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Ethical Legal Marketing and Determining Your Return on Investment

  1. Ethical Legal Marketing and Determining Your Return on Investment Houston Bar Association Law Practice Management Section April 21, 2016 STACEY BURKE ATTORNEY/OWNER 415 WESTHEIMER, SUITE 209A HOUSTON, TEXAS 77006 OFFICE (713) 714-8446 FAX (877) 314-9990 STACEY@STACEYEBURKE.COM WWW.STACEYEBURKE.COM
  2. Stacey Burke Licensed Texas lawyer since 2001 Select Speaking Engagements and Publications • Legal Technology  Needles Case Management Software  MyCase Case Management Software • Legal Industry Professional Associations and Publications  American Association for Justice  Asian American Bar Association  Houston Bar Association  Houston Trial Lawyers Association  Kentucky Justice Association  Law Firm Marketing Mastery  State Bar of Texas  Texas Bar Today  Texas Women Rainmakers CLE  Trial Magazine  University of Texas Law School CLE • Public Relations and Marketing Professional Associations  American Marketing Association  Houston Social Media Breakfast  Public Relations Society of America
  3. Inquiring Minds Want To Know • How much can I spend? • How much should I spend? • What should I spend on? • How much does everyone else spend? • Is my spend working?
  4. How much can I spend? • Common Marketing Budget Calculation Methods:  Percentage of Revenue: Law firms (except for personal injury firms) spend 2% to 5% of gross revenues on marketing. Other industries budget between 5% and 15%.  Competitive Parity: Defensive strategy wherein you allocate based upon what competitors do to defend your market position.  Objective-Based: Set marketing goals for the year so you know what your budget is expected to cover. • What Else Can I Do?  Analyze past efforts.  Research legal industry trends. • Don’t forget to include your total marketing investment, not just the media spend (marketing staff, software, payments to agencies and vendors).
  5. How much should I spend? Factors to consider when determining how much to spend on marketing: 1. Location 2. Size of firm 3. Areas of practice 4. Expectations – maintain revenue stream or increase client base? NOTE: Once you set your budget, spend all that you have allocated and don’t wuss out.
  6. How Do I Pick The Right Vendor? • Ask questions • Talk to references in your same industry and/or city • Check them out online • Secret shopping of customer service • Are you a large enough customer to get their attention?
  8. What should I spend on? How marketing funds are allocated is driven by what you do, how competitive it is, and how your target customers behave. No matter what your budget is, you should always spend on: • Website – Brochure versus lead generation vehicle – Mobile responsive • Digital Marketing – For the service industry, getting found online, positive online reviews, and “social proof” are among the most important considerations in digital. – Search engine marketing will constitute the biggest portion of your online spend.  This includes SEO, SEM, PPC, and content marketing budgets. • Email – 92% of online adults use email, with 61% using it on an average day. Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. – Text NEWSLETTER to 38470 to subscribe to my newsletter. • Social Media – Your PNCs use social media every day, so be sure to invest in social media marketing, especially advertising now that most channels are pay to play.
  9. State Bar of Texas Advertising Approval Process • Submission process varies slightly by the type of advertisement. The fee has increased to $100.00 per submission. – Print/Solicitation Letter – Television and Radio – Internet • 1 original + 1 copy of the application form • 1 original + 1 copy of the script/solicitation + envelope • 1 recording of the ad (required recording type varies by ad type) • Prepayment of $100.00 fee per ad • File at least contemporaneously • Must be mailed, not emailed or faxed • See
  10. Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct • Rule 7.02 – No false or misleading statements. You cannot create “unjustified expectations.” • Rule 7.03 – Thou shalt not solicit • Actors cannot portray clients or attorneys • Use Disclaimers, such as: “No attorney-client relationship is formed when submitting information.” • Mailers must have ADVERTISEMENT on the envelope/exterior and on the first page of the mailing. • Watch out for case results. If you advertise them, you must include: 1. That you are lead counsel or counsel primarily responsible for the victory 2. The amount actually received by the client, showing or incorporating expenses and attorneys’ fees [the net] 3. The nature of the case and the damages suffered by the client
  11. How much does everyone else spend? Competitive landscape analysis isn’t easy and competing isn’t novel. Web Stalking Tools: • SpyFu – See up to six years of data on your competitors’ keywords and rankings. • SEMRush – Monitor competitors’ organic keyword positions, find relevant long tail keywords, see your competitors’ PPC ads, and more. • SimilarWeb – Benchmark your website against any competitor for all relevant metrics. • Alexa – View sources and quality of traffic to other websites. • Google AdWords Auction Insights – Gain information on other advertisers participating in the same auctions as you. See: • Ahrefs – Track backlinks, keywords, and brand mentions. • Google Alerts – You don’t need gmail address • Subscribe, follow, sign up for competitors’ blogs, social media, and e-news. NOTE: Spend where your competitors don’t, as you will have less competition and a cheaper acquisition cost.
  12. Is my spend working?
  13. Is my spend working? • Google Analytics • Social Media Key Performance Indicators • Call Tracking and Recording • Tracking Emails • Form Submissions • Cost (per lead/case)
  14. s @StaceyEBurke Text NEWSLETTER to 38470 Text LAW to 38470

Editor's Notes

  1. Compare pricing, years business in operation, how many law firms worked with, etc. How will what you are doing bring me the clients I want and need?
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