Hot topics debated by leading legal marketers 12 April 2019

Our inaugural Living Ratings roundtable in London attracted marketing and digital experts from a number of Magic Circle and leading UK and global law firms for a lively debate on the challenges and opportunities for these businesses’ brands, content, websites and social channels.

Hosted by our CEO, Kate Shaw and Executive Creative Director, Duncan Shaw, the session started with a recap of our latest Living Ratings research on the sector – the brand and digital intelligence of the world’s leading law firms 2019 and was followed by a highly engaging discussion on a number of topics ranging from brand and website functionality and content, through to fully understanding target audiences and the future of a law firm website.

Some of the key takeaways from the discussion included:

The importance of brand
The need to educate law firm Partners on the importance of brand was discussed at length, with a consensus, that whilst more junior staff do understand brand better, there is still much to do to teach Partners about not only the importance of brand, but the opportunity a good brand brings. It was suggested that lessons should be learnt from the Big 4 professional services firms, who often have dedicated brand managers in place to enforce consistent brand experiences.

A lack of evidence
Online, the lack of clear evidence to support a firm’s brand and business strategy, such as case studies, was also raised, with the majority agreeing that this was a great idea, but recognising that processes needed to be improved internally to capture and share this valuable content more efficiently. 

Content is still king
Content in general proved to be hot topic, with all agreeing that too much is created by the sector, often on the same subject matter, with few calls to action or how the firm can help solve the issue. The need for standout through compelling content was evident, with two of our experts suggesting that non-essential articles should be removed from a website and be archived or put in a log-in area, based on interaction, rather than the date published. All agreed that they should create less content, but create better content.

What was also clear is that when it comes to a firm’s content strategy, the analysis of website analytics and a clear understanding who is actually visiting and interacting your firm’s website and social channels is more important than ever.

The search for the best search
The ‘search’ for the perfect website search functionality goes on, with several different viewpoints shared on how best to achieve this. However, what was unanimous was the need to be able to adjust the weighting of search results to meet the needs of a firm’s priorities, i.e. Partners or thought leadership that needed to be surfaced strategically. The balance between search technology and knowing your firm’s search expectations is critical.

The future of law firm websites
To conclude our discussions
, we spoke at length about the future of law firm websites, with several of our industry colleagues expressing the opinion that the site of the future needs to take a far less passive approach, but instead be more confident, authentic and credible – an experience where brand is amplified and personalised web content is delivered.

If you would like to know more about Living Ratings or how we can create award-winning and evidence-driven brands and digital experiences for your firm please contact Duncan Shaw in London, Kevin Windorf in New York or Aliena Lai in Hong Kong. 

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