SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) – Marketing spending by law firms should be on the rise, according to a survey conducted by a legal staffing and consulting firm.

According to a survey conducted by Robert Half Legal, nearly half of lawyers interviewed said they expect to increase their marketing spending in the next few months. Robert Half Legal conducted the survey to track law practice management trends within the industry.

"We often receive requests from law firms seeking to add administrative and support staff to their teams, including legal marketing professionals,” Melissa Wolfe, metro market manager for Robert Half Legal in San Francisco, told Legal Newsline.

“Recently, we've seen additional demand for web and mobile designers, content strategists and brand managers who can help law firms deliver targeted, relevant messages about their services, particularly here in the San Francisco market.

"We wanted to ask questions and dig deeper into this trend within law firms in the U.S. and Canada and share the survey results with the legal community.”

Robert Half Legal conducted 175 telephone interviews with a bevy of lawyers from the largest law firms located throughout the U.S. and Canada. In its survey, it asked lawyers, “Does your law firm plan to increase or decrease its spending on marketing its services in the coming year?”

Of the responses, 41 percent said they expected to increase their marketing spending somewhat. Another 4 percent said they would increase their marketing spending significantly while 44 percent said neither increases nor decrease. Only 1 percent of lawyer respondents indicated that there would be a decrease in their marketing spending in the coming months.

According to Robert Half Legal, the results are telling, as law firms should use this as an opportunity to take an “objective look at their current marketing infrastructure.”

An increasingly competitive market means that law firms should also do a deep dive into their marketing program, Wolfe said.

“How does their program stack up against the competition? Does it reflect current trends or changes in their practice area?" Wolfe said.

"Is the firm considering millennials as part of its audience, and not just earlier generations? Are they positioning themselves as subject matter experts using social media (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter)? Do they use technology like videos and even apps to reach a broader audience? These are all questions that law firms should consider when implementing changes to their marketing spending.”

The push in marketing for law firms is part of an initiative to differentiate themselves from the increasingly competitive marketplace. More firms are looking to hire marketing specialists with the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) reporting that 95 percent of Am Law 200 law firms employ an LMA member. A total of 54 percent of LMA members are from firms outside the Am Law 200.

Content from law firms is becoming more client-focused and many are looking to marketing tools such as blogs and videos to attract clients and highlight their specialties. This additional visibility helps to garner clients for law firms as they focus on their promoting their brand and increasing clients’ awareness.

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