Law Firms Build Serious Marketing and Biz Dev Muscle

Lip service is over. Law firms are building marketing and business development muscle to drive market gains—and partners show their support by voting with their wallets.

Law firms steadily boosted their investment in marketing and business development since 2010. Budgets at the 100 largest firms experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% (translating into nearly $3 million, per firm)—closely rivaled by gains of 5.8%, or $1.3 million, in marketing and business development at a typical firm in the second 100 (101-200) firms.

Where are savvy law firms putting their money? The enormous pressure to drive growth, boost client retention and outpace competitors drives dollars away from generalized initiatives like generic events, PR and traditional advertising. The largest growth in 2013 marketing spending was in targeted business development outreaches:

  • The largest 100 firms nearly doubled their spending on client and market research—indicating a focused approach to identifying, and meeting, client and market needs
  • The second 100 largest firms see the greatest boost in business development investments—growing this budget area by nearly 10%
  • Firms outside the 200 largest are directing more dollars to training initiatives—ensuring partners are prepared to turn every opportunity into business and better client service

Money is likely to continue to flow in this direction as partners link client retention, financial gains and new business to these targeted marketing and business development tactics. 

MBR / JPD

Learn how to build your marketing muscle & more on Jan 16 at BTI's Market Outlook & Client Service Review Webinar.