6 Signs of a Weak Marketing Culture in Law Firms

January 15

To survive in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, law firms must promote a robust marketing culture. In the most successful firms, marketing is part of the firm's makeup and is embedded in its systems, processes, and incentives.

Here are 6 signs that your firm’s marketing culture may need some help:


1. Sluggish Growth In New Client Assignments

When a law firm experiences slow or no growth in new client assignments, the firm will encounter adverse effects. A declining number of files from new clients is a reliable indicator of a weak marketing system. When existing client assignments stagnate or decline, it may relate more to operational or client issues, but may also reflect a weak marketing effort.


Poorly positioned firms typically experience less than 2% growth in new client assignments. When this happens, the firm relies on a smaller number of client relationships. The loss of any existing client can jeopardize the well-being of the firm.


2. Narrow Marketing Definition

Firms with a narrow marketing definition typically do things the same way they always have, relying solely on traditional marketing approaches (client entertainment, conferences, bar/professional activities). They rarely invest in an online presence, support a content strategy, or seek new growth opportunities for their lawyers and staff.


3. Poor Engagement

Successfully marketing a law firm requires engagement from all members of the firm. When only a few attorneys control the firm’s core business and relationships with clients, the remaining attorneys and staff have little incentive commit to the firm’s overall success.


4. Inadequate Tools and Funding

Firms with marketing expenditures less than 2% of revenue do not provide the necessary resources to market effectively. These firms rarely possess the needed tools to create an institutional approach to marketing. A lack of marketing automation and client relationship management software, graphics software, and proofing and editing applications all contribute to a weak marketing effort.


5. Weak Policies and Procedures

Marketing spending is often wasteful, and firms that lack a structured approach to marketing are most prone to poor decision making. Marketing policies and procedures support a structured approach to evaluating funding requests for new business activities. Insufficient systems and processes result in a higher risk of poor choices. Firms that market without a strategy, plan, budget, activities tied to goals and objectives, and funding approval process must rely on the magic of their rainmakers to survive.


6. Weak Support System

Support includes professional help with web development, graphics, referral source management, SEO, conference and event planning, strategy and planning, and management. Struggling firms lack many of these resources. Even when these resources are available in house or on an outsourced basis, many firms do not engage with or adequately use them. Firms who struggle with marketing suffer from weak or poorly developed support systems.


PerformLaw Can Help.


Today’s intense competition for legal work requires law firms to invest in the needed people, processes, and tools that promote a strong marketing culture.  PerformLaw can help to evaluate your firm’s current situation and to help eliminate the roadblocks impeding your firm from long-term survival.