It’s an obvious question – why would anyone want to read about how a law firm approaches marketing? Perhaps it’s because we apply the same high standards and original thinking to our marketing as we do to the provision of legal services.
Ask many business owners what ‘marketing’ is, and you’ll get different answers including organising events, arranging the catering, and my personal favourite ‘prettying-up presentations’! A lot of misperceptions remain about marketing but strip away the jargon and buzz words and good marketing should, in theory at least, be simple. It’s not about fancy adverts and creative concepts, or having access to big data or big budgets – it is about understanding who your customers are; what the factors are that influence their purchasing decisions; and how to reach them (press, TV, radio, social media, sponsorship, events etc… all of the above?).
The attention economy: social media has conditioned us so that attention spans are shorter, with so many things clamouring for our attention… so dare to be different and let your own personality or the personality of the business shine through to build brand loyalty and emotional attachment.
We’ve won awards for our marketing, lots of them, by being creative and taking calculated risks: whilst most law firms tend to have very serious looking adverts, we opted for an animated version of Wilson Bear. We recognised his popularity and used ‘emotional attachment’ to identify us as different – a friendly, down-to-earth firm; a firm people could relate to; a firm that wasn’t afraid to show its individuality and human, caring side.
When it came to it, we didn’t just tell staff who had been awarded a training contract – we left ‘golden ticket’ chocolate bars for them with the ticket hidden inside: the buzz this created internally spilled over externally, gaining lots of traction and engagement from outside of the firm.
At business events, others have stands with lists of services they are promoting: we had a branded ice-cream van giving away free ice cream and ‘slushies’; at another, the waft of popcorn from a popcorn cart drew people towards us; the firm introduced ‘netwalking’ to the county which proved so popular it seems as if just about every other firm is offering it too! All these are ways of us trying to show our different approach.
For us, when it comes to marketing legal services, expertise should be a given – what’s important is that we have a point of difference: that we are good people to deal with; people you want by your side – normal people. The fact that we’re not afraid to have a bear in our TV adverts perhaps shows that.