- Posted by Liz Rucci
- On January 29, 2019
- business development, Data, law firms, Legal Executive Institute, Legal Marketing Association, Legal Marketing Association Atlanta, marketing
Are you struggling to get buy-in for increased investment in your firm’s marketing and businesses development efforts? You’re not alone. Marketing and business development are often difficult to quantify, so justifying that spend can be a challenge.
Bill Josten, the strategic content manager of strategy and performance at the Legal Executive Institute, has some data that may help. Josten shared an analysis of results from the recently released Dynamic Law Firms Study at a recent Legal Marketing Association luncheon in Atlanta and in an article he authored for Marketing the Law Firm.
The study examines the key differences between dynamic firms, defined as law firms that are experiencing top growth in revenue-per-lawyer, overall firm profits and overall average profit margin, compared with static firms, defined as firms lacking that growth.
The study shows how these dynamic firms are setting themselves apart from the rest. Strategically investing in marketing and business development is one of those top differentiators.
According to Josten, the study shows that dynamic firms’ per-lawyer marketing spend grew by 5.9 percent year-over-year from 2015 to 2016, and another 3.4 percent from 2016 to 2017. Meanwhile, static firms’ marketing budgets on a per-lawyer basis increased by only 0.5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and shrank by 1.7 percent from 2016 to 2017.
It is important to note that both the dynamic and the static firms expressed a desire to invest in marketing and business development, but it takes a corresponding investment of resources to make it a reality. This means that being able to attain the resources you need to conduct business development coaching and client feedback programs is the essential differentiator.
While attorney productivity always will remain a key factor, investment in marketing and business development can play a large role in the difference between a firm that is killing it and a firm that is getting killed.
Liz Rucci is a senior account executive at Poston Communications, based in Atlanta.