“I don’t do math, that’s why I went to law school.” That joke has been around for a while, but it never seems to get old. That’s partly because there’s so much truth to it. People who are typically drawn to the practice of law are not big fans of working with numbers. They like to work with people, they like to get passionate about causes, they like to see both sides of an argument, they like to do what it takes to effectively persuade people.
The practice of law is, simply put, a people-focused profession. Lawyers deal with people, their problems, their stories, their emotions, and their interests. Law does not lend itself well to working with numbers, or figures, or formulas, or raw data. It is not surprising that the stereotype of a lawyer is nothing like the stereotype of a computer programmer.
All that being said, in order to market our law firms successfully, we may need to don that green visor and think a little more closely about numbers and data. That is not to say that we need to become computer programmers overnight. It means, though, that keeping and utilizing data and information effectively could be the key to significantly improved marketing results for our law firms.
Oamii, Florida’s top digital marketing agency for law firms, has been laser-focused on marketing strategies that make powerful use of data. In helping our law firm clients, we have come to learn that law firms have a great deal of potential to leverage their data to get more clients. Yet, most law firms do not even tap into 10% of all that potential.
In this article we will discuss some important concepts related to whether, and how, you maintain important data. We also begin the conversation on how your data has potential to unlock an improved book of business. This article only scratches the surface. To have a detailed conversation about your firm’s marketing potential, call us today at 561-228-4111. We at Oamii are in the business of helping law firms thrive. Let us help your firm as well.
Is Data Really That Important to My Law Firm’s Success?
The answer to that question is an unqualified “yes.” Large tech corporations, and other major businesses, have been using data to help their bottom line for years. Not surprisingly, however, law firms have lagged behind that trend.
As you are invariably aware, law firm competition is getting stiffer every fiscal year, with no signs of slowing down. Of course, you and your firm need a way to stay with – and maybe even get ahead – of the competition. Most law firms know that they run a business. So, it is now time to use data as a successful business would. The first thing to think about is whether the data you have at the firm is quality data.
Does My Firm Have Quality Data?
Having information in a file or in a client database does not necessarily mean that you have quality data. The quality of your data depends on how well it can be used. The criteria for your data can be assessed by making sure your data:
- Is Valid,
- Is Consistent,
- Has Integrity,
- Is Accurate, and
- Is Relevant for your business goals.
In other words, in order for the data you have on your desk, in your files, or in your computer system to be useful, i.e., “quality data,” you need to capture the right kind of information, make sure it is structured in a meaningful way, and that you routinely capture it.
Law Firms Have Trouble with Quality Data for Marketing
With regard to data that is helpful in marketing a firm, many firms store very little data. In other words, the data fails the first criteria above, because the data does not even exist. A partner may have an outdated printout of a spreadsheet with contact information, or they may simply have tons of emails in their inbox, that have some good contacts there.
Other firms may have data, but the data is not organized in one place. In that case, the data may not be consistent or accurate.
What is preferable is that a firm use a case management database that stores contact information, case information, invoice information, notes, etc. If each piece of information has its own database field, then the information becomes searchable, and helpful reports can be generated for business use.
What Are Some Benefits to Taking the Time to Get High Quality Data?
While a whole week-long seminar can be devoted to the virtues of capturing and maintaining high quality data, here are just a few examples of how leveraging data can lead to better law firm business outcomes:
- Go Where the Money Is: With high quality data, and organized data management, you can quickly see which clients are bringing in the most revenue. If your data reports can show you the clients who most avail themselves of your firm’s services, then you can better direct your marketing efforts towards keeping a great relationship with those clients. It would also prompt you to reach out to potential clients who are similar to those revenue-generating clients.
- Lucrative vs. Not-So-Lucrative Practice Areas: Leveraging your data will also reveal which practice areas are doing very well for the firm, and which practice areas are not bringing in revenue. That may not necessarily mean that you must jettison the less-lucrative practice, but it can certainly give you a sense of where your marketing priorities should be
- Superstar Attorneys: Routinely running data reports on client acquisition and case activity will help you see which attorneys in your firm are really going above and beyond in getting clients and working cases.
- Referrals: We all know that a lot of business for any firm comes from referrals. Having quality data management practices means that you will be able to see which referral partners sent you the most business in the last month, six months, or year. That data will prompt you to make sure that you keep that referring partner happy. Why not? He or she has been great to you, and you should return the favor.
Indeed, those are just a few examples of how you can make great use of data to improve your marketing efforts, and ultimately your bottom line.
We at Oamii are committed to helping law firms succeed in a highly competitive legal market. We not only understand how to leverage data, but we have many tools and strategies to ensure that your law firm will be successful moving forward. Call us today to learn more at 561-228-4111. As Florida’s top marketing agency for law firms, Oamii looks forward to working with you.