Opportunism is often good in marketing. Speed and timing can combine powerfully to grab headlines and stand out.
But if everything is opportunistic then marketing and reputation-building ends up in the hands of fate.
We often find this is the case with marketing plans that place too much emphasis on announcements around transactions completed, new clients and similar achievements.
The obvious downside, as many firms experienced in 2019, is that if your PR and other activity is largely around completed transactions then in quieter periods, when deals are fewer or they are taking longer to complete, you do less marketing… just at the time you need to be doing more.
It also means your marketing is not scalable... your number of initiatives is capped by the number of deals you do.
The same applies to businesses whose PR relies of reacting to news events, a tactic many law firms use to seek coverage commenting on legal cases. If there is a death of suitable cases, you go quiet for an indefinite period.
To make sure your marketing is not too focused on opportunism it is worth looking back at your 2019 and categorising your marketing activity in terms of three types:
1 - Opportunistic marketing
With this type of marketing, the timing is largely out of your hands and examples of this are PR around completed deals, jumping on news events and responding to incoming unsolicited requests (eg interview requests from journalists, inbound advertising calls or perhaps a speaking invite).
2 - Evergreen marketing
This is marketing activity that delivers all year around. Examples include having a well optimised website, having downloadable reports and sign-up forms, blogging regularly (as long as they appears reasonably well on Google), and running ongoing Google Ads and LinkedIn advertising campaigns.
Typically Evergreen initiatives do not deliver lots of leads at once, unless you are very fortunate. Instead they produce them occasionally over long periods of time, so the aim is to build up the number of these to get a big cumulative benefit.
3 - Planned campaigns
These could be one-off or regular campaigns at times you choose, whether linked to external opportunities (such as tying into new regulatory requirements) or simply to give a boost to a particular practice or service.
Is your marketing working hard or hardly working?
While opportunistic marketing can have great impact with good execution, your marketing will deliver more leads overall if you build up the second and third elements.
Planning campaigns that deliver immediate impact, and then further value from turning that material into Evergreen concrete, ensures your practice is bringing in leads, even when announcements are scarce or when your people are flat-out on client work.
In looking at your activity from 2019, if your marketing was too focused on events beyond your control, it is time to build some straightforward Evergreen and Planned mini-campaigns.
If you would like to speak to Kelso Consulting about how we can help get these off the ground, please click here to contact us.