To understand marketing strategy for law firms, lawyers need to appreciate the concept of the customer journey. This should be easy to get to grips with because lawyers are consumers, like everyone else and behave in the same way. Their pre-purchase behaviour, whether they are buying a holiday, insurance or a new TV is just the same as the rest of us (shock, horror!)
Once you understand the logic of the customer journey, then the marketing strategy has a context and a relevance in which to fit.
No one like to make a fool of themselves
Buying a new TV and buying legal services have more in common than you might think. Both are likely to be irregular purchases, and neither is particularly cheap. That being the case, by human nature, we want to get ‘up to speed’ with the latest developments, so as not to look, dare I say it a ‘numpty’ in front of the experts when we talk to them.
This is where browsing the internet comes into its own. The internet provides a safe environment to ‘get up to speed’. We all research websites, to find out what we are looking for specifically and then leave. This explains why, in the case of law firm websites, the dwell time is low despite the visitor numbers often being high.
Once people have the information they need, their confidence is greater and they can move onto the next purchasing stage: cost and value.
This is where a divergence appears between the TV and legal services example. It is far easier to compare TV prices. That said, there is a greater transparency of law firm costs, certainly for private client services.
With the knowledge and cost boxes ticked, the purchaser is prepared to reach out and make an enquiry. They may ask about availability and costs specific to their circumstances. This may be the first time a new client has had direct contact with a law firm. They will be seeking ‘head and heart’ signals that your firm is the right choice for them – the chemistry.
Relating back to marketing strategy for law firms.
How do the previous paragraphs link back to marketing strategy?
- They show that a law firm should expect a new client to have several (and up to six) passive touch points before you have any direct contact.
- Understand that a new client is starting with an empty box that they want to fill with the information to become confident about their purchase. The marketing strategy needs to set out what information a new client is likely to want and in what formats they want to take it.
- Realise that if people are coming to a website at different stages of their customer journey to provide a fastrack mechanism to reach the information they need.
- A website should be used as a way to progress as much of the information gathering as possible. Law firms do not make use of online forms in their client acquisition process anywhere near as much as other service providers.
- The content of any successful marketing strategy needs to fulfil that requirements of showing the firm’s: competence, personality and transparency.
Read more…Marketing for law firms