Top law firms hold all the right cards now that the old-line marketing mix has trumped what might turn out to be the faddish embrace of social media. With the fall of the House of Zuckerberg, many businesses dealing in services have been shaken to the core that they invested in social media, to the exclusion of other marketing tactics, ranging from special events to partnerships.
Not that social media is going away. Sure there is a possibility that Facebook "friending" has been a fad. The platform could disappear. But the concept of digital communications, especially leveraged for marketing and sales, won't.
Talk to any effective public relations or marketing communications shop with professional services clients and the report is all the same: Social media was let in gradually into the marketing mix. Meanwhile there was enormous pressure for coverage in mainstream media, especially trade publications, putting on special events for prospects and current clients, and strategic alliances.
Most in demand now that Facebook can no longer cast its spell are promoters with old-line know-how and contacts. For example, although she's a Millennial Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, always introduced to prospects integrated marketing, not just bundling of a Facebook fan page, a blog, website heavy with graphics, and Twitter account. My hunch is that shops positioned just for social media will have to scramble to diversify.
Tips for the legal sector:
Get on the radar of all media. Approach reporters and editors with not only a request for interviews and to place bylined articles. Offer to be a background source, on or off the record.
Frame pitches as special events. Prospects want to be shown you care enough to custom-make an activity which serves their unique needs such as a seminar on a new regulation. The investment per person, points out Sirignano, is high but so can be the payoff.
Be out there. Lunch, keynote speeches, heading a committee at the Bar Association, participating in a panel, and picking up the phone - all become more important in a post-Facebook world. Probably more new business is nailed down through phone calls than many other tactics. Anecdotes show that the last vendor the organization hears from frequently gets the business.
Never stop marketing. Too much work is never an excuse not to market relentlessly. Way back in 2006, German promotional expert Manfred Bruhn observed in "Guide to Integrated Communication," that most services and products are similar. Businesses are competing on how their marketing communications differentiate them. The best marketers win.