If you're planning on cutting back your marketing budget in the year ahead, well, you're almost entirely alone. Nearly one out of every two lawyers is expecting to spend somewhat or significantly more on their marketing efforts in the year ahead, according to a recent survey by Robert Half Legal, the legal staffing company. Almost all others will be keeping their marketing spend the same.
So if you don't have your intentionally ridiculous T.V. ad in production yet, start planning. The market is about to get a bit more competitive.
No One Is Pulling Back on Lawyer Marketing
Robert Half's survey asked lawyers whether they were planning on increasing or decreasing their spending on marketing in the coming year. Four percent of respondents were planning to increase their spending significantly. Forty-one percent expect to increase it somewhat. Another 44 percent will keep their spending the same, while only one percent of respondents planned to reduce marketing spending somewhat. Zero percent were expecting to cut marketing budgets significantly. (Ten percent did not know or did use marketing services currently.)
The results indicate an "increasingly competitive environment for legal services," according to Robert Half Legal senior district president Charles Volkert.
Reaching Customers Online
Those efforts aren't just focused on late-night advertisements asking if you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident, either. More and more law firms are looking online for customers, investing in digital advertising, high-quality websites, and social media teams, Volkert says.
That makes sense. While word-of-mouth recommendations are still a major source of many lawyer's new clients, legal consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to find attorneys. That includes, of course, FindLaw's very own Lawyer Directory, but also online review sites, with two-thirds of customers more likely to hire a lawyer with online reviews. According to one FindLaw white paper, 59 percent of people have used online reviews when choosing professional services. And once they've used your services, your clients want to review it. More than half, 57 percent, of legal consumers left an online rating, the white paper found, and 81 percent of those were positive.
Of course, the internet isn't the only thing out there. Television, print, and radio still remain major avenues for reaching consumers. But if you want to reach them, you'll need to invest in marketing -- and when you do so, you won't be alone.
What's that? Want more information on effective advertising? Let the experts at FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing give you a hand.