The whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts – a new marketing initiative for lawyers.

The whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts – a new marketing initiative for lawyers.

Government plans to ban referral fees in personal injury claims on grounds  that they fuel compensation culture and have led to a rise in insurance costs will put pressure on law firms to up their marketing.  These firms will no longer be able to rely on leads being passed on under the old referral scheme and may not be in a position themselves to compete with the new wave of legal services providers coming into the market with big marketing budgets.

Personal injury, whether caused by a motoring accident or otherwise, will continue to happen and the victim will still need good legal representation to make the claim for compensation.   For a large number of law firms, following a ban on referral fees, the problem of visibility  to potential clients will become an even more  serious problem unless they develop their profile on the web and other media to put their expertise and services before the potential client.  Most people do not routinely have a ‘family solicitor’ and may well have had no cause to consult a solicitor before an accident happens. When an injury occurs they will, inevitably, seek advice on a local solicitor or search google. Some larger law firms and the new breed of legal services provider will have the budgets for television and other media advertising and will dominate the media, however most may not even get a nibble if they aren’t on the first page of google?

Accidents Direct are developing a co-operative where leading regional law firms, specialist personal injury practices, high street firms and sole practitioner solicitors can become a member of the Accidents Direct ‘co-operative’ and invest  in the national marketing provided by Accidents Direct which will include television and other media. By buying a share in the co-operative  members will be able to benefit from the national reach of the annual media campaigns and benefit by taking their share of the clients coming through Accidents Direct on a pro rata basis.
The whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts concept has worked well in other co-operatives and this initiative by Accidents Direct, who do have national reach, must be an option well worth considering for law practices that do not have the budget or expertise to compete with some larger firms or legal services providers.

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3 thoughts on “The whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts – a new marketing initiative for lawyers.

  1. Interesting…which in itself is saying something ;)

    What intrigues me is how law firms think the solution is just about ‘marketing.’ Yes and no. That is just one part of the issue. The other part, the bit that most law firms are in denial over is how those ‘leads’ are effectively processed. Organisations offering marketing umbrellas are now ten a penny and in my opinion are unproven. What I do like about this one, is the co-operative stance = buy in and I am all for law firms buying into a concept.

    I think this debate regarding the web for lawyers needs exploring more; the separating of ‘finding’ and ‘transacting,’ the two are very very different. And it is ‘transacting’ where the profit is, done badly it is a cost. ‘Finding’ is also very expensive if you do not ‘transact’ profitably. Seems obvious yes…but I continue to shudder at some of the medieval processes I see in law firms. This is unsustainable.

    Many lawyers just blur the web as a ‘fix all.’ This viewpoint is going to come back and bite them when more savvy players, (brands and some law firms) really start to use the web beyond brochureware. If the last 5 years has been about anything it has been about user experience…lawyers, law firms and marketing platforms continue to miss this point. Or they gloss it to such a level that it blinds them from reality.

    I have argued for some time now that the more complex a situation is the more our need to engage with a human being. This does not mean we don’t need technology. It does means we need technology and humans deployed in the right places. It’s about being smart.

    The market is so poorly educated in terms of how to consume legal services yet some organisations are portraying a future that may or may not happen. Put another way, we have a long way to go until we are in ‘click and go’ for legal services, but if I was a firm I would be absorbing as much as I could right now and sifting out the much chaff. I would be building.

    Final thought…if lawyers are happy to let brands educate their market (and trust me I have the demographics of customers consuming online legal…it is most definitely your typical law firm client), thats is a choice. It’s a choice that could prove fatal.

  2. This concept was used in the 1950’s for the independent retail grocery trade. Limited companies would be formed which local retailers bought a share in. They would then be given access to low cost supplies and other services.

    Most of these limited companies were wound up in the 1960’s as the wholesale market exploded and large organisations came in and offered the same services for no buy in costs.

    It didn’t save the independent traders although it took until the 1980’s for their profitability to be wiped out by the large chains.

    Sound familar?

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