Online Marketing Trends and the Legal Industry

Hat tip to Scott Cone for pointing out this article on Top 10 Online Advertising Trends Of The Decade. It caught my eye since it was taking a longer term look at trends (versus just one year), revealing the more powerful shifts in the market. The trends are generally what you might expect, however the author gives great insights to the impact of each trend. For instance, the emergence of vertical ad networks is creating more powerful branding and audience targeting opportunities. What really struck me about these trends is the legal profession’s almost complete lack of use and/or understanding of them. We’re still arguing about the ethics of social media marketing. By the time we figure the ethics angle out, this boat will have long ago sailed. Admittedly, some of these trends have far greater relevance for consumer marketing (B to C). But still, law firms should at least be getting one or two of them. I suppose there’s an argument that lawyers are embracing the Video component (#8). But even then, only in a limited fashion and not in the viral way that brings the most ROI (see this great example). This is yet one more significant challenge for law firms looking to succeed in a competitive marketplace. My optimism continues to fade.

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John Robinson said...

Toby, I think the legal industry is catching up fairly quickly on a number of these fronts.

Only in-game advertising because of relevance and vertical ad networks because of availability are really lagging behind.

Firms have made great in-roads into areas like mobile, video and SEO / Analytics (by way of blogs and optimization of legal websites) in 2010 so I think most firms will be hitting at least 4 or 5 of the ten in 2011. Still not great but at least it's a start.

Most marketing departments still need to figure out the right formula for getting lawyers active on Twitter/LinkedIn/Blogs but in comparison to other professional service organizations I think the legal industry is well on it's way.


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