New year, new leadership, new job, new motivation, new reality – whatever the reason, there comes a time when we are ready for new and exciting marketing initiatives. Generally, we think the starting point to getting the marketing department re-energized and re-organized is to create new marketing plans – and then jump right into creating them. But, as Maya Angelou says, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”
In walks . . . the marketing audit.
Marketing audits are big. They need to be updated regularly. And they will delay the start of your grand, new marketing plan.
But they are valuable.
A marketing audit will enhance connection with your law firm clients and prospects. It will give you markers to create a road map for moving forward. It will identify holes that need to be filled. It will highlight areas in which you are already having success. It will shape, influence, and bring you back to your goals, your values, and your vision – today, tomorrow, and 12 months from now.
A marketing audit is your secret weapon. It is what will set you apart from other firms and make you look like a rock star to leadership. Upon completion of the audit, you will have a 360-degree view of your marketing department and all the ways it impacts your law firm.
What is a Marketing Audit?
A marketing audit is a comprehensive review of anything and everything that influences and shapes the marketing efforts of your firm. It is like a SWOT analysis on steroids.
During a marketing audit, you will look at everything – all your website pages, SEO, imagery, social media, target client lists, press coverage – and more. And you will run reports on everything – social media followers, page views, conversion rates, keyword rank, broken link reports, metadata, content length, etc.
Because of the size, scope, and importance of a marketing audit, many firms decide to have a third party complete the project. Doing so brings objectivity and removes bias that can creep in when done internally. A third party also brings market insights and industry standards to the process.
Executing a Marketing Audit for Your Law Firm
Seems overwhelming, right? Where do you begin?
At LISI, we break our marketing audits down into seven steps:
- Values, Vision, and Goals: We start at the beginning, gathering the firm’s stated values, vision statement, and any other documents that shape who you are and what you stand for. Then we add the firm’s established short- and long-term goals to gain an understanding of where you want to go.
- Marketing Alignment: If you have them, we gather your current marketing goals. If you do not, we start to create them. In either situation, we review the firm’s strategic plan and look for ways that marketing can support the goals of the firm.
- Comprehensive Marketing Inventory and Reports: Once we know who you are and where you are going, we inventory every marketing thing that you have created over the preceding 12 months, at minimum. This includes metrics for each, when possible, to establish a baseline for measuring ROI. This also establishes what the firm has already created and starts to shed light on what holes exist and areas where updates are important.
- Service Offerings: We pull a comprehensive list of the services you offer and in which industries or verticals. For law firms, this involves gathering lists of practice areas, practice groups, industry groups, and the products and services offered by each. To be comprehensive, we accumulate data on rates, average length of engagement, and other metrics to give greater insight into opportunities for growth.
- Current Clients and Target Prospects: We pull current client lists and then sort, tally, and dissect that information for different areas such as company size, geographic location, services utilized, and more. Once we have a clear picture of who you are currently working with, we establish what the ideal clients looks like and create a persona for each. This directs future marketing efforts, including messaging and platforms utilized, to make sure the needs and wants of the ideal firm clients are addressed.
- Competitive Analysis: Once we have a full picture of the firm in its current state, we conduct a competitive analysis for each of the firm’s primary areas of focus. This will include data to benchmark the firm against its competitors. The benefit of a competitive analysis is that it allows us to objectively understand where the firm performs better than competitors, where it needs to improve, and what messaging can differentiate it from the rest.
- Analysis and Actionable Insights: The first six steps are gathering data. A lot of data. The seventh step is where we analyze the data, looking to identify what is currently working, what needs to be fixed, what holes need to be filled, and potential areas to grow to meet the needs and wants of clients and potential clients. From this analysis, a list of actionable items is compiled.
A marketing audit takes time. But a marketing audit will bring your firm’s goals into alignment with the initiatives taken by the marketing department, creating more buy-in from leadership and a clear path to success for your department, and the firm.
Not sure where to start when undertaking a marketing audit? We can help you with that. Contact LISI today to speak with our team about what a marketing audit might look like for your law firm.