Selling Technology to Lawyers: Published by Law.com

Dec 17, 2012

Customer Reference Programs: The Missing Link

For Marketing Technology to Law Firms

By Mark Bruce President, HiTechPR

 

Law firms are steeped in tradition; with a few notable exceptions their senior partners and CIOs are not early adapters of new technology. However, despite well-earned reputations as modernization-resistant institutions, most are moving steadily but slowly into the 21stcentury. How slowly? According to a 2012 American Bar Association technology survey of firms with over 500 lawyers, just 15 percent had tried cloud computing, 41 percent did not back up their computer files and only 4 percent had acquired new business through blogging or social media. For technology vendors, this reluctance is often reflected in frustrating, slow-moving sales cycles.

To win over the ultimate decision makers in the legal tech community—CIOs and senior partners—marketers must think like lawyers. They are verbal, text-oriented, analytical and trained to identify problems and their possible causes. For those of us tasked with selling to this market, these are welcome attributes. Introducing innovative software, hardware and consulting services to practicing attorneys can most effectively be accomplished by making a strong case for why and how the product or service can increase the firm’s bottom line: its ability to serve its clients, generate billable hours and improve the way information is generated, processed and disseminated.

 But what specific marketing strategies work best?

Not long ago, to increase awareness marketers were primarily limited to buying advertising. To be even modestly effective, advertising must be repetitive and pervasive, making it the most expensive marketing tactic. Aside from sky-high costs, ads are not often taken seriously by tough, skeptical and conservative legal professionals. That said, there is a place for advertising—it’s just more effective after a product or service has an established market... Read more »