Recently, we were talking with a client about tracking how his prospects find the firm, whether that is through an online search, word of mouth, or print advertisements. The client mentioned that it is becoming very rare for a prospect to check just one box. Even if a prospect hears about the firm from a friend or family member, he or she often also researches the firm online. This comes as no surprise and is the reason why having an online presence is critical: it is not only a source of new clients but also serves to support other marketing methods.
As you look at your advertising budget for the upcoming year, make sure that it is optimized for the best possible return on investment. Too often, we find that law firms stick with the same budget year after year instead of rebalancing their budget according to their changing needs.And when they do decide to create a new marketing campaign, they add it as just another line item in their budget instead of redistributing their funds.
To ensure that your marketing budget is optimized, look at all of your advertising efforts—networking, ads in magazines and the yellow pages, TV commercials, billboards, Internet paid ads, search engine optimization, etc.—and determine what has been working over the past year and what hasn’t. Consider shifting more of your budget to the campaigns that have been giving you a better return on investment. (Maybe you only need a quarter ad in the yellow pages or a bigger ad in a magazine that provided a lot of leads. Or, instead of just more PPC ads, maybe you need to make your website look more professional and convert better.) As the end of the year approaches, or as you come to the end of your next advertising contract, we strongly encourage you to examine your data and budget according to what makes sense for your firm.
Of course, to know what marketing methods are working for your firm, you need to be tracking your sources of clients. This is where a good client intake process and follow-up questions are essential.