Have you noticed people are increasingly finding a deeper appreciation for craftsmanship, quality, and the unique?  We are witnessing a revival in all things artisanal – from craft microbreweries to handmade soaps, cheeses, and leather shoes. The word “artisan” evokes a simpler time when people took pride in their craft. Today, the draw for real artisanal products is born out of a movement deriding mass-produced goods linked to big corporations. But true artisans have the passion and commitment for finding the right tools, selecting only the finest materials, and infusing everything produced with the energy and authenticity of a superior, hand-crafted product.

ar·ti·san /ˈärdəzən/ noun
a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
synonyms: craftsman, skilled worker, technician, operative, maker, smith, wright, journeyman

But can this apply to digital marketing? For clients that appreciate (and demand) unique, high-quality products and services there are marketers who take the standards and principles of artisanship into the digital age.

By definition, a digital artisan is one who is adept at leveraging digital capability to create, enhance and deliver high-quality products or services in small quantities, tailored specifically for select customers and markets.

So what’s the process for turning digital artisanship into action?

First and foremost, digital marketing artisans must embrace the long game. True quality takes longer than you think. To provide a high-quality, custom service or product to your audience, you need to dig into the data and figure out what it’s telling you.

Digital channels are producing more and more data leading to an overwhelming amount of information to help direct marketing efforts. Competition abounds, making it difficult for brands to rise above the noise and be heard. Meeting, and hopefully exceeding, customers’ expectations requires a dedicated focus on who the customer is, what their needs are, and what is the driving force behind their decision.

A pile of data is like a raw block of clay; the possibilities for what to make out of it are limitless.  A million stories can be crafted from a data set.  Take for example, visitors’ behavior on your firm’s website. They visit the homepage. They visit a handful of attorneys’ biographies. They check out some recent news and maybe end up on an event page.  What brought them to the site in the first place, and what are they attempting to discern from the information you present?

Repeat this question for the last 100 visitors to your site.  Is this data telling you they have a genuine legal need?  Or is it telling you someone at another firm is conducting competitive intelligence? How visitors engage with your site and how you convert that engagement to action requires a well-crafted website front end, and a thoroughly thought-out digital strategy.

Next up is understanding your client. Taking the time to build a relationship with—and truly getting to know—the client is a hallmark of a digital artisan. What is their unique value proposition, and how do you make their voice heard through the service or product you are providing? Strive to understand what they’re not telling you.

This process helps put together a more fulsome picture of the client’s true needs and concerns. Just like understanding the quantitative data from your website, you must understand the qualitative data being presented to you as well. Artisans must understand the specific group of people they intend to serve, in order to serve them well.

To truly be a digital artisan, you must embrace your niche. Artisans do not—nor should not—have an “everything but the kitchen sink” service menu. Historically, artisans are those who might only create a finite number of hand-crafted masterpieces and their services can command waiting lists of several months or years. That is because they know what they do well, and they perfect their craft with each new project. No two results are the same, nor should they be.

Last, and most important is this: above all else, digital artisans make quality the top priority, and focus on doing what is right, instead of what is easy. There is no cookie-cutter approach that works if you truly want to be an artisan. Understanding how each service you provide meets your clients’ needs and crafting an unmistakably unique approach to each project or engagement is paramount to an artisan’s success.

Stick with us this month as we explore what it means to be a digital artisan, and how to put these elements into action.

For more information, visit us at www.legalisi.com.