A post to a law firm LinkedIn Group asked "How do you measure ROI of your marketing activities?" Many respected legal marketers responded, discussing the traditional measurements of increased opportunities, traffic, leads, views, clicks, etc.
I don’t buy the traditional "Marketing doesn't generate revenue" argument. I think everything we do should be aimed at generating tangible revenue, and if we do it well, it should work, and we should see significant additional revenue generated. THAT's the only measurement that the lawyers care about.
Yes, Marketing should "create opportunities" -- but if we create the RIGHT opportunities the right way for the right lawyers with the right audience the right number of times, then we should be able to measure the development of a significant amount of new business.
Can direct tracking be difficult? Absolutely. For example, I worked with a firm that had had zero growth in revenue and personnel for five straight years. We entirely overhauled their lackluster marketing program and they started growing almost immediately, and continued all year until they were 50% larger than before, generating tens of millions of dollars of additional revenue, and were significantly more profitable.
Did the lawyers all beg the Marketing Dept to accept their undying gratitude and huge bonuses? No, many of them argued that it could have been a simple coincidence … (even though nothing else at the firm had changed that could have initiated growth). But most of the lawyers acknowledged that all the new money flooding in was created by Marketing's efforts.
Marketers need to stop apologizing, explaining, and minimizing their efforts with measurements lawyers don't value. Most lawyers are not going to be persuaded to invest heavily in Marketing if the goal is to increases clicks, views, rankings, or opportunities. We need to connect these activities directly to revenue, in support of the firm's rainmakers and business-development efforts. We must teach the lawyers that if they let us do our jobs, Marketing can be the most-powerful weapon in their money-making arsenal.
In this economy, it's all about the Benjamins - and I think that's great.
More on this in a previous post.