You can’t begin to achieve your firm’s marketing goals until you have clearly defined them. Clever ads or enlightening podcasts will be just that if they’re not tied to strategic, measurable goals. Once you have defined your goals, you can develop a strategic campaign to achieve them and measure your return on investment.
What is campaign-based marketing?
A marketing campaign is a set of activities, such as print ads, TV ads, white papers, and blog posts, focused on a particular topic and aimed at a target audience. Many professional services firms such as Deloitte and Accenture use a campaign-driven approach to marketing, in which they identify the company’s main business goals and then develop campaigns around those goals. The idea is to focus on very specific goals, develop a campaign to achieve them, and use relevant metrics to determine campaign performance to learn for the future.
How law firms can benefit from this approach
The majority of law firms do not take advantage of campaign-based marketing. Law firms generally do not have large in-house marketing departments and their dispersion often leads them to be reactive rather than proactive in their marketing. When marketing lacks strategic and specific focus, it is problematic for two reasons: first, it is very inefficient to market everything to everyone, and second, without goals in mind, it is difficult, if not impossible, to measure the campaign success. The campaign-focused approach forces businesses to look at the big picture: to determine what they care about accomplishing as a business. Once you’ve done this, you can target your marketing efforts more closely and track your results more precisely.
Start with goals
Let’s say your law firm has several business goals for the year. Perhaps you want to expand one or two of your practice areas. Maybe you want to publicize a new office location. Or there may be hot topics – like new laws passed by the new administration – that companies will need the services of a law firm to implement, and you want them to choose you. Within those general goals, develop more specific goals, such as lead generation, brand awareness with influencers, or cross-selling to existing customers, and think about what you need to do to achieve those goals. Decide what your campaign’s KPIs will be – how you’ll measure its success – as well as the budget and resources you’ll need to run the campaign. For example, if your internal marketing team is stretched thin, you may decide to stretch your resources by bringing in a good external agency to create content, develop a targeted media plan, and/or analyze metrics.
Create a campaign using targeted content
The next step is to identify your target market. If your goal is to expand your employment law practice, for example, think about who your potential buyers are. Your target audience may include business owners, in-house attorneys, and human resources professionals at businesses in a certain geographic area, including existing customers who use your business for other services. You can then target this audience with content to engage them at different stages of the buying process. If a new law has a significant impact on employment practices, you can provide blog posts, videos, and customer alerts to help inform targeted buyers about how the new law will affect them and why they might have need the services of a lawyer. When they start looking for a law firm, you can offer free white papers, webinars, and e-books to prospects who sign up to position your firm as an expert on the new law. Using the prospect’s registration information, you can then call them and perhaps offer them a free consultation or an audit of their employment practices as they get closer to the decision-making stage.
Choose the channels and measure, measure, measure
You need to determine the distribution channels used by your audience so you know where to reach them. In some cases, social media sites like LinkedIn or Twitter may be most effective, while email may work better for other targets. Once you have determined the channels, you can adapt and format your content appropriately. There are a wide variety of third-party tracking tools available to measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. Embedding tracking codes in paid advertisements and other content and setting up landing pages on your website can help you fine-tune your business along the way. If you have the right tools and KPIs, you can measure many aspects of your campaign to determine what went well, what went wrong, and what you should do next.
The take-out sale
If the campaign-driven marketing approach seems overwhelming, start small, with one campaign. By going through all the steps, from setting a goal to measuring results, you can learn what each phase entails while collecting data that can help you with future campaigns.