Ask an attorney about marketing, and they’ll most likely respond by listing the activities they’re personally involved in: seminars, trade shows, conferences, and the like. That’s all well and good, but these personal contacts are difficult to execute at scale. While direct contact with prospects is always a primary goal in business development, it can be expensive and doesn’t come naturally to all attorneys. Some are better than others.

The key then is to complement your attorney’s efforts with a one-to-one messaging strategy they can buy into, but at a one-to-many scale that maximizes your exposure and minimizes costs.

In our experience with nationally respected law firms, we’ve adopted just such an approach. One that yields proven results at a cost per lead far below traditional mass marketing methods.

ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING: FOCUS IS EVERYTHING

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy used by successful B2B organizations to identify, target, engage, and convert their highest-value accounts. In fact, a recent survey found that 87% of companies that have adopted ABM say it delivers higher ROI than all other types of marketing. We think the time is right to introduce ABM to the legal profession.

HOW ABM WORKS

ABM is a collaborative, iterative strategy that aligns your firm around a set of shared goals. There are three key pillars that characterize this approach.

  1. Focuses on the best opportunities: ABM delivers the prospects that matter most, with an emphasis on quality. Instead of casting a net, you set a hook.
  2. Delivers a client-centric experience: By focusing on a limited number of target clients, you’re able to deliver a highly relevant, personalized experience. Modern ABM technology platforms can help you serve content to key individuals when and where it has maximum impact.
  3. Connects marketing to revenue: Perhaps most importantly, ABM lets you track your efforts so you can see exactly how they’re impacting revenue.

PUTTING ABM TO WORK

As with any new approach, it’s essential to get buy-in from your key stakeholders. We suggest initiating a small pilot project to establish proof of concept. From there you can easily scale ABM to include your entire firm.

Establish your top prospects: Work with your attorneys to identify those clients who have the highest value. Remember, it’s a target list, not a wish list.

Create a plan: Based on your list, develop a marketing plan that’s customized to your prospects’ specific needs and desires.

Run the program: Deliver content to your targets over a three-month period. This helps keep costs to a minimum, while still giving you a large enough sample size. Meet regularly to track your progress.

Report, refine, repeat: Share your results with the entire team, identify the efforts that yielded the best results, and iterate to a larger prospect list.

RESULTS IN ACTION

We recently implemented an ABM program for a nationally known law firm to help them build their litigation practice.

Working from a list of 140 targeted accounts, we identified individuals within those companies with legal job titles and/or roles. From there we created a highly customized digital campaign that spoke directly to our audience—with a clear goal of increasing traffic to our client’s website.

At the close of our three-month effort, we saw the following:

  • 44 percent of the targeted individuals visited the firm’s site.
  • Compared to our baseline (total website visits in the month prior to launch), 32 new clients visited the site and 11 returning clients had significantly higher page views.
  • Overall, there was a 232 percent increase in total page views.

In short, ABM works for law firms. And based on our success, we’re increasing our efforts for the above client and others in this space. If you’d like to learn how we can implement a winning ABM strategy for your firm, please email Corinne Remeika, account supervisor, at cremeika@jstokes.com.