Longevity at a firm has many benefits, and one of them is that staying with one firm for multiple years or even decades makes it possible to build up a solid and reliable book and network of business contacts. However, law firm partners with many years of experience under their belts run the risk of becoming set in their ways and ignoring innovation in favor of using the same marketing strategies and tactics they’ve always been comfortable with. And with the marketing landscape changing radically every day, those who rely on “dinosaur marketing” are getting left behind.
It may be true that in order to fill your Rolodex with new clients, all you had to do in the past was attend a few industry events each year and call up a select number of referral sources every so often. But nowadays, with an oversaturated market and a dizzying array of choices available to potential clients, it’s not only important but also completely necessary to be innovative and stay on the cutting edge of marketing. (And if you’re still using a Rolodex, it’s also probably time to make the jump to a digital contacts database.)
Though it’s tempting to give in to nostalgia and say, “Well, this is how I’ve always done it,” you’re doing yourself a disservice by dismissing modern marketing tools, such as social media advertising, search engine optimization, programmatic advertising, retargeting and more. You’re also putting yourself at a disadvantage to competitors who may be less talented than you, but who are doing a much better job at marketing outside of their comfort zone and getting their name out there.
It’s also tempting for those who have been in business for a long time to fall into the popular trend of looking down upon young professionals. Avoid this mistake. In addition to the fact that the stereotypes casting millennials as lazy, precious and entitled have been repeatedly debunked, allowing this type of ageism in your corporate culture means you risk underestimating your younger competition, who generally have few to no reservations about utilizing modern marketing tactics. You also risk driving away promising young talent to more millennial-friendly workplaces.
So, the next time your marketing agency or fresh-out-of-law-school associate proposes a strategy or technology that sounds completely ridiculous to you, take a step back and at least give it a chance. If you keep your head in the sand, you may be content with the status quo, but you’ll never know what opportunities you’re missing.
In short: don’t be a dinosaur marketer unless you’re okay with going extinct.