Law Firm Innovation and Marketing – Collaboration is Key to Success
Monday, February 10, 2020
Posted by: Amanda Davis
The corporate legal world is highly competitive, with thousands of law firms competing for the work from a lot of the same organizations. As a result, law firms must not be complacent. In this day and age, law firms are touting innovative solutions and products to meet the needs of clients in an effort to offer differentiating factors that could possibly give them a competitive edge. From the Internet of Things to blockchain to bots, from design thinking to AI, these innovative buzz words are now commonplace in the legal industry – but will they impact how clients purchase legal services? And furthermore, what is marketing’s role in the innovation process?
Bottom-line: mastering client service and embracing innovation are how firms will succeed against disruptive technologies and will beat their competition. This requires a combination of:
Intrapreneurs – Individual forward-thinking attorneys that listen to their clients’ needs and create small, innovative solutions that are highly advantageous to clients.
Marketing Professionals – An integrated network throughout the firm that also serves as the front line to clients. This group is the best mechanism to communicate broadly to attorneys about changes occurring in the market, while also promoting each intrapreneur’s success internally and externally, organically generating demand for change.
What about Marketing’s role? Implementing the following strategies will help promote a firm’s innovative client offerings.
Branding – Does your firm have a subsidiary in order to create and license proprietary technology solutions? Does it have its own logo and brand? Consider working with your in-house risk management team to set one up if you plan on launching new technologies. From there, make sure all offerings under this umbrella are branded including website content, email and social media graphics, event materials, collateral, etc.
Website – Add a dedicated page to Innovation on your website. Be as specific as you can about your offerings and how they lead clients to victory. Include specific case studies, infographics, statistics, client testimonials and thought leadership pieces. Check the page monthly to keep it fresh. Search engines love new webpage content.
Email Marketing – Have you built a targeted distribution list of clients and prospective clients that would be interested in any new innovative offerings? Solicit contacts from attorney intrapreneurs as a start and build from there.
Internal Communications – Is there a page for Innovation on your intranet? Consider housing important “how to,” best practices and processes documents there and spotlight innovative ideas on the homepage. Include innovation-related successes in internal newsletters.
Blog – If you have a dedicated group of attorneys focused on developing innovative offerings for clients, prospects, start-ups, etc., a blog site might be a good consumable medium to explore. Frequent thought leadership can build the trust of clients and establish your attorneys and firm as a go-to resource. Be sure to link from your website to the blog and vice versa.
Media Relations – Learn which media outlets in your area focus on innovation and entrepreneurship and offer to meet an innovation-focused writer for coffee to explain what your firm is doing in the area of innovation and who your firm’s intrapreneurs are. Follow and strike up a relationship with local start-up organizations; they often have newsletters that are looking for content. Search out innovation-focused events in your city and introduce yourself to reporters who cover them.
Law firms MUST stay relevant and the collaboration between innovation and marketing is KEY.
Stephanie Dorssom is a marketing and communications professional that oversees and executes the development, production and maintenance of electronic and web-based communications. She is currently employed by Husch Blackwell LLP, a full service corporate law firm with 700 + attorneys located in 18 cities across the United States. Stephanie guides attorney business development and marketing efforts by making strategic recommendations to increase the online profile of the firm and individual attorneys. She routinely provides her firm’s attorneys with social media training and coaching by giving presentations at department meetings and by working with them individually. Stephanie is a Certified Social Marketing Professional through Hootsuite Academy.