How long does it take for marketing efforts, individual or firm-wide, to generate revenue?

Jul 31st, 2015 | Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief

How long does it take for more formalized marketing efforts, individual or firm-wide, to generate revenue?  It’s a common and important question to get answered as you make the investment in updating or finally formalizing marketing plans and initiatives.

With the possible exception of plaintiff cases, or specialty assignments caused by a statutory deadline, firms should not expect any results for 18-24 months from their newly written marketing plans or marketing initiatives.  The reason: the truly desirable clients are already in working relationships with a lawyer or firm.  I choose the word relationship on purpose here.  There’s trust in place.

Marketing campaigns must convince prospects there’s value in trying a different lawyer.  The problem: most prospects likely will send the next matter they contemplate sending you, after being properly affected by your campaign, to their existing lawyer anyway.  It’s easier for them to do this, it involves using a known quantity. It is familiar behavior, the latter perhaps the greatest (certainly not always the best) driver of business decisions.

It isn’t until the next matter– the second matter the prospect contemplates sending you, so your campaign has to be ongoing and running during the entire time frame I am describing here– that you get the prospect to finally send you a new matter they previously would have sent to their existing firm.

The sales process takes time.  It involves creating awareness and name recognition, then comprehension by a prospect that you can fulfill a need, then consideration when a matter arises and then, finally, retention for a case that could be sent to the existing lawyer.  In our experience that takes 18-24 months.  Sooner results than that are fortunate, but not the norm. You have to create trust, then be the chosen substitute in an existing relationship before you see any assignments result from your marketing.

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