By Legal Futures’ Associate Moore Legal Technology 
Nowadays, we speak to more firms with in-house marketing personnel than ever before.
For an agency like us, it’s great that lawyers are beginning to recognise the value and importance of specialist marketing support.
Over the years we have worked with talented marketing professionals within law firms. Many have achieved a seat at the top table of their firm by making a tangible difference to their firm’s bottom line.
Having spoken with many marketing professionals in recent years, law firm marketing is now viewed as an investment, not an expense.
Not every firm has the budget to create a team of in-house marketers. It’s difficult to find niche expertise in every area of marketing. This means that in-house marketers are expected to keep an awful lot of plates spinning.
From a quick search for legal marketing jobs, it’s evident that the role of the modern legal marketer has never been as broad or as varied. A straw poll of some in-house marketers backs this up.
Modern firms require marketing support that brings a level of expertise to many activities, including:
- strategy development
- internet advertising
- website development
- content marketing
- search engine optimisation
- social media marketing
And, of course, let us not forget the all-important ordering of the breakfast seminar croissants!
It can be feast or famine for the marketer. When managing significant events or tenders, for example, there is not a whole lot of time to eat or sleep, never mind keep up with SEO best practice, analyse your website’s conversion rates, develop an engaged social community and manage paid advertising campaigns to boot (and don’t forget the croissants!). Even within an agency, where our entire team maintains an awareness of marketing trends and best practice, we employ specialists.
Getting the most out of your marketing budget
For many of the law firms, we speak to, hiring one marketing professional is usually the limit. However, that person will rarely cover all the marketing needs of the firm, given the broad scope of activities your average in-house law firm marketer has to cover.
Outsourcing allows your firm to work with teams of experts that can lend their skills to your projects when you need them. Your outsourced team might also have the added benefit of working on similar projects for many other law firms thus becoming exceptionally good at executing their tasks and delivering results quickly and cost-effectively.
As Confucius said, “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge”. In our experience, the most effective in-house marketing resource will contain someone who can lead projects, has solid marketing, sales, and general business expertise, who can set the strategy, hold people accountable, coordinate teams, remove obstacles, and communicate with stakeholders.
These individuals will also hire external agencies that can assemble a team of people and deliver a range of services tailored to their needs rather than trying to be all things to all people, including those who like their breakfast meeting croissant warm!
It’s rare to find a marketing professional who can honestly say they have in-depth expertise across the full remit of their role. Therefore, it makes sense to maximise your marketing budget and return on investment by bringing in people with in-depth, niche expertise as and when required.