Extrapolating data about your law firm’s marketing campaigns is very easy; however, interpreting what you learn may leave some feeling lost in a sea of acronyms, numbers, and industry jargon. Most people would see 500 likes on a Facebook post and call it a smashing success. In some cases, it most certainly is a great sign. But, if your firm has 25,000 associates nationwide and 2% of them liked that post, your 500 engagements are from employees, not potential clients. So, how can you discern whether your engagements provide value and your marketing dollars are not going to waste? Here is a look at what goes into measuring the success of a law firm marketing campaign.
Plan, Plan, Plan, Then Plan Some More
Would you feel comfortable hopping aboard if a ship captain set sail without plotting a course? Marketing campaigns are no exception, and a set of concrete goals with clear objectives dictates the map your firm uses to increase the chance of victory. Planning is a tedious process that helps you make waves, not be swallowed alive by one. Take the time to ask yourself and your team the tough questions. Play the devil’s advocate, ascertain your strengths and weaknesses, and plan accordingly. When you know where you’re going, figuring out what you need to do to get there is much simpler.
Choose Your Weapons
There is an arsenal of marketing tactics out there, but not all of them may be the right choice for your firm and a specific marketing campaign. Each tactic has a purpose, and while one may be good for you for one campaign, it may not be adequate to reach your goals for the next. For example, if you’re trying to raise awareness about a webinar, an email blast is more targeted to attract attendees than a broad set of Facebook posts. But, if you want to promote the culture at your firm, a Facebook post may be more engaging.
These are KPIs, Not Hieroglyphics
Remember those acronyms, numbers, and industry jargon mentioned earlier? These are more affectionately known as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators, and they come in enough colors to rival a box of Crayola crayons. Understanding your KPIs will guide decisions, and it would be wise to view them as a treasure chest of information. Some common KPIs are your CTR or Click-Through Rate, Impressions, Bounce Rates, and many more. Every media tool has its own set of corresponding KPIs, and digging deep into this data leads to gold.
Who’s Running the Show?
Equally as important as planning is execution. Another critical component of measuring the success of a law firm marketing campaign is the person at the helm. Whether you handle these responsibilities for your firm, or it’s an employee or an outside vendor like an advertising agency, the person steering the wheel must adhere to the map and scrutinize every detail along the way to make decisions on the fly. They are responsible for sticking to the plan and keeping your ship on course, as well as keeping everyone in the loop about your progress.
What’s the “Damage”?
It would be a luxury to purchase an ad during “The Big Game,” knowing everyone would speak your firm’s name for all time. Unfortunately, those companies enjoy a marketing budget that exceeds your wildest dreams. Setting the limitations of your budget keeps your head out of the clouds. When you make a media buy, it’s essential to know whether you can afford black truffles or canned mushrooms – both can be delicious if well prepared.
Dip Your Toes in the Water
It doesn’t take much to turn something minor into a smash hit in a viral marketing culture. This same philosophy applies here as well. It is possible to make a big wave with a tiny splash. Don’t be afraid to start small and escalate the campaign as you review the metrics. And, you can always pull back if it seems like it’s not working. Once you feel confident your success has value, you can go bigger.
Break Out the Lab Coat
Testing and tweaking are commonplace. The most brilliant marketing guru is not perfect and will make mistakes too. Failure in marketing is a path to learning how to increase the likelihood of triumph. When something is going awry, start asking those tough questions again, and don’t be afraid to take a risk, be bold, and pivot. You’ll learn more from your failures than your accomplishments in most cases. What you’ve done in the past should influence the future, which can be very positive. If something works, you have a benchmark for success that can be replicated.
The definition of “marketing success” is different for every firm and is highly influenced by the goals and objectives established within your advertising campaigns. An integral part of determining your firm’s goals and objectives is choosing the metrics and analytics you’ll employ to gauge the efficacy of your media strategies. Measuring the success of a law firm marketing campaign is not an exact science, so testing, tweaking, crunching, and analyzing numbers are par for the course. Don’t be afraid to vacillate between bold and conservative approaches to define what works best for your firm. When you find what works, keep testing because the marketing landscape changes frequently, and new tools to express your firm’s message pop up just as often.
We conceptualize and strategize marketing campaigns for our clients daily. By their side, we navigate turbulent waters until they understand how to steer the ship independently.