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Posted by Nick Salloway on 22 June 2016

We explore the significant benefits of digital marketing analysis and reporting

Previous blogs in this series have focused on helping your law firm stand-out online, the key trends in digital marketing for law firms, and, a summary of the 5 most common marketing mistakes made by law firms.  In this post we want to explore how professional service firms can benefit significantly from digital marketing analysis and reporting.

Missed Opportunity

There are a number of frequently quoted business sayings around the principle of measuring performance; “What gets measured gets done”, or, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it”, even Napoleon had a view on the importance of data when he said “War is ninety percent information”. However, I would like to add one to the list of “Not everything that is countable counts and not everything that counts is countable”. Meaning that smart legal firms have to work out, precisely, which ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPIs) they need to identify to ensure they are on-track to achieve or exceed their business goals.

In a sector where the analysis of legal facts defines so much of the work conducted on a daily basis, it is quite baffling that so many law firms don't apply these same skills to their digital marketing strategies and often neglect to derive meaningful facts, in the form of data.  Furthermore, they often miss crucial opportunities by not analysing and extracting actionable insights from this data. 

Where to Start?

In the age of traditional marketing, i.e. press, radio, TV advertising, or other mass-marketing techniques, we relied on circulation and readership statistics, or, 'opportunities-to-hear' and reach numbers to decide if campaigns had been successful, or even to decide on which particular media to choose. So why is it different when our marketing methodology is based on a number of digital platforms, where so much more useful, relevant and useable information can be accessed?

For the most part, I think a resistance to adopt digital marketing measurements is a result of one or more of the following;

  • Law firms don’t know what data to gather
  • They don’t know how to collect the ‘right’ information
  • Their digital marketing/online process hasn’t been set-up with the collection of metrics in mind, so they can’t (easily) collect or track the statistics

Setting Digital Marketing KPIs

We would always recommend that KPIs should be outlined right at the start of a digital strategy, and should be defined in conjunction with your firm’s overall strategic and operational goals. As a consequence, the KPIs your firm decides upon will be specific to your business, but, universally should;

  • Reflect the firm’s strategic ambitions, business goals, and marketing purpose, e.g. is the firm focused on new business acquisition, or client retention?
  • Be quantitative, and, where possible, also allow for some qualitative data collection, which can indicate the levels of engagement you are achieving with clients
  • Be firm specific, but also allow for an industry level context

By considering these points, you will be able to develop a framework that will equip your firm to select the right KPIs that reflect your business ambitions, and allow effective tracking of your digital marketing activity - most importantly highlighting whether it is delivering to plan, or not.

To start building the reporting specifics of the framework your firm needs to consider the precise mix of data you will regularly collect. The key areas that we would recommend considering are;

Website Analytics

Types of Information gathered from your most visible asset could include;

  • Number of unique visits – How many people are finding you?
  • Return visits – Having found your brand, do they come back for more?
  • Time spent per visit – Is your website content engaging enough?
  • Landing page conversion – Do your landing pages achieve their purpose?
  • Mobile traffic conversion – Is your mobile device execution effective?
  • Opt-In registration – How many visitors sign up for more information?
  • SEO performance - Is your website and content optimised for online searches?

Social Media 

The quantitative and qualitative KPIs tracked on your social channels could include;

  • Social Media presence – How many followers / fans do you have? How many mentions are you receiving?
  • Social Media reach – How big an audience are your ‘messages’ reaching?
  • Social Media engagement – Is social creating engagement with prospects and clients?
  • Social Media conversions – Is your activity creating leads and sales?
  • Social Media advocacy – Are you creating evangelists for your firm?

Marketing and Business Development 

There are many ways to evaluate the ROI delivered by your Marketing and Sales team, some of which might include;

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – What is the cost of acquiring a new client
  • Marketing % of CAC – What is the marketing % of CAC (The M%-CAC can show you how your marketing team's performance and spending impact your overall Customer Acquisition cost)
  • Marketing Originated Customer % - is a ratio that shows what new business is driven by marketing, by determining which portion of your total customer acquisitions directly originated from marketing activity 
  • Client growth rate – Is your marketing attracting enough new clients?
  • Dormant client percentage – Is marketing promoting all your firms' services?
  • Client retention ratio – Are clients engaged enough to stay with the firm
  • Marketing Campaign ROI – Do your marketing campaigns work?

Conclusion

These KPIs are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to present an insight into what KPIs your law firm might consider adopting when evaluating the success, or otherwise, of your digital marketing efforts. In addition, we are not suggesting that your KPI list should include every measure shown. Remember, context is an important consideration when selecting the right KPIs to provide the management information to allow your firm to make effective, business-like decisions about what digital marketing activity works, and, just as importantly what doesn’t.

Of course KPI selection and data gathering is only the first step.

Understanding what the data is telling you, then making rational business decisions based on that interpretation is a whole other activity. At Status we offer a range of Marketing Optimisation services to help businesses of all sizes adopt a structured approach to reviewing web analytics and other marketing data - providing a framework for continuous improvement of their marketing strategy, and thereby helping these businesses to reach their business goals. If you would like a chat about how your firm can improve its digital marketing reporting and analysis then please do get in touch.

And if you've missed our earlier blogs focused on digital marketing in the legal sector you'll find links to them below.

To keep updated on future posts simply subscribe to the Status blog and you'll get an email alert every time we add a new post.

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