In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Lisa Vicine to discuss how the pandemic has impacted legal marketing. Lisa is the Chief Marketing Officer at Arnall Golden Gregory where she spearheads the firm’s business development, communications, branding, and marketing technology initiatives. She works with her team to facilitate collaboration across the firm’s industry teams and practices. Lisa has nearly 30 years of experience in marketing and business development in the professional services industry, including 20 years in legal marketing.
1. How did you first determine that there was a shift (caused by the pandemic) and that shifting to digital marketing was something that your firm had to do?
Well, it was interesting. In the early days of covid I became keenly aware that our attorneys were really keeping a close eye on the rapidly changing covid environment, partly because they were just being inundated with clients with legal issues they were asking our attorneys to solve. And so, a lot of those inquiries and responses led to the generation of ad content that we essentially repurposed and developed into client alerts and legal inside. Because it was so voluminous it became clear that we needed to find digital channels for distributing all this content. We had to find new ways to showcase our attorneys as thought leaders. We created zoom client roundtables and numerous virtual social client events. We were really trying to find alternate and creative ways for our clients to be able to hear and come into contact with what we had to say about covid and the way it was impacting the legal landscape.
2. What was your digital marketing strategy, how did you put that together, and what does it look like?
Well, as I mentioned, you know the evolving covid environment, it became a massive fertile ground for law firm content, you know every firm was pushing out alerts. We had to be conscious that although the content we were producing was helpful for our clients, the way they were receiving it was what we needed to work on, or I guess, I should say, the way we were distributing it. We needed to be more strategic and determine what is the best way to get this information out and what’s the right cadence and so. In addition to just the straightforward email marketing campaigns, we were trying to find other channels for the content, as I mentioned podcasts and multimedia, but we were also using our social media channels. We also put in a COVID alert process where before any content started getting drafted it was run by our gatekeeper on the marketing team, which was our business development manager so that she could interact with the covid team.
3. What are some of the challenges and obstacles that you faced during this shift and how were you able to overcome them?
I feel like some of the bigger obstacles were internal. There was all of this content that our attorneys were writing about that they were spending their valuable time writing about connecting with their clients. Their understanding, where the problems are, and it was the internal coordination, you know who’s doing what, who’s writing about what, that was difficult. As I mentioned before, that is the reason we established internal COVID teams, both on the attorney side and the marketing business development side, just so we could stay in closer contact with each other. The internal team could help market the topics and the content and then outside of that team we had a roster of subject matter experts that had already put in the time in learning particular areas. So once we got through, I think that the attorneys within the firm became more comfortable since we had this structure in place.
4. How did you measure engagement?
The world of digital marketing is rooted in analytics, and so you know I would say the biggest aspect of that was our webinars. We were seeing huge numbers of people registering for our webinars. We’d have upwards of 1000 people registered and 900 people attending. I mean, these are numbers we had never seen before. So we did our best to painstakingly go through those lists and identify who were clients of the firm and who were prospects of the firm. We would shoot them an email saying you know these 40 clients of yours attended this recurring webinar. These five folks asked this question, here’s the question they asked, we think you should follow up with them and connect with the speaker. From the social media engagement we tracked the same thing you know who was engaging in some way, liking, commenting, or following. On our website, we were tracking our covid resource page. I think as I mentioned before, we had a JD Supra account where we were able to see which of their subscribers were reading our content and asking questions. We did as much as we could with a small team and a very manual process, not letting data go to waste.
Though covid provided a plethora of challenges for the legal marketing field, it has also taught many lessons as well. Focusing on digital marketing while still making sure to find ways to connect with your clients and get them to engage with your content is key. This requires strong internal team synergy and a deep understanding of the data collected as a result of your content interactions.
You can find Lisa Vicine on LinkedIn.