Do you want to be successful when developing a marketing strategy? Would you like to be able to translate it into a legal Marketing Plan for 2018 in just one hour? I’ll give you a cable.
And we all know that designing a plan where to shape your marketing strategy is essential for the growth of your office. Because locating the best opportunities to sell our legal services and attract more effectively to potential customers and retain the current ones is not easy and many strategies fail because they are not properly reflected in a Marketing Plan for 2018, giving only luck to Get a return on investment.
The better you reflect the strategy in a legal Marketing Plan for 2018, the more chances you will have for the return to be positive and your office to grow.
Let’s see how to develop a legal Marketing Plan for 2018 step by step.
In this first phase, you will study the situation of your office and the environment in which it moves, as well as the agents with whom it interacts. It is essential, to know where you want to go, that you identify the current point in which you are in aspects such as size, a position with respect to competitors, the type of management you carry out, etc.
Step 1. Analysis of your office
In this first step you should conduct a real analysis and objective, both at internal and external of the resources at the disposal of your office and the factors that influence their operation so that you can identify those key or strengths aspects to enhance and weak points to correct and reinforce taking into account the following:
- To carry out the analysis, we recommend using SWOT, a methodology for studying the competitive situation of a company in its market (external situation) and the internal characteristics (internal situation) of the market.
We will use the SWOT methodology in order to determine your Weaknesses, Opportunities, Strengths and Threats. The internal situation is made up of two controllable factors: strengths and weaknesses, while the external situation is composed of two non-controllable factors: opportunities and threats.
- You must be strict and rigorously objective, since any subjective deviation may result in misreading the analysis and affecting the plan so that you invest efforts or resources in objectives or aspects that are not attainable or that are not key to the growth of the firm.
Step 2. Analysis of the sector
In this step you must carry out the following actions:
- Identify the situation in the sector. It is necessary to identify the trends that are acting and are being applied in the legal sector and in your areas of practice or specialty, studying which are not being applied to your firm and why.
- Determine the birth or entry into the sector of new firms that will be placed in a competitive position with your firm.
- Identify all those new demands or habits of your potential clients, business models that are not new or that modify the conditions, needs, and demands of lawyers and law firms, etc. and determine which of them are covered in your signature, which ones are not and why.
Step 3. Analysis of the competition.
In this last step of the analysis phase, you will be responsible for identifying and analyzing your current competence. To do this, you will do the following:
- List the offices to which a potential client who is in a position to contract the services you offer could have as an alternative.
- Establish an objective comparison of your firm with each one of the competitors. Determine what you can offer that they do not offer and vice versa.
- Identify and list, from the point of view of the client, what attributes constitute advantages and what disadvantages in front of that competition.
A phase of strategic decisions
Once you know both the resources available to you and you have detected the business opportunities in the sector and identified the direct competitors for them, it is time for you to decide strategically what will be the value proposition of your firm.
Step 4. Establish the value proposal of your office
This step is probably the most complex of the strategic decision-making phase. Not only are you going to decide what you will do, but within strategic decision-making, you will basically base yourself on deciding what you will not do, which is usually much more difficult.
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To define your value proposal, you must take into account the following aspects:
- You must be specific and realistic about what you can offer. That is, it is not credible or possible to cover all areas of law unless you have the resources to do so, that is, to cover a lot without differentiating into anything, probably leading to the failure of the strategy.
- You should focus on certain sectors, subjects, legal or geographical areas in which you have sufficient resources to carry out a good service and know how to communicate so that you get recognition and dissemination.
Step 5. Define your ideal target customer (buyer person)
The next step is to define what kind of entities clearance and priority services that you offer addresses so that you have clear what you ought to promote.
To do this, you must establish to what type of entities your services are directed. For this you must develop the figure of your ideal client or buyer person, that is, an imaginary representation of the ideal buyer of your legal services, focusing on motivations, problems and personal expectations to hire a lawyer, in this case, from your office.
