As the legal sector continues to evolve amidst a rapidly changing business landscape, it has become imperative for law firms to keep up with the latest marketing trends and strategies. To help firms understand and track these trends, the Conscious Solutions sponsored Law Firm Marketing Club Professional Services Marketing Survey (PSMS) 2023 provides an in-depth look at the current state of marketing within the legal sector.
According to the survey, the average law firm marketing budget has increased to 2.9% of turnover, up from 2.6% in the previous year. In addition, 84% of marketers and business developers are involved in strategic planning in their firms, indicating that marketing is becoming increasingly integrated into overall business strategy.
The survey also highlights the most outsourced marketing elements, with design work leading the way at 75%, followed by SEO at 72%, and digital marketing at 54%. Digital advertising took the largest share of marketing budgets at 20%, while events expenditure increased from 8% to 13% in 2022 compared to 2021.
The survey revealed that 76% of professional services firms are predicting increased turnover in the next 12 months. However, there are still challenges that need to be addressed, particularly in the areas of digital, existing clients, data, and recruitment and retention.
The survey also reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way that professional services firms do business. In the face of lockdowns and social distancing, firms have had to adapt their sales and marketing strategies in order to reach and connect with clients.
One of the most notable changes is the increased focus on technology. The study found that 61% of firms expect to see an increase in investment in technology in 2023. This is likely due to the fact that technology can help firms to reach a wider audience, automate tasks, and improve efficiency.
Another key change is the shift to online and digital marketing. The study found that 56% of firms are expecting to increase their expenditure on digital advertising in 2023. This is in line with the broader trend of consumers spending more time online.
Traditional business development channels such as events, business development, traditional advertising and sponsorships will largely stay the same or see a small increase in expenditure.
The study also found that firms are continuing to outsource their technology-based sales and marketing activity including design, SEO and digital marketing.
In terms of opportunities and challenges, the study found that time, recruitment, marketing and data were seen as the largest challenges and website, clients and digital were seen as the three big opportunities.
To make the most of the survey findings, there are several actions that law firms can take. First and foremost, benchmarking their marketing and business development efforts against the survey’s findings can help firms determine whether they are on track or falling behind their peers.
Secondly, sharing the findings with leadership and marketing and business development teams can help ensure everyone is aligned with the latest trends and best practices.
Finally, firms can use the survey’s core topics to guide strategic planning sessions and refine their approach to marketing and business development.
Clare Fanner is a legal sector marketing expert and founder of the Law Firm Marketing Club. The Law Firm Marketing Club was set up in 2020 and provides access to unique research, insights, resources and events that are focused on helping law firms to get more business and clients; save time and money; and improve skills and know-how.