Lip service is over. Law firms are building marketing and business development muscle to drive market gains—and partners show their support by voting with their wallets.
Law firms steadily boosted their investment in marketing and business development since 2010. Budgets at a typical Am Law 100 firm experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% (translating into nearly $3 million, per firm)—closely rivaled by gains of 5.8%, or $1.3 million, in marketing and business development at a typical Am Law 101-200 firm.
Where are savvy law firms putting their money? The enormous pressure to drive growth, boost client retention and outpace competitors drives dollars away from generalized initiatives like generic events, PR and traditional advertising. The largest growth in 2013 marketing spending was in targeted business development outreaches:
- Am Law 100 firms nearly double their spending on client and market research—indicating a focused approach to identifying, and meeting, client and market needs
- Am Law 101-200 firms see the largest boost in business development investments—growing this budget area by nearly 10%
- Firms outside the Am Law 200 direct more dollars to training initiatives—ensuring partners are prepared to turn every opportunity into business and better client service
Money is likely to continue to flow in this direction as partners link client retention, financial gains and new business to these targeted marketing and business development tactics.
MBR / JPD
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