NOT ROI in one page

I’m not here to pick fights with name brand legal marketing consultants.  HOWEVER, when Larry Bodine includes as a headline, “Proving Marketing ROI in One Page” and then offers up a “report” to senior management of marketing activities, I have to speak up.

ROI is Return on Investment (sorry to restate the obvious but it seems necessary in this instance.)  An inventory of marketing activities is only the “investment” portion of the equation.  The “return” is the part that interests senior management.   So listing the RFPs that the marketing department prepared and sent out the door is only the first part.  The “return” is which of those activities resulted in more business. 

And here is the kicker: marketing departments don’t generate new business for the law firm.  They assist the attorneys to generate new business and the key to a successful ROI strategy is building strong partnerships with the attorneys so that they are targeting the right opportunities, pitching the firm’s service in a compelling way, including the appropriate attorneys in their pitches and proposals.

Also, a report just of marketing activities provides a deceptive picture of ROI.  A pitch or a newsletter may take years to pay off.  That doesn’t mean those efforts are wasted but its important for management to understand that successful marketing takes time, resources and persistence.   I would include a section above the list of marketing efforts that describes the in-roads attorneys are making with potential prospects and clients.  That requires communication with the attorneys about marketing efforts and that is far more important than providing a list of marketing department activities to senior management.

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