The ROI Obsession in Law Firm Marketing

Law firm marketers are facing increasing pressure to justify their budgets and sometimes their very existence, according to a new report, "10 Megatrends in B2B Marketing 2008" published by The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited.

"The promise of intangible or uncertain returns is unacceptable to hard-headed executives, particularly in accounting, law and other professional service firms. To cope, marketing is forming close partnerships with sales and engaging in field sales marketing that can be shown to deliver concrete bottom line results.

"Only 39% of executives today say they closely measure the ROI of their marketing spending. But in three to five years, the figures will more than double, to a staggering 89%. In line with this trend, B2B executives are developing systems to quantify the ROI of thought leadership—from measuring click-through rates on the Web to the number of sales leads and closed deals.

ROI, law firm marketing, marketing director

"As one marketing director elaborates, “it’s no longer enough merely justifying the ROI of a campaign.” Increasingly, he insists, “you have to justify the ROI of the whole marketing function.” In es­sence, marketing executives are developing an ROI obsession.

"Moreover, she adds, there are many ways where measurement can improve. For example, “if we organize a meeting, we can track the number of attendees, the number of sales leads and sales calls. Or if we sponsor a white paper, we can track how many times we’re quoted in the press, how many executives request a copy of the report, does it lead to speak­ing engagements or meetings with target executives.”

Ultimately, says the executive, “we may not be able to attribute all of the revenue that is derived from a thought leadership sponsorship program or a print promotion, but we can get some good readings and that can help us with future choices relating to how we market ourselves.”

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