LexisNexis Survey on Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Reveals Competitive Pressures and Inconsistent Support from Management Hinder Efforts to Win New Business
Dissatisfaction with current metrics and lack of lawyer participation in business development initiatives remains a top challenge
July 31, 2018 — RALEIGH – LexisNexis® InterAction® today announced the results of its 2018 Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Survey, conducted in partnership with Catapult Growth partners. The survey seeks to understand how marketing and business development leaders, as well as C-suite executives, are adapting to the evolving legal climate in the US and Europe. Specifically, the survey examines the current state of legal marketing and business development, how marketing and business development teams are changing, and which metrics are used to measure the outcomes they achieve.
After a tumultuous few years of change in the legal industry, the survey suggests that business development and marketing professionals in law firms have adjusted to a “new normal” and are applying more innovative methods for collaboration and client development so their firms can thrive in a very competitive market. While more than 75% of respondents in 2017 agreed or strongly agreed that “the strategies and activities law firms require to win new business today have changed considerably in the last two years,” that sentiment was down 10 percentage points from 2015, and so far in 2018 just 32% of respondents agree or strongly agree with that statement.
“In recent years, the legal industry has undergone significant turmoil and change,” said Meghan Frank, Head of Marketing for LexisNexis Software Solutions. “In 2018, the industry appears to be adjusting to increased competition and shifts in marketing budget allocations, and technology is becoming an increasingly important component of the marketing and business development department’s role.”
Even as the pace of change has slowed, competitive pressure has grown. While 59% of COOs and 68% of managing partners believe business development and marketing are effective in helping firms deal with competitive pressure, 60% of respondents say they are not satisfied with processes in place to measure marketing success. Most firms continue to track specific metrics related to business development and marketing activities (web page visitors, event ROI, etc.), but the majority are still not using higher level metrics systems to track patterns, view the entire pipeline or score leads. The survey notes that COOs and managing partners are “asking for data-driven analytics at increasing rates” and are tasking their marketing leadership to rely more on outcome-focused data to guide delivery and execution of strategic programs.
While 79% of respondents identified stagnant or modest increases to their marketing budgets this year, how that budget was allocated has undergone significant change. According to the survey, respondents anticipate a 20% increase in spend on client and market research in 2018, a 4% increase in public relations and a 5% increase in thought-leadership and content marketing. Respondents also anticipate a 6% decrease in traditional marketing activities.
The Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Survey was conducted between March and June 2018. A total of 91 legal marketing and business development leaders as well as C-suite executives across the US and Europe were surveyed, including 40 Am Law 100 chief marketing officers and chief business development officers. The majority of the respondents represent established firms that maintain several offices and average $260 million in annual revenue.
“We constantly partner with our customers to understand their emerging challenges, so we can align our innovation to serve their specific needs and goals,” said Scott Wallingford, VP and General Manager of InterAction, LexisNexis. “Their input, along with industry surveys like this, help us ensure our solutions stay ahead of the change so we can continue to support our customers’ success.”
The full Legal Marketing & Business Development Survey is available for download here.
InterAction is the leading solution for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for law and professional services firms. For over two decades, InterAction has helped firms of all sizes drive business relationships, accelerate firm growth, and increase revenue. Discover more about InterAction online: www.interaction.com
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 130 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.