Understanding The Client Journey For Law Firm Websites

understanding the client journey

The modern client journey is all about them

Consumer habits as we know them have changed dramatically—and permanently—with the progression of technology. The “customer journey,” the path consumers take to making a buying decision, is wildly different these days. Yet the best law firm advertising agencies are already harnessing these macro trends. They are learning more each day about how clients actually engage with legal brands—and you should, too.

In today’s environment, prospective clients no longer interact with law firms in a traditional linear fashion.   Multipronged digital marketing is the new standard.  New technology platforms require legal marketing experts to remix strategies all the time. For example, email marketing has been proven an effective strategy for lawyers.  But according a 2015 marketing report by SalesForce.com, marketing via mobile devices is becoming the new master of ceremonies.

Sorry, attorneys: Your clients, like all modern consumers, are in full control now. Their erratic journey to ultimately using your legal service is theirs alone. They have mobile devices; they require different advertising “touchpoints” throughout a given day; and they expect to engage with your law firm whenever and wherever it’s most convenient for them.

In many ways this shift in behavior can be interpreted as a positive development for legal brands. From TV to mobile devices, this “connected” world is filled with people engaging with information at all hours. This “always-on” activity lets you collect data about your audiences’ behavior and ensure your marketing strategy works across multiple platforms.  More than ever, law firm advertising is about listening to the customers’ needs; following their media consumption habits; and delivering a cohesive blend of legal messages that address clients’ common legal concerns—whenever they have them.

 

An unpredictable trajectory in action

 

To explain, this video from the legal marketing experts at Network Affiliates shows how a client might  “randomly” interact with your law firm. There’s no longer a proven single channel or predictable trajectory when it comes to advertising. This vignette shows how digitally empowered people now expect to self-serve, whether researching a law firm online or interacting with a compassionate person on the phone, at a time that’s most meaningful to them.

And, no surprise, that critical juncture may be different for every person. Although marketers have richer insight into consumer behavior, no one can predict when a human will need a lawyer. This unpredictability in need, coupled with consumers’ multi-channel consumption of information, simply means attorneys must be everywhere.

Traditional  customer relationship management tools no longer connect with customers at enough touchpoints along their journey. As clients see and interact with brands, the lines between sales, relationship management, and marketing are blurring and overlapping. But that doesn’t mean that your law firm’s advertising has to be messy.

Attorney advertising agencies have unprecedented access to analytics that contribute to crafting targeted, personalized messages and placing them where people will actually see and interact with them. The need to be “everywhere” may seem overwhelming but marketing experts can decipher which daily touchpoints and channel interactions are resonating most with consumers. Why? Because Google (and any Internet-connected campaign) and other analytics dashboards are able to track a consumers’ every move!

 

Mastering the potently personalized, multi-channel method

We’ve established that your legal clients are interacting with your law firm in completely new and pervasive ways. So how does your staff move the needle when reaching prospective clients and converting those interactions to paying cases to real ROI?

There are some important things to consider when designing a multi-pronged marketing strategy.

Since the new customer journey is controlled almost entirely by the customer’s needs and whims, the best-positioned lawyers are the ones that dig deeper into what makes their typical clients tick. Luckily, this research is easier than ever to command—and richer than ever in insights. We can monitor clients’ social habits, buying behaviors, favorite touchpoints and so much more.

A full-service advertising company, however, can help your already hard-working law firm in turning analytics into action to improve the client experience and in turn boost business. One way we do this at Network Affiliates is by A/B testing, or leveraging data science to experiment with low-risk, low-cost methodologies, to accurately gauge how clients respond to a new video, for example, or a shift in SEO tactics, or a fresh campaign on a social platform.

Once you’ve pinpointed more thoroughly client behavior, it’s time to meet them in as many spots along their journey as possible so they’ll remember your law firm, the ultimate goal of advertising. To do that well, your legal brand messages must not only be spread wide among multiple channels, from tried-and-true TV to emerging mobile marketing, yet remain integrated and cohesive under a clear brand shell.

The most effective way to achieve maximum engagement with prospective clients is to do it in creative ways that are most meaningful for each particular platform. We interact with Facebook on our phones, differently than email on our computers, differently than passive ads on our TVs. In marketing speak we call this “contextual” engagement. But all that means is that your law firm should be thoughtful in how it deploys each message on each device and each channel.

By now, master legal marketers as well as savvy attorneys know that what works on a billboard, for example, won’t work as an intake message over the phone. Yet, at the same time, the tone of this communication must be consistent enough that it feels like your exclusive brand. To create an experience that truly impresses a client—makes them think different, makes them second guess or makes them feel a sense of urgency—brands must take into account the device, the time of day and the known behavior pattern. That’s context.

So as you look forward to the insights and tools that will help your law firm most in advertising to clients wherever they are along their fitful and demanding journey, we offer this advice:

  • Be seen and heard in more places—on more platforms.
  • Embrace and harness data for good.
  • Use client insights to improve the customer experience.
  • Make your message convenient, personal—and contextual.

 

Law firm advertising is at a pivotal point. But attorneys have more to gain as technology advances along with the customer journey. The path to better cases, more satisfied clients and a more cohesive brand starts right here. Right now.

Need help formulating a multi-channel, multi-touchpoint marketing and advertising plan? Network Affiliates has expert media strategists that are happy to answer any questions you might have. Call (888) 461-1016 to speak to one today!

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