A hybrid approach allows your firm to “personalize” the support of your clients and prospects even more…
In this post-pandemic reality, legal marketers and business development professionals are wondering if law firm events are shifting to a digital world or if in-person activities still dominate the day?
From what I see in the most proactive and forward-thinking companies, I think the question may not matter. Instead, what really matters is seeing businesses blend the two worlds – in-person and digital – in a hybrid approach that leverages the best of each and grows business efficiently.
Here are five ways marketing/BD teams can leverage the best of digital and in-person communication in one approach:
1. Stay focused on building relationships
Historically, law firms have devoted a significant portion of their marketing and business development budget to building and maintaining face-to-face relationships with clients and prospects by sending lawyers to industry events, organizing seminars in cities around the world, sponsoring golf outings and sports team lodges. , and more.
…digital conferencing tools allow you to replicate the in-person experience without traveling.
But, as we’ve seen over the past two years, digital also enables lawyers to engage in valuable relationship-building activities. Thanks to digital, lawyers can provide situation-specific business and legal advice – via webinars or short videos, for example – without the logistical complications of in-person meetings. Digital events also allow for greater programming flexibility for audiences, who can consume the content when it suits them. And when relationships turn into one-on-one conversations, digital conferencing tools allow you to replicate the in-person experience without traveling.
action item: Integrate digital activities into your in-person events, such as real-time streaming of key sessions, breakout meetings with subject matter experts that bring together on-site attendees and attendees from around the world, and networking rooms virtual where remotely and in person participants can meet and get to know each other.
2. Use Data to understand your customers and prospects
When it comes to analytics, digital events shine: not only does the data tell you, say, who attended your webinar, but it also tells you how long they watched the program, whether they asked questions, about what calls to action they clicked, what content they shared with their colleagues, and more.
Use the data you collect from digital events to create insightful reports on specific customers…
This data helps you deepen your understanding of the relationships you are developing and should be used to plan future events, develop new content for specific customer targets, and identify hot issues for prospects, among other things.
action item: Use the data you collect at digital events to create insightful reports on specific customers and potential customer targets: what interests them, what they share, their level of engagement, the questions they they raise, etc. Then ask attorneys who have relationships with those prospects to supplement the reports with their observations based on in-person conversations. This will allow you to capture the urgency of the prospect’s interest in a specific topic, the likelihood of them engaging your firm, the prospect’s relationship history with your attorneys, or even the politics at work within the department. legal of the prospect.
3. Whether in person or virtual, always look for digital takeaways
If you’re trying to reach an audience that doesn’t already know you, digital offers significant benefits. It’s much easier to register and attend a webinar, for example, than to travel across town – or across the country – to attend an hour-long presentation. The same goes for people who know you, of course, but if you’re trying to grow your network of contacts, digital events have a low cost of entry for people interested in the topic who don’t know your business.
…a low cost of entry for people interested in the subject who are unfamiliar with your company.
action item: Develop ways to turn all your programs – in-person and digital – into digital content that can be used to reach a wider audience. Record in-person events to post to your content portal. Share the videos anywhere you would share webinar announcements. Make a habit of including links to related digital resources at the end of client alerts and other firm publications. In short: create more digital content that can help more potential prospects discover you.
4. Make your content work for you
Your primary goals for your in-person and digital events should be to: 1) establish the expertise of the lawyers within your firm and, as I mentioned, 2) deepen relationships with clients and prospects who need this expertise and your service. .
There is no doubt that digital and in-person activities are powerful tools for achieving both of these goals. So how do you combine the best of both worlds to make your hybrid events stand out? By offering increasingly relevant content.
…if one of your attorneys speaks to the local bar about new IRS rules for corporations, bolster your tax portal with content
It also means building on the digital data you’ve gathered to identify issues relevant to your audience, then creating additional content outlining solutions to those challenges to showcase the deep skills and experience your attorneys bring to Table.
action item: Integrate digital content into your in-person programs by sharing your vast libraries of content on related issues and also by creating new content that addresses issues you have identified through data. For example, if one of your attorneys speaks to the local bar about new IRS rules for corporations, bolster your tax portal with content, videos, and webinar recordings that explain the issues identified in the data you collected on tax issues, then provide all participants with a link to the portal.
5. Delight your high-value customers
Customer-specific events, such as internal trainings for the HR department and webinars for engineers in Chicago and Shanghai, allow you to educate top customers on the specific issues they face while presenting them with skills and expertise that they may not know about in your business. has.
A hybrid approach allows your business to “personalize” your advice even further for key clients, especially those spread across the globe. By combining digital and in-person activities and content, you can create customer-specific solutions that make sense to a broad audience within the company.
action item: Create company-specific content portals for your key customers. Include videos, webinars, and other materials focused on issues specific to their industries or geographies. Refer to the customer by name in the content. Offer to create training videos for the client to use in their employee onboarding process.
Julie Glazer is Sales Manager at ON24. Connect with her on LinkedIn.