Welcome to the third in the series of legal marketing interviews. Today we speak with Rebecca Battersby, Marketing Manager at Blackstone Solicitors.
How did you start in legal marketing?
I started my marketing career as a marketing assistant at Blackstone Solicitors responsible for updating the website blog with relevant content, social media, blogging and managing internal marketing campaigns. As the business grew so did my role and responsibilities and I was quickly promoted to Marketing Manager which involves content marketing, event management and social media management.
How has the industry changed since you started?
The legal industry has been slow to take advantage of advancements in digital marketing. It’s now becoming more common for law firms to have optimised websites and social media platforms and this has been a key focus for me at Blackstone over the past 12 months. In addition, we still host several events as this is a great opportunity to network in person which should never be neglected.
What’s the best thing about working in marketing for a law firm?
The ever-changing nature of the industry provides me with new challenges on a daily basis which I really enjoy. The impacts of Brexit and global political changes mean that I must continually update our marketing content to ensure that it is relevant to our clients and addresses the key issues in the industry.
What do you think law firms could do better in terms of marketing?
I see a number of marketing articles and blogs online with pages of legal terminology that are difficult for those without a legal background to understand. Keeping content simple, engaging and tailored to your target market is key.
How well do you think the industry handles enquiries?
At Blackstone we have always been at the forefront of the market with our approach to enquiries. We maintain a log of every enquiry that comes in by phone, email or website and regularly monitor enquiries in order to measure conversion rates and therefore how successful our marketing efforts are.
What areas are you focussing on over the next 12 months?
As an SME, our main focus was initially to raise brand awareness, however as we have now established a strong brand reputation in the market our focus has shifted to content marketing and generating new leads and clients. In addition to content marketing, we will be focussing our efforts on events which help to engage (and retain) our existing clients as well as targeting new leads.
What will a law firm look like in 2025 and how will it operate?
From a marketing perspective, my vision for Blackstone is to be at the forefront of the digital world. A fully optimised website, strong social media presence and content marketing strategy. We have come a long way in such a short space of time as a business and therefore I want us to become leaders in the digital world before making any revolutionary steps.
How important is marketing for a legal practice?
The legal world is extremely competitive and companies cannot simply rely on repeat work and word of mouth referrals, which has traditionally been the case. It is pivotal to evolve with the times in order to stay relevant and find new ways of targeting clients.
What impact has the internet and technology had on law firms?
The new “Millennials” generation are very digitally active and the internet and technology have become an everyday necessity. It has been reported that 95% of online adults aged 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand via social networking and adults are spending over 8 hours per day on social media, highlighting the dominance of this marketing stream.
What should firms do now to invest in their future?
Customer data is becoming increasingly valuable as companies look to understand their market better and investment in data analytic tools will allow companies to tailor marketing content to meet their client’s requirements.