Posted by: johnocunningham | October 7, 2011

Quantifying Returns on Marketing Investments

One of the common refrains that I hear from in-house marketing pros is that lawyers always want to see a “return on investment” in marketing initiatives and activities – a return that is hard to demonstrate.

Of course, it is hard to precisely quantify how much revenue comes from many marketing activities,  such as advertising, development of client service teams, improvement of RFP packages, or development of CRM tools.

But there are metrics that can and should be tracked to help lawyers understand what they are getting for their investment of time and money, and many of these metrics are used in business all the time.

Here is just a sampling of 10 metrics that you might consider tracking and publicizing to demonstrate tangible benefits that your work has produced:

1. Growth rate of revenue, new matters, and new clients for the firm, growth rates for lawyers who participated in various marketing initiatives, and growth rates for those who did not.

2. Growth rates in number of client or prospect calls, visits and pitches by practice groups who participated in marketing initiatives and by those who did not

3. Growth rate in closing of “sales” on pitches to prospects, by those who participated in marketing initiatives and by those who did not

4. Growth rates in closing of “sales” on RFPs

5. Change in client satisfaction measures, client referral volumes and new matters opened for existing clients who benefited from client service team initiatives

6. Growth in media mentions for PR initiatives

7. Growth in articles published,  panel presentations and speeches for those who participated in various pitch initiatives

8. Improvement in client satisfaction scores for those participating in service improvement initiatives

9. Changes in revenue realization and profitability of matters by client, by industry, or by practice discipline after process improvement, project management or other internal initiatives

10. Increase in “top of mind” awareness among clients and prospects as a result of advertising, PR or sales initiatives (“top of mind” awareness is used by businesses to determine if they rank one, two, three or lower in the minds of clients who are asked a question such as, “What firm do you think of when I say ‘intellectual property law,’ etc.?”).

Those are just some of the ways in which you can quantify the significant value of a marketing initiative, or determine if an initiative was not worth the money invested. The numbers may reveal that some initiatives worked better than expected, while others did not. But be sure to track these measures over time, and remind your lawyers that a sales cycle may take up to 24 months after any given initiative is launched.

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