CEO to Lawyers: How to Fix the Broken Promise of Digital Legal Marketing

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Legal marketing expert Jennifer C. Goddard will deliver a strong message for lawyers about how to fix the broken promise of digital legal marketing when she speaks on Tuesday, Dec. 16th at the Local Search Today! conference in London. Goddard, CEO of the US legal marketing firm, Integrity Marketing Solutions, will share key insights about the new customer journey gleaned from monitoring consumer behavior on legal websites across the country for the past five years.

Jennifer C. Goddard, CEO, Integrity Marketing Solutions

It’s not that digital marketing does not perform: it absolutely does. The broken promise is that digital marketing is not free, it’s not cheap, and it’s not simple.

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Law firms must come to terms with what Jennifer C. Goddard calls digital marketing’s broken promise.

According to Goddard, “It’s not that digital marketing does not perform: it absolutely does. The broken promise is that digital marketing is not easy, it’s not cheap, and it’s not simple.”

Goddard should know. She and her firm, Integrity Marketing Solutions, work with law firms across the country to build their practices. IMS was founded 20 years ago, when a printed newsletter distributed by fax was a ground-breaking strategy. She will be speaking on Tuesday, Dec. 16th at the Local Search Today! conference in London, along with other experts from industry leaders like MakeBuzz and Google.

A decade ago, with printing and postage costs rising almost daily, lawyers, especially in smaller firms, were quick to flock to digital marketing, in search of a kind of Holy Grail of ROI. Email marketing offered a drastically lower-cost alternative.

“So low,” explains Goddard, “that it seemed almost free. And, honestly, who couldn't figure out how to send an email? It was easy, it was cheap and it was simple. Some enterprising attorneys even learned to code early versions of HTML and built their own websites, hosted for pennies a day, or bundled for free with an internet connection and an email address.”

But as the internet expanded, so did its complexity. Digital marketing today requires more of everything: more strategy, expertise, creativity, time and money.

The U.S. legal market is huge: the Department of Labor Statistics estimates it at $274 billion annually. With so much money in play, it’s not surprising that the legal category is consistently one of the top ten categories in local search spend. In fact, “lawyer” and “attorney” are two of the top ten most expensive words in Google’s pay-per-click advertising auctions.

For perspective, consider that the minimum keyword bid on AdWords is five cents per click. Now consider that “attorney” typically runs more than $47 per click, and “lawyer” clocks in at more than $42 per click and you can see just expensive legal advertising is on the digital platform.

And, despite high costs, lawyers cannot afford to simply sit on the digital marketing sidelines - especially not lawyers who provide personal legal services such as divorce, personal injury or estate planning. American consumers spend an estimated $90 billion annually on these types of personal legal services.

With such a huge B2C market, lawyers have to be fully invested in digital branding strategies and local search – which is how consumers find and ultimately choose a lawyer. But the three “nots” – not easy, not cheap, and not simple – still come as a surprise to many attorneys.
IMS aggregates and analyzes online consumer behavior across legal websites nationwide, using the data to continuously improve clients’ campaigns, identify what is working, fix what is not, and monitor emerging trends.

“In London I will share how we map the New Customer Journey for law firms – from gaining initial awareness all the way to signing a new client. I will show where we pinpoint key touch points and how firms build a successful digital brand strategy.”

“One of our key insights is that the New Customer Journey is highly fragmented, with many different entry – and potential exit – points along the way. Telling a brand story in a compelling manner at relevant points along this journey requires an integrated and highly orchestrated approach.”

Goddard maps out an approach marrying the law firm’s core values and driving business strategy with great design and compelling storytelling. She says brand strategy starts with three little questions: Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter?

"It’s this kind of authenticity that gives a brand resonance and timeless relevance,” she says. Goddard also will share additional legal marketing insights about leading website traffic sources, preferred channels and devices, and which customer paths lead to highest conversion rates..

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About Integrity Marketing Solutions
Jennifer C. Goddard is CEO and founder of legal marketing agency Integrity Marketing Solutions. IMS is a Google Partner providing marketing services to lawyers since 1995. Goddard also oversees the company’s market research division, IMS Local Search Authority, and is publisher of The Goddard Report, an online publication dedicated to research and analysis of the local search industry.

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Brandi Campbell
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