Do Clients and Referral Sources Really Care About Ethics? Study Shows No Matter What They Say About Ethical Behavior, Other Factors are Most Important

Oct 21st, 2014 | Company News, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief

We have always found it curious that while our lawyers list ethics, pro bono, community projects and in recent years green initiatives as important aspects of their marketing message the law firm clients we survey never mention them as substantively affecting referrals and retention.

A new study shows why this may be the case.

We read this in Bulldog Reporter, a leading public relations service: “Eighty percent of consumers believe it is important for companies and brands to behave ethically—but the most significant factors when shopping are price, value and quality, according to new research from online sourcing and optimization specialists Trade Extensions on UK and U.S. consumers‘ attitudes towards ethics and sustainability and how they affect purchasing decisions. The study suggests consumers display a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude towards ethics and sustainability.

So, they conclude “It‘s critical to understand the differences between what people think—their attitudes—and what they actually do—their behavior …”

Clearly this report is a bit sobering. Nonetheless, we think this is important data to consider when writing a law firm marketing plan, creating content and developing signature events. In short, don’t lose sight of the need to always convey value and quality if you want a market response from your efforts.

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