28Jan

Why technology and social media need to be integrated into your branded legal marketing strategy

Change is happening faster than EVER…

Five years ago, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook,  JD Supra and the iPhone didn’t exist. Today Facebook has 350 million members; Twitter -  30 million; and Hulu having surpassed Time Warner Cable, is the second largest “channel” in America.

We all know technology has profoundly impacted consumer behavior.  Smartphones brand loyalty is a prime example. Smartphones empower us to comparison shop on the basis of price at the point of sale.  Not to mention a shopping experience at any Apple Store is just a “Tech & Customer Care Heaven”…

grungy-social-media-icons

As legal marketers, we are already witnessing how technology can  alter how potential clients  purchase our services and  give  third-party influencers are having effect.  Paid media’s “management” of our target audience’s purchasing cycle is have a transformational shift on our brands.

Ironically, while consumers and retailers are embracing these innovations, legal marketers are significantly  lagging behind the rapid technological evolution of our marketplace.

Considering that ten years ago consumers spent about 30 minutes online per day. Today, it’s four hours, according to Media Metrix, (twice as much time as they watch TV — and that time spent does not include e-mailing!)

In this decade, broadband expanded from 3% to two-thirds of American homes. Yet legal marketers barely adjusted their approach.

Change is always difficult, but legal marketers need to be  more aware of the new marketplace or run the risk of consumers disengaging themselves completely and rendering their marketing programs irrelevant.

The legal marketing narrative needs to be rebooted and the architecture of legal-brand building re-engineered.

Several important points to note:

  • Legal CMOs must recognize that the speed and scope of change are so overwhelming that they need to dramatically revamp their marketing ecosystem.
  • Transparency is the new black, making public relations and social media essential elements in a successful marketing strategy.
  • CMOs must demand that all of their agencies, and not just the digital shop, be technologically savvy.
  • “Traditional” agencies, and other disciplines play supporting roles, but if you spend 90% of your budget with traditional agencies, it makes integration all the more difficult.

In an interview I did with BlackEnterprise.com, I talked about the necessity of companies hiring people who are inclined toward technology and accept change as a given. That does not necessarily mean that those people are IT experts, but rather that they are curious, adapt easily and are inclined toward collaboration and social media.

As the landscape changes, the digital agency, the PR firm and especially the media agency should play an equal role in brand creation.
This time of change may mean that outside sources,  fluent in effective legal social media PR,  are necessary to achieve the best ROI.

Article referenced:  Why Brands Should Embrace Technological Change, Avi Dan,  Advertising Age, 1/11/2010.

Other articles you may be interested in:

Developing a Social Media Hiring Strategy: How To Use Networking Sites To Find Employee

How Social Media Impacts Advertising and Marketing for the Legal Industry

A Legal Marketing Revolution Is At Hand

Kara works with legal marketers to create a more clearly defined focus and distinctive business strategy that will provide them with a competitive advantage for new business, higher reputation recognition, and enhance their ability to attract, win, and retain the clients they really want.
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