What You Need to Know Before Building Your 2024 Law Firm Marketing Budget | Legal Internet Solutions Inc.

What You Need to Know Before Building Your 2024 Law Firm Marketing Budget | Legal Internet Solutions Inc.

 

I still have a little trauma from this time of year: Budgeting Season. Despite the fact I love numbers and pouring over spreadsheets, the firm-wide marketing budget process is a beast unlike any other. And it’s mostly because the tracking and analysis mechanisms at firms for marketing expenditures can be very fuzzy and siloed. 

However, reviewing marketing performance data, setting goals, and identifying measurable objectives is what makes the difference between reactively and proactively leading the marketing conversation. If for no other reason, having realistic, data-based budgets will help you stay within target spending while ideally generating desired results. 

How to Build Your Law Firm Marketing Budget

I’ve seen a variety of ways firms handle marketing budgets. They’ve ranged from a loose spreadsheet or a total dollar amount with no connection to tactics and outcomes to a granular, work paper-backed aggregation of line items. 

But I’ve yet to see a truly campaign-focused budget. 

Campaign-based budgeting is a highly effective and useful way to allocate marketing dollars. This approach allows firms to tie their marketing efforts directly to outcomes, providing a clear picture of the effectiveness of each campaign. Plus, campaign-based budgeting provides for better forecasting of future results, allowing marketers to adjust strategies accordingly. This approach also makes optimization easier as it gives you the ability to track which channels are delivering the highest return on marketing investment (m.R.O.I.) and make more informed decisions about your digital strategies.

Optimizing a campaign-based budget is an ongoing process, as marketing trends shift over time, so it’s important to be flexible with your plan and make changes if needed. A key piece of this iterative process is to regularly revisit previous years’ results to see if you can identify trends or shifts in behavior. Consider cutting back on platforms that aren’t performing well and reinvesting in those that offer potential growth opportunities. 

Technologies to Consider

Technology has revolutionized the way businesses market their products and services, transforming traditional marketing into a digital experience. From websites to search engine optimization (S.E.O.) to social media marketing, technology is constantly evolving and providing new opportunities for firms to reach broader audiences. 

Technological advancements, like artificial intelligence, for example, have the potential to help firms create more effective campaigns that are tailored to their target audience’s needs. 

Here are a few technologies you should at least consider as part of your 2024 marketing budget:

AI-driven Chatbot Platforms

AI-driven chatbot platforms are computer programs that can have conversations with people. They are useful because they can help businesses respond to customers quickly and answer questions about a firm or its services. And they’re not just for retail sites or for consumer-based firms anymore. In a 24/7 economy, providing quality client service and access to information quickly and efficiently is something no business can dismiss. 

Automation Software Solutions

Automation software solutions, like HubSpot for example, are a great way to streamline the marketing process, save time and money, and focus more on creative tasks. This software helps marketers optimize campaigns by automating routine tasks like creating emails, scheduling posts, tracking analytics, segmenting contacts, sending messages, etc. This helps firms save time and money that can be better spent on more creative tasks such as brainstorming new strategies and exploring different types of content. 

In addition to saving time, automation software also allows firms to gain valuable insights into their audience data and create customized experiences based on individual interests. With automation software, marketers can take advantage of predictive analytics to create personalized campaigns that are designed to convert opportunities into loyal clients.

Social Media Management Tools

I’m not just talking about a social scheduling platform (although those can be handy too!) Social media management tools are invaluable resources for businesses looking to engage with their customers and build relationships. These tools allow marketers to monitor conversations, analyze data, schedule posts, create content, and manage campaigns across multiple social media platforms. 

By leveraging these powerful solutions, businesses can increase brand awareness while connecting with their target audience in meaningful ways. Not only do they make it easier to reach more people on a larger scale but also provide valuable insights into customer behavior that can be used to optimize marketing strategies. With the right social media management tool in place, firms can maximize their m.R.O.I.

Analytics and Reporting Platforms

Analytics and reporting platforms are essential tools for any modern marketing strategy. They allow marketers to gain valuable insights into their customer data and performance metrics, such as website visits, engagement rates, conversions, visitor retention, and more. By utilizing the right analytics and reporting platform, businesses can measure the effectiveness of their campaigns in real-time, adjust strategies accordingly, and optimize their m.R.O.I. 

This type of technology also enables marketers to create customized experiences and identify potential growth opportunities by analyzing user behavior across channels, potentially uncovering new trends in the market. With access to actionable insights from analytics and reporting platforms, firms can make smarter decisions that will help them stay ahead of the competition.

Has your firm configured GA4 yet? Check out our GA4 resources…

Invest in New Processes

In the constantly evolving world of digital marketing, it is essential for firms to review and update their marketing approaches in order to stay competitive. This means not simply focusing on a single channel or tactic, but taking a holistic approach when considering how different channels and tactics can work together. 

The most important foundation for any marketing process should be the marketing funnel. By understanding how prospects move through each stage of the funnel – from awareness to consideration to decision – marketers can better plan their strategies and allocate resources accordingly. 

With this knowledge in hand, firms can create effective campaigns that are tailored to their target audience’s needs while simultaneously reaching out to new potential customers. In short, by leveraging an updated understanding of the customer journey and its associated touchpoints, organizations will have a roadmap for success when marketing to their target audience.

A useful tool to understand the various factors affecting the buyer journey is a buyer journey map. (Click here to download our free template.) A buyer journey map is like a roadmap that shows how to reach potential customers. It can help firms understand the steps people take from becoming aware all the way through to making a decision. Developing a strong understanding of this process will help plan effective strategies and know where to spend money.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Regular and consistent measurement of your objectives and key performance indicators will help you determine the success and progress of the elements that make up your marketing budget. With this, you can tweak the campaigns and strategies to make the best use of that budget.

Creating a marketing budget requires careful planning, diligent research, and effective execution. Above all else in 2024, stay flexible. It’s okay to experiment with new strategies, even if no other law firm has tried it before. Just don’t change everything overnight. Instead, tweak it, measure it again, and monitor its progress before implementing major changes, or worse, scrapping the whole thing. 

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