While winning a big contract is rewarding, marketing and selling into Big Law is a long, complex process compared to selling to small and mid-size law firms. You need to deal with multiple stakeholders, including IT, procurement, compliance, and security teams, in addition to the traditional buying committee. You'll also need to build confidence that they can demonstrate value and efficiency to their corporate clients.
The procurement process can be so long that current buying cycles may exceed the length of any given economic cycle. Therefore, your marketing should align with trends with or without an economic downturn, namely talent acquisition and retention, billing for value rather than hours, and efficiency.
Young lawyers are less willing to sacrifice their youth and lifestyle for career advancement, even with entry-level salaries reaching staggering heights, greater equity partnership opportunities, and generous bonuses. Additionally, the cost of talent is increasingly eating into profit margins. Without a pool of legal professionals working 80-100 hours a week, firms are forced to look to technology as a means to deliver quality service while meeting the needs of their clients and their workforce. A recent Corptek article details how firms can use legal tech to fill the gaps and stem the tide of resignations.
Your marketing should communicate that your technology will help firms increase profit margins without increasing headcount or client hours.
- How will your technology allow users to complete more projects in less time?
- How will it help them reduce headcount so their lawyers can focus on high-value work?
- Does your product enable clients to add a non-hours-based revenue stream?
Additionally, demonstrate how implementing and promoting your solution will benefit a firm's brand reputation. Highlight how being seen as a current and tech-savvy firm attracts new clients, builds trust, and improves the customer experience. Law.com just discussed how new legal tech tools can redefine the attorney-client relationship and improve collaboration.
To keep your marketing engine running when budgets are tight, seek opportunities to reach your audience. Law firms may be reducing in-person events, given that it is an expense they can comfortably avoid. Low-cost channels like email and social media will allow you to maintain brand awareness and keep lines of communication open.
Networking through ILTA, the International Legal Technology Association, is also great for connecting with Big Law. This organization educates and connects firms of all sizes with the products and support services that impact the legal profession. Becoming an engaged, valuable member of this community will expose you to a broad network of Big Law buyers and others who can benefit your brand.
Periods of economic uncertainty are the time to invest in a long-term strategy and position yourself to capitalize on future upswings. This is especially true considering the challenges of Big Law will undoubtedly outlast the current market cycle.