Great Recession = Great Marketing Opportunity for Smaller Firms
November 9, 2012
The Great Recession has created the Great Marketing Opportunity for smaller full-service law firms and boutique practices. That’s what several in-house lawyers I’ve met with have told me recently.
The reasons: they see your lower operating costs and correspondingly lower rates; they feel the personal partner-level touch you can give every file; they value the local knowledge of the courts and community a lawyer in another city can never tap, and they recognize technology means “you don’t have to be in a big firm environment… to drive a big case. A smaller boutique firm can compete”, according to the president of New York State Bar Association.
It all plays into what the general counsel of Medtronic told Corporate Counsel magazine this fall, that being the economic crisis forced every legal department “to scramble to cut costs.”
What’s one of the keys to exploiting this marketing opportunity to grab work from national firms who have been the benefactors of corporate legal departments cutting back the number of firms they use for 20 years by implementing the DuPont Legal Model? Find experienced legal marketing consultants who understand the culture of smaller full-service firms and boutique firms, who have a record of writing law firm marketing plans that successfully address firm wide issues in tandem with personal lawyer business development. Most importantly, make sure they have a record of then helping those smaller and boutique law firms successfully implement those plans over a prolonged period. They should be able to demonstrate improved partner profitability, that lawyers obtained desirable clients, big and small, plus a choice of file and fee– and that they did it without making everyone work 2000-plus hours every year.
In our national marketing effectiveness surveys, law firms with written marketing plans consistently report their marketing is more effective than firms that have no plan. That’s consistent with studies we’ve found showing strategic planning directly contributes to business growth.