In the legal field, marketing has undergone a dramatic change in the past decade. What had, until recently, been a fairly stable marketing landscape for many years has, with the implementation of ground-breaking technological change, become a rapidly changing field.
Driving this change, of course, is the emergence of the internet and social media as powerful forces in the marketing landscape. It is no exaggeration to say that a significant portion of all legal marketing potential lies in these new forms of media. At present, the possibilities of online marketing appear nearly boundless; the growth of new avenues for reaching clients, and the sheer speed with which this change occurs, make predicting the future of legal marketing online extremely difficult.
The case of one element of online legal marketing, however, shows how important it is for law firms to begin implementing marketing strategies in these new areas as quickly as possible. Search engine optimization (SEO), which helps law firms to stand out from their competitors in search results, was only recently a new development in legal marketing. However, at this point, attorneys in large urban markets such as Chicago and New York are already discovering how difficult it is to get ahead of the competition after delaying implementation of SEO strategies. While it is impossible to know whether this same dynamic will play out with other forms of legal marketing online, it is an important lesson to keep in mind.
Nevertheless, legal marketing in traditional forms of media continues to be an enormously important form of reaching clients. Television ads, billboards, radio spots, and magazine placements can all be drivers of significant business for a law firm. However, as the old and new media continue to realign, and consumer expectations continue to change, the most important thing any attorney can do for his or her business is to make sure to follow a coordinated, concentrated legal marketing effort that maintains consistency across media.