It’s the unfortunate talk of the town, the niggling worry in the back of everyone’s mind, the premonition law firms hope won’t come to pass. Recession. It’s a dirty word that nobody wants to hear. But here at ELE, we know of a sure fire way to thrive in an economic downturn. It’s simple: marketing.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Now we’re not saying that if you throw up a couple social media posts you’ll be fine. The one good thing about this impending recession is that we have prior warning. An opportunity to prepare. Let’s circle back to the 2008 recession. Advertising expenditure dropped by 13% during that year, however, the companies that invested in marketing experienced 3.5 times more brand visibility. And it’s not just 2008. History shows us that time and time again, companies that focussed on their marketing budgets benefitted. Indeed, the recession of 1981-82 showed that advertising paid off big time and those companies’ growth was up 256%.
So, what does this mean? Law firms who continue to fund their marketing will prosper over those who cut down their budgets. Marketing increases visibility, and visibility brings in clients. Any marketer will tell you that slashing their budgets is a mistake.
Taking care of business
There is no better time than now to look at your business strategy and ensure that marketing is incorporated into every level of it. But it’s not just new clients that will help your firm thrive during a recession. Looking after your existing client base is good business sense and good marketing. Strengthen client relationships with good communication and reap the rewards of repeat business. In a financial crisis, clients need to be able to trust their lawyers. Show them that you are worthy of their faith by continuing to provide excellent service, and projecting a stable, prepared and reliable appearance via your marketing.
Impending doom or impending boom?
It’s a no-brainer that some industries are more immune to the impacts of a recession than others. Legal is one of them. After all, the world doesn’t stop turning because of an economic downturn. People will always need lawyers. Sure, some practice areas may experience a decline but more often than not, their opposing area will flourish. Demand for commercial real estate for example, would most likely fall but commercial bankruptcy teams would most likely grow. It’s a fluid situation and by ramping up marketing in times of economic crisis, you can ride the wave all the way to the bank.
Unlike that infamous scene in FRIENDS, your marketing strategy needs to be manoeuvrable. Able to anticipate change and pivot accordingly. Eliminating the marketing budget means you will forever be stuck in the stairwell, unable to get up the stairs with a rigid, heavy couch. Your marketing team is there to provide solutions and help your firm grow. To get up the stairwell in spite of the couch. Marketing will help you thrive in a recession by basing decisions on data. What is working well and what isn’t, pivoting towards the tactics that will help your firm rise above your competitors.
Why not use the downturn to your advantage? Other firms will cease their advertising (to cut costs) leaving a once saturated market open for business. Seize the opportunity to increase your exposure and market share. It’s a race and half your competitors have fallen at the first hurdle by eradicating their marketing budgets. This makes it easier for your firm to be noticed, and for clients to find you so milk it!
Now, we’re not just saying this because we are an all singing, all dancing communications agency specialising in legal. But consider outsourcing your marketing. Digital marketing becomes more complex each year, highlighting the need for a custom approach for your law firm. Set yourself up for success by thinking about outsourcing.
When life gives you lemons
So there you have it. Ramping up marketing in a recession is good sense. Plain and simple. It will help you to grow your client base, keep existing clients close to the chest, and effectively recession-proof your firm. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
We are a one stop shop here at ELE providing everything your law firm needs to thrive. Find out how by getting in touch today, the perfect time is right now!