ARLINGTON, Va., March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With law firms facing competitive threats ranging from decreasing margins to bulked-up in-house legal departments, law firm marketers stand ready to play an expanded role in setting their firms' strategic direction. According to a new survey conducted by Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), while the majority of law firm marketing professionals execute their firms' business strategies, firms would benefit from involving marketers more in strategic planning. Among the marketing professionals surveyed, 71 percent indicated that they were highly involved in "supporting" their firms' top strategic priorities, while just 36 percent participated in setting those priorities. The full findings of the study, titled "Aligning Legal Marketing and Business Development Resources for Law Firm Growth," were announced today at LMA's annual conference, and can be downloaded here: http://about.bna.com/legal-marketing-growth-survey?promocode=blaw627ab.
"This study contains important insight into ways that firms are budgeting, staffing, and investing in their marketing and business development function," LMA Executive Director Betsi Roach said. "As the legal landscape continues to evolve, our joint study provides these departments with data about peer firms that is highly valuable for benchmarking and other purposes."
The survey revealed that marketers are engaged in a broad array of business intelligence activities, with more than 65 percent of respondents indicating that they track news, company information, industry data/trends, and litigation activities of companies. Business intelligence is utilized in an equally wide range of marketing tasks, with more than half of respondents reporting that it is used in eight different business development functions, including RFP responses (72 percent) and discovering new opportunities with existing clients (70 percent).
"The survey results reveal the many ways that firms and their marketing and business development professionals are prioritizing their focus on the client experience, not just in pursuit of acquiring new clients, but also to retain and deepen existing relationships," said Nancy Furman Paul, Bloomberg Law's Commercial Product Director for Business Solutions. "It's interesting to note that both investing in the client experience and developing greater knowledge of clients were cited as the most effective ways firms believe they can differentiate themselves in the market."
The findings also revealed a disparity between marketers' involvement in strategic planning at large and small firms. Among respondents working at firms with more than 300 lawyers, 54 percent reported that their top marketing professionals participate in their firm's strategic planning committee meetings. That number dropped to 33 percent for respondents at firms with fewer than 100 lawyers.
Other key findings of the survey include:
- More respondents (66 percent) predicted that firms would increase spending on marketing technology over the next two years than any other area, including content marketing (54 percent) and paid advertising (50 percent).
- Firms of all sizes employ on average one marketing or business development professional for every 25 attorneys.
- Respondents at mid-sized firms of 100 to 299 lawyers were the least confident that their firm's marketing budget would increase over the next 12 months (23 percent thought it would), while respondents at small firms were most confident (44 percent).
- Firms with two to 99 lawyers had an average annual marketing and business development budget (excluding staffing) of approximately $505,000, while that budget jumped to more than $5.4 million for firms with more than 300 attorneys.
- Cybersecurity is the most cited area for law firm growth (51 percent), which lags behind the number of firms reporting that they currently invest in this area (45 percent).
"The marketing function continues to grow in importance over time at sophisticated firms," said Aleisha Gravit, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. "This study is helpful in giving us insights on how other firms deploy their marketing departments, and the tools and techniques being used to drive growth."
Bloomberg Law's Business Intelligence Center features integrated business, legal, and financial tools and customizable news and docket monitors to help law firms grow business. The Business Intelligence Center brings together the tools and resources that help attorneys identify new business opportunities and stay current on the specific issues that impact their clients. All Bloomberg Law users have access to the Business Intelligence Center as part of their subscription.
Bloomberg Law presented the full results of the survey, which polled more than 150 law firm marketing and business development professionals, at the LMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Copies of the survey and more information on the Bloomberg Law Business Intelligence Center will be available at Booth #103.
For more information on Bloomberg Law's Business Intelligence Center and to request a free trial, please visit: https://www.bna.com/business-intelligence-insights?promocode=blaw627AD.
About Bloomberg Law
Bloomberg Law is an all-in-one technology platform that helps law firms grow their top line revenue, provide world-class counsel by getting the right answer fast and efficiently, and maintain and increase their profitability. This is done through a combination of proprietary market data, trusted content and legal analysis, and innovative technology—together enabling and accelerating client growth, client excellence, and client profitability.
About Bloomberg BNA
Bloomberg BNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, is a leading source of legal, regulatory, and business information for professionals. Its network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance. Bloomberg BNA's authoritative coverage spans a full range of legal practice areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits, health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and environment, health & safety.
About the Legal Marketing Association
Founded in 1985, the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) is the universal voice of the legal marketing and business development profession, a community that brings together CMOs to entry-level specialists from firms of all sizes, consultants and vendors, lawyers, marketers from other professions and marketing students to share their collective knowledge. LMA has eight regions across the U.S. and Canada, and its more than 4,200 members hail from 48 U.S. states and 23 countries. More than 90 percent of the largest 200 U.S. law firms employ an LMA member. Members at every stage in their career development benefit from participating in LMA's array of programs and services.
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SOURCE Bloomberg BNA; Legal Marketing Association