – Some firms have invested in call centre support whilst others provide training to solicitors to help them convert enquiries on the telephone or at meetings into clients.
Some of the things that are occasionally overlooked include:
– Internal marketing – equipping your own people to promote the firm
– Collaboration and joint marketing – with charities and other third parties
– Social media – Using blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other tools to build online communities and attract people who are seeking knowledge. Repurposing content by using talks for articles, blogs and social media posts
– Video – Increasingly, consumers seek information in alternative formats to text so videos, podcasts and infographics are becoming more important
I produced the mind map to show some of the many choices there are to make…
The other speakers on the panel deserve a mention as they did some cracking talks:
Matthew Moth, Madano – Talked lots of sense about media relations programmes and working with journalists www.madano.com (Twitter @madano)
Dez Perry, mmadigital – Argued a strong case for having a responsive, mobile friendly web site, using video content (he showed some great law firm examples – and social media – and measuring everything http://www.mmadigital.co.uk/ (Twitter @mmadigitaluk)
Take a look at some of the videos:
Immigration appeals http://www.mmadigital.co.uk/clifford-johnston-video/
Cerebral palsy http://www.mmadigital.co.uk/linder-myers-video/
Industrial disease http://www.mmadigital.co.uk/roberts-jackson-video/
Ian Hughes, consumer intelligence – www.consumerintelligence.com Discussed cognitive flexibility and the ability of customers to exaggerate their experience/injury. He offered some laws of marketing physics: a) have an overt benefit, b) give a reason to believe (kitchen logic, sample, pedigree, testimonial or guarantee) and c) be dramatically different
- How can I market my personal injury practice?
- How can I measure marketing effectiveness and return on investment?
- How do I develop a marketing budget?
- How can I write articles that raise our profile and generate interest?
- Personal injury lawyers marketing campaigns
- What are the essential elements of a law firm web site?
- What is inbound marketing?
- Shocking practices in Personal Injury market
- How can lawyers reshape their skills services and careers?
- How can I improve my targeting of new business?
- What is thought leadership and why is it so important?
- McKinsey’s “Managing the strategy journey” says spend more time on strategy
- Half year review of law firm strategy and finance
- Strategy and Planning
- Typical Processes
- Book Review – “Google+ for business – How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything” by Chris Brogan
- Strategic positioning: Can the professions constantly innovate?
- Instant Mobile Market Research software – For lawyers, accountants and surveyors needing fast and affordable consumer research
- Legal marketing case studies – Strategy and relationship management at Bird & Bird, DLA Piper, Mills & Reeve and Obelisk
- Selling Skills for the Professions
- The decaying carcass of a law practice? Legal market trends
- Legal marketing case study: Irwin Mitchell combines DR advertising, online promotion and brand building
- What’s Google+ and why should I use it?
- How do you increase motivation for marketing and business development?
- How do I use Twitter?
- Advanced social media use amongst lawyers, accountants and surveyors
- 10 steps to create a business development campaign
- Social Media for Lawyers
- Hubspot’s guide to building a content strategy
- How do I integrate social media into my business development?
- I know business and marketing strategy are linked - but what am I supposed to do about it?
- Book review: Chaotics - The business of managing and marketing in the age of turbulence (scenario planning)
- Blue Ocean Strategy for professional firms seeking new services?
- 101 uses for a dead PI lawyer? Renew, redirect, redundancy, redeploy, respray
- Strategy and scenario planning: Blowing the cobwebs off your mind workshop (with Allen & Overy)
- Video in the marketing mix – Legal video awards and trends for 2015
- Legal marketing case study: Improving referrals through reward systems at Keystone Law
- How to write a press release
- Withers’ double win - A cracking demonstration of superb law firm marketing AND a tour de force on legal pitfalls in social media
- Clown fish? Book review of "Rainmakers and Trailblazers: Business Development for Lawyers" by Charles Christian
- Book Review – “How to think strategically: Your roadmap to innovation and results” by Davide Sola and Jerome Couturier
- Seven deadly sins of business plans – and how to fix them
- Review of law firm strategy and finance (First half 2014)
- Book review: “Developing a business strategy – How to use strategic planning to start up or grow your business” FT Essential Guides by Vaughan Evans
- Law firm app review – ProAnnexUs directory and transaction platform for clients of legal services
- Digital marketing and social media in the legal sector update – Law Society and The Lawyer
- Strategy basics
- Search Engine Optimisation SEO – An update
- Marketing in a digital world – Conscious Solutions seminar review
- Google and social media advertising
- 10 steps to create a business development campaign
- Legal sector consultancy
- Knowledge Update
- Law firm financial benchmarking - report for small and medium sized solicitor practices from NatWest
- Importance of Client Experience Management (CEM) - PM Forum conference report 2016
- What makes a good marketing campaign?
- 6 trends for marketers to watch – Compliance, video, creativity, social business, crowdsourcing and big data
- “Mavericks, measurement and impatience” Campaign management in the professions – highlights from the West Midlands Professional Marketing Forum
- Strategy workshop: Skills, resources, involvement and tools for the journey
- Not so much “Pimp My Ride” but “Niche My Market” (Law firm niche marketing)
- Improve marketing campaign management for professional service firms
- Book Review: Good strategy, Bad Strategy – The difference and why it matters by Richard Rumelt
- Use the 6Rs to generate more referrals - Referrer management
- Update on digital marketing and social media in the professions (May 2015)
- Speaking and Lecturing
- Search Engine Optimisation – In a nutshell
- Nine reflections on thought leadership (2019)
- Legal marketing case study: Social media in business development and relationship management: A guide for lawyers by Kim Tasso (Book review)
- Book - Social Media in Business Development and Relationship Management: A Guide for Lawyers
- Help your lawyers understand and engage with social media effectively
Category: Kim's Blog, Lawyers, Marketing, Social Media, Strategy, Web Sites
Tagged: Advertising, Consumers, Digital Marketing, Lawyers, Marketing, Media Relations, Personal injury, Psychology, Referrer management, Research, Strategy