What If You Could Pick Just One Marketing Goal for the Year?

Mar 11, 2024

Law firm marketers have worked out their shiny new strategic marketing plans for 2024, so they have plenty to work on. But I wanted to know – if they could pick just one marketing goal, what would it be? Which is the most important to them?

When I asked some law firm marketing experts, their answers varied significantly. That makes sense, because the part of the marketing puzzle a law firm needs to prioritize will depend on the pieces they have, the pieces they need, and the direction they’re headed. 

Here are the top priorities for the experts I spoke with. Are any of these on your to-do list?

Embrace A.I. and Digital Technology

Over the last year, our news feeds have been overrun with news of the advances in A.I. All that information can be overwhelming, but harnessing the positive aspects of A.I. can free up time for more strategic tasks – if you know how to use it effectively. 

That’s why maximizing the power of A.I. is a top priority for Erin Baxendale, Director of Business Development and Marketing, Clients and Industries at Sidley. The reason? She says that “getting to a first draft faster allows us to focus on the proactive, strategic work product that a robot can’t provide.” 

For some firms, investing in digital technology is an ongoing priority. “We’ve been adding funding and resources consistently, and year after year, payback from these investments has paid dividends,” says Christa Crane, Chief Client & Strategy Officer for Loeb & Loeb.

Best Practices for Business Development

For other law firm marketers, the top goal is prioritizing integrating business development (BD) best practices and ensuring their teams are well-trained in current methods. Matthew Trump, DLA Piper’s Director of Pitches and Proposals, says that training their attorneys on best BD practices leads to “having a shared approach and language on how to win work [that] makes everyone involved more effective and efficient.” 

And at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, they’ve embarked on a major initiative to improve alignment between their marketing and BD teams within the MBD department. Jennifer Manton, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, says that it’s crucial for marketing and BD to jointly set objectives and KPIs in order to achieve desired business outcomes. “Lack of collaboration at the onset of any new business initiative severely limits each party’s ability. For example, if marketing jumps into a campaign to position or promote a new practice without BD giving insight into how the marketing can be leveraged in the context of sales, then it can misfire. The same is true if the scenario is reversed, when BD launches a new business initiative or sales campaign and then asks for marketing support after the fact.”

Strategy, Strategy, Strategy!

Having a strategic plan in place for the firm overall doesn’t mean there’s not more strategizing to do. Amy Nielson, Chief Marketing Officer at Skarzynski Marick & Black, firmly believes that comprehensive, written plans for the firm, practice areas, and individual lawyers are indispensable in measuring success and pinpointing areas for growth. She states, “effective strategies not only steer us towards success but also play a pivotal role in optimizing budget allocation and utilization. It also moves you away from the dreaded ‘random acts of marketing’ approach.”

Stop Committing Random Acts of Marketing

Amy is so right about those troublesome “random acts of marketing.” I’ve seen how overwhelming it can become when law firm marketing departments try to execute too many strategic planning goals at once. 

While it can feel good to create through pure inspiration or going with the flow, an objective and knowledgeable guide can help steer you through the process. 

So let us help you create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals to help you to decide what makes the most sense to focus on this year.