For those of you who read my marketing articles, you know that a couple of phone calls or emails are enough to get me riled up enough to write about a particular topic. This week, it was people wanting to implement single-tactic marketing programs:

“I need social media.” It’s no surprise, but these folks had just attended a social media seminar.

“I need XYZ lawyer directory ads.” I won’t list the company (rhymes with blavo), but they are on a cold-calling blitz this month.

“I need SEO (search engine optimization).” This attorney was just pitched by a company that… wait for it… only provides SEO services.

The most effective marketing programs include a variety of marketing tactics

My response to these types of comments is simple – why? Social media and SEO are just a couple of the hundreds of tactics that could be implemented as part of a comprehensive marketing program. There’s no such thing as a single-tactic marketing program – as much as the single-tactic vendors would have you believe. Before you jump to the tactics, you need to have a solid understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Whenever I meet with principals at a law firm or other professional service organization, I always ask a series of questions to help define the marketing goals and strategy. Once we have a good understanding of what the firm is trying to accomplish, we can choose the right set (never just one) of initial marketing tactics. See if you can answer these six questions:

  1. How would you define your target client audience(s)? Remember that an audience can be direct or indirect. For example, a particular consumer demographic or a professional source of referrals.
  2. What are your current marketing assets? Do you have a website, a big list of contacts, a monthly newsletter, a receptionist who can help with marketing execution? It’s easiest to build on what’s already in place.
  3. Where do your current clients come from? If you’re getting a ton of new business through word of mouth, why not focus on improving this channel instead of starting down a completely new path?
  4. How are new business opportunities handled today? This is a strange question – but consider it. Can you handle a lot of new business? You need the people and processes to turn leads into clients, or you’re just wasting money.
  5. What are your ultimate marketing goals? I hope one goal is to generate new business opportunities, but you may also want to build brand recognition, expand your footprint, improve client satisfaction, branch into new practices areas, etc.
  6. How will you measure success? As we always say at PracticeProfs, if you can’t measure it, don’t do it. The time to plan for metrics and measurement is before you implement.

Putting the cart behind the horse

By posing these questions, my goal is to help you organize your thoughts and develop your marketing goals – before you start thinking about tactics. Now you can evaluate tactics by how well they will help you achieve your goals, rather than letting a sales rep tell you what’s best for your firm.

Would you like some help developing your firm’s marketing goals? Please contact us, and we would be happy to help. No sales reps here.

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