How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing? How do you know if you should continue doing what you are doing, 'tweak' it a little bit, or try something else?
Lawyers often ask about the return on investment or "ROI" for their legal marketing initiatives, but the folks over at Copyblogger suggest that there is no ROI in social media marketing - and indeed, possibly for any marketing initiatives.
Why? Because marketing isn't an investment - it's an expense.
Marketing and business development aren't options. They are integral parts of running your practice, just like your telephone system or your computer software. You cannot operate without them. You have expenses related to marketing, just as you have expenses that come with other aspects of running your practice.
Although you can quantify the cost of marketing, it may not be quite so easy to quantify the gain achieved - or the losses your practice might experience in their absence. What you need to do instead of thinking about "ROI" is to determine whether the expenses related to your marketing and business development efforts are bearing fruit. In other words, what is their effect on your bottom line? How are your marketing efforts impacting your profit?
Are your marketing efforts bearing fruit? Some hints might be:
- Have you shortened your sales cycle?
- Closed more clients?
- Improved the quality of your client base?
- Decreased the cost of client communication?
- Reached a larger audience?
- Become more engaged with clients and potential clients?
- Increased the revenue realized from each client?
- Improved client satisfaction?
- Received increased referrals?
- Gained more insight into your clients' behaviors and preferences?
- Used your marketing efforts to test improvements to your client service, communication or delivery of services?
- Developed ways to obtain and evaluate feedback?
- Used marketing activities as a way to improve existing relationships?
- Developed new relationships as a result of your marketing efforts?
- Increased engagement with clients, potential clients and referral sources?
- Established yourself as the 'go to' lawyer in your area for what you do?
- Differentiated yourself from others in the marketplace?
- Educated clients, potential clients and referral sources about what you do?
- Reduced your overall marketing spend without reducing profits?
Don't make the mistake of thinking that a particular marketing tool or activity is 'failing' simply because it doesn't bring you clients directly. Your marketing efforts need to be integrated into a complete plan. Don't expect one tool to do everything.
For example, one tool or activity (such as social media) might be great for getting attention or initiating engagement, but not so great for providing details or closing the deal. Maybe your website provides the details (as a result from a link from social media sites or activities) and closing the deal needs to be done in a personal visit or over coffee.
How can you use your marketing efforts to increase revenue and improve expenses?
*Hat tip to @donnaseyle for bringing this article to my attention.
photo credit: http://flic.kr/p/9aomYT