|Read the latest on marketing strategy planning from our partners at Consortium More than Marketing
In a recent poll we conducted on LinkedIn, 43% of respondents said they’d written their 2022 Marketing strategy, with 57% saying that they hadn’t yet , didn’t know where to start or didn’t know what to include.
If you are in the latter camp, don’t panic, it’s not too late. In fact, now is a great time to plan for 2022. Our world has changed over the last 2 years, so consider how a robust marketing strategy and an actionable tactical plan will help your law firm adapt more easily to market changes.
So, great news, you are ready to start writing your marketing strategy – but what do you put in it?
So often we come across firms that have been so daunted at the thought of creating a marketing strategy or have been overwhelmed by the potential contents of a strategy document, that they have given up. Below we have set out the basics of what needs to be included. As an added value we can also give you a template – more on that later.
Define your objectives
The first and most important step is to define your objectives for the business, which will then translate into marketing objectives. For example, your business objective might be to *open a new office in York. This could translate to a marketing objective of *creating brand awareness in York. Your tactics will then link to the marketing objectives so a tactic in line with this could be *sponsor York races for example.
The objectives ideally need to be SMART. This means, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Don’t get bogged down with marketing speak though – just make sure you think your objectives through – put timescales and ways you can measure the impact in your plan.
Once you are clear on your objectives, you can start to look at how you can achieve them. For us, this is the fun bit! But it is also where people can become overwhelmed. We used this infographic (see below) in a marketing strategy seminar that we run and it often panics people (this is not the intention). It just perfectly illustrates how many ‘tactics’ there are out there! You don’t need to do them all. Just those that will work for your business, be that because they are the more affordable ones, the less time-consuming ones, or the ones that you know work! Where possible, focus on a few key things, do them well and maximise their impact.
Create your ideal buying persona or client profile
If you haven’t already profiled your ideal client ahead of writing your marketing strategy then this is the next step and your tactics will be dictated by the target.
For example, a persona or client profile could be a mid 40-60s, director of a business, living or working within a 30-mile radius of your office. This might be a target for a company/commercial practice area.
Mid-30s, recently married/started a family living within a 5-mile radius of your office. This could be an ideal target for your Private Client team as someone who may need a Will, or someone your conveyancing team can help with buying a bigger family home.
Your buyer personas will help you think about where your target audience can be found (which social platforms for example) and what sort of messaging might appeal to them.
Explore and decide on marketing tactics
Once you know who your target client is, it’s time to look at the tactics. There are lots that are FREE, but beware, they are not effort or time-free. Also, just because they are free does not mean they are worth doing. We explore 10 FREE marketing tactics you can use in your strategy here.
Create your action plan
Possibly the second most important part of your strategy is making it happen (objectives being no 1).
We used to draw up 12-month action plans but as is often the way in business deadlines slipped and the plan very quickly became out of date. We now tend to work with 3-6 month action plans. That isn’t to say that you can’t plan things for 12 months time if needed.
It is vital to have due dates for actions along with who is responsible. This is also where you will schedule check-in points, whether it’s monthly meetings or quarterly reviews. Your strategy and more so your action plan needs to be a fluid document, able to adapt and change as your business and the marketplace does.
We suggest you give some thought to using a project management tool to help you with rolling out your strategy/action plan. We use Trello (other tools are available).
Take the next step
If you have found this blog useful, or if you need help to create your marketing strategy and action plan, or if you would like a marketing strategy template, then email Lara here.