Step 6. Define your main service.
The next step is to define the service or services that you will offer in the main way, which will be of extraordinary utility to determine the service in which you will focus your promotion. To determine this service, you must take into account the provisions of the previous steps, so that it fits your resources and your ideal potential client, in addition to offering profitability, reputation, and satisfaction for customers.
Step 7. Set SMART goals
As you know, the objectives or goals are an essential part of every aspect of your office’s work. What do you want to achieve, how do you use your resources, what decisions do you make, all based on priorities? Thus, in this phase, you must establish your SMART objectives, an acronym formed by the English words Specific (specific); Measurable (measurable); Attachable (reachable); Relevant (relevant); Timely (delimited in time and time).
If you want to know how to set SMART goals efficiently, take a look at this post.
Step 8. Position your brand.
The next step is to decide which place we want your brand to occupy in relation to the competition, or what is the same, what brand image you want to project, what image will your clients have of your office , which is formed and shaped by the active communication from your office, of a series of attributes, benefits or values that distinguish you from the competition . Values that you must previously select based on the strategy of your firm.
Step 9. Set the prices of your services.
The last of the strategic decisions of this phase is to set the prices for your services. This is decisive. If you do not define the pricing scheme of the law firm taking into account the value that the services provided to the client, it is very likely that your Marketing Plan for 2018 will fail.
To fix the prices of your services, you must remember that it is not only a question of determining the price per invoiced hour, which is nothing other than the cost of the activity itself when providing the service. You must set prices taking into account the added value that distinguishes you from the competition. Your way of billing services can be a determining competitive factor for the success of the strategy of your law firm.
At this point, it only remains to define the actions you are going to carry out to execute the strategic decisions contemplated and taken considering the analyzes carried out in the first phase.
How to execute a legal Marketing Plan for 2018
In this phase you will define the following:
- Lines of action
- Priority of action
- A moment in which the actions will be executed
- Who will carry out the actions
- How the actions will be carried out
At all times, as we saw above, the actions must be marked in accordance with the resources available and consistent with your objectives. You will follow these steps:
Step 10. Define the actions to be carried out.
It is about determining the lines of action, that is, what actions will be carried out, who will do it and how it will be done.
Examples of actions:
- Establish the name of the office if it is a newly created office.
- Define and develop the graphic identity of the brand of the office in case of new offices.
- Establish a digital plan of actions designed to attract traffic to your web page, convert visits into contacts and improve trust with them. This is achieved through the use of a blog where you offer useful content, videos, downloadable documents, relevant information, etc. in addition to an active use of social networks.
- Define actions aimed at relating to other actors in the sector such as specialized press, and participation in conventions, events, conferences, sponsorships, teaching, etc.
Step 11. Establish a schedule for the execution of the actions.
Once the actions are established, you must determine the moment or temporary window in which they will be executed. The best way is to establish a temporary calendar in which you define with clarity and accuracy when the actions will be executed.
Step 12. Set a budget for the execution of the defined actions.
One of the most important aspects that you must determine. You must define precisely the economic and temporal resources you are going to use for each of the actions. This is decisive since the available time of the members of your office for each action is limited, finite, so that to apply them within the Marketing Plan for 2018 effectively, they must be determined in advance with the greatest possible accuracy.
Step 13. Measure and adjust the results.
Measurement, measurement and more measurement. This is what you should do once you have started to apply your Marketing Plan for 2018. Measuring is not the last step in itself, but it is the most important tool when assessing your strategy, the strategic decisions taken and the actions defined to carry them out.
The measure will be essential to review with ease the results of the decisions and actions that appear in our Marketing Plan for 2018 so that you can make the necessary adjustments in the previous phases when necessary to adjust to the objectives and available resources.
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These steps are the fundamental ones to develop to shape a marketing strategy through a successful Marketing Plan for 2018. Remember that designing the strategy and planning it is the key to the success of legal marketing in your firm.