Legal Marketing Lead Generation: Where Legal Marketers Get Clients
During the summer of 2021, Ghidotti reached out to legal marketers across the country to better understand their attitudes and needs. Our in-depth research revealed two distinct groups of legal marketers with very different perspectives on their firm’s expertise, capabilities, and success when it comes to legal marketing lead generation.
- Group one, making up 55% of survey respondents, is the Leaders. They are confident that their firm’s marketing efforts are effective and feel their marketing positions them for success.
- Group two, the Strugglers, comprise 45% of respondents. Their feedback highlights difficulty getting their firm’s lawyers to contribute to marketing activities such as content development. This group is also concerned that their firms’ leadership teams prioritize quick wins rather than a cohesive marketing strategy.
Referrals are King
The research survey also spotlights how legal firms seek out new clients.
- A significant 82% of respondents say their firm most frequently gains clients due to referrals from other clients.
- We also found that 73% of legal marketers find that a prospect hears about the firm, or one of its lawyers, from someone they know.
- 61% agree that other lawyers or firms often refer prospects onto them.
Interestingly, the survey also reveals that only 3% of respondents say that prospects respond to an advertisement for the firm, and 81% say this rarely or never happens. The research shows the new clients are rarely gained by reaching out to targeted prospects to recommend legal services or via speaking engagements by the firm’s attorneys.
Marketing is Effective for Lead Generation
Legal marketers in both groups agree that their firms use a range of marketing tactics to reach potential clients — the most widespread tactics include speaking engagements, social media marketing, and conferences.
Nearly half of respondents note that although their firm has a full-time marketing team. 42% are also using the services of advertising, PR or marketing agencies to enhance their efforts. Although both the Leaders and the Strugglers use agencies, Leaders are more likely to recognize their benefit and buy into activities such as website development, email marketing and blog content.
The difference between the two segments in terms of marketing efforts is clear. Leaders are significantly more likely than Strugglers to agree that shared media efforts are effective and have also made steps to share their content on YouTube and Instagram, in addition to industry favorites of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Leaders Pull Ahead
Leaders are consistently more likely to rate their marketing activities as effective. They are far more likely to say that their content activities generate a return on investment for their firm. This group is more likely to say their content always includes a clear call to action, and their firms are more likely to use public relations as part of their marketing mix.
Why it Matters
The Ghidotti research demonstrates that various marketing and media approaches can be effective for legal marketing lead generation. It also highlights that struggling legal marketers rely far more on referrals than other forms of prospect nurturing and conversion.
Those marketers who are seeing a return on investment from their initiatives are pursuing a more comprehensive range of activities, engaging on more platforms and incorporating efforts such as PR to raise the visibility of their firm.
There is little difference in the tactics marketers are choosing. The real difference between the two segments is in the firm’s focus on that work, how it gets done and how effective it is when using clear calls to action.
Legal marketers know this, but the pressure to differentiate firms is at an all-time high. General Counsel in corporations are looking for experts that can help answer their questions quickly and efficiently. Two-thirds of their decision-making process is made before they ever call a law firm. They are taking to the Internet to do their research and find answers to their questions. If your attorneys aren’t showing up with true expertise, the opportunity will be missed each and every time.