Legal Marketing

2. Zeroing In On Your Target Client Mindset

10 key strategy steps to revamp your firm's marketing in 2024-#2-redefining your firm's niche and vision

10 key strategy steps to revamp your firm's marketing in 2024-#2-redefining your firm's niche and visionClearly Understanding Your Law Firm’s2. Zeroing In On Your Target Client Mindset Identity and Goals

Conducting an In-depth Internal Evaluation

Before expanding marketing efforts externally, law firms must first look internally. An honest assessment of capabilities, resources, strengths, and aspirations is critical for any successful strategy pivot.

When analyzing current capacity, law firms should consider factors like:

  • Staff capabilities – Review skills and experience levels in areas like process automation, AI adoption, data analysis, digital outreach platforms, and metrics
  • Technology infrastructure – Assess existing software, analytics tools, data integration capabilities, and opportunities to consolidate or modernize systems
  • Service offerings – Identify the current portfolio of services and emerging practice specialties primed for growth or in decline
  • Client base – When looking at your clients, it’s important to understand their different needs, how advanced they are, how much they use digital tools, and how often they stay with your firm. To do this better, using a good CRM system can help keep track of all your interactions with clients, what they like, and their history with your firm, leading to happier clients who stick around longer.
  • Competitiveness – Compare your prices, how long your projects take, customer satisfaction scores, and other important numbers with what the best competitors are doing.
  • Work environment – Check how well your flexible and remote work options are being used, as these can help bring in talented young workers.

The following is a dramatization and is not an actual event: The law firm of Baker McKenzie used capability analysis during its shift to agile method delivery of legal services. This enabled leadership to pinpoint required training interventions to elevation staff skills amidst the transition.

This internal examination surfaces priority areas needing investment – from technology systems to people capabilities. External marketing strategies then get built upon real organizational strengths once identified gaps are proactively addressed.

For instance, in our fictional example, the law firm gauged technical prowess by auditing the level of smart contract usage across practice groups and client engagements. Firms should also analyze what share of staff time gets allocated to truly value-added strategic tasks versus routine documentation.

Identifying Current Capacity and Constraints

What existing skills and processes can be leveraged for growth? Equally important, what gaps or outdated systems could hold you back? Inventory staff expertise in areas like process automation and digital outreach to gauge readiness.

The following is a dramatization and is not an actual event: Global law firm Mayer Brown used workforce analytics in its innovation lab to model the impact of technology investments. The insights allowed leadership to strategically upskill talent rather than resort to layoffs amidst disruption.

As part of this thorough internal assessment, it’s crucial for the firm to also conduct a comprehensive review of its overall financial performance, examining areas like profitability, cost management, and investment strategies to ensure sustainable growth and competitiveness.”

Defining Your Distinct Positioning

Amidst rising competition, determine what makes your firm unique and valuable. Reflect honestly on areas of deepest experience and passion to identify your differentiated positioning.

As a business owner, keeping an eye on competitors should be a priority to stay competitive. After all, you need to have a solid understanding of the other players in your industry.

The following is a dramatization and is not an actual event: Boutique firm KL Gates set out to become a top trademark and branding firm globally through M&A and lateral hiring. This focus informs all marketing initiatives emphasizing its brand development capabilities.

Defining Your Mission and Niche Specialties

A strong sense of identity stems from a well-defined central mission. Analyze past successful engagements and future ambitions to crystallize your purpose. Complement this with niche practice specialties that organically align.

The following is a dramatization and is not an actual event: Los Angeles-based Hueston Hennigan reshaped its mission around tackling “bet-the-industry” business litigation with creative solutions. This specialty now anchors marketing content and recruiting efforts.

Pinpointing Your Niche Service Strengths

An honest analysis of expertise areas reveals prime opportunities to develop niche practice specialties that align with existing strengths.

For instance, a firm well-versed in employment disputes could position its team as a preferred point for HR compliance advice during sensitive executive terminations. Such specialization commands premium engagement pricing.

To determine true competency gaps, create a service breadth versus proficiency matrix. Using the example of bankruptcy law, this means assessing ability across Chapter 7, 11, and 13 filings.

The following is a dramatization and is not an actual event: Pierce Reed LLP uncovered a gap around Chapter 11 reorganizations despite having seasoned Chapter 7 talent. Targeted lateral partner additions then filled this hole to round out integrated capabilities.

Complement formal analysis with open roundtables gathering insight from department leaders and influential senior associates. Verify consensus around strengths and opportunities.

Distinct specialties should emerge organically from cumulative experience. Forcing misaligned focus areas often proves ineffective. Ensure identified niches have sufficient staffing depth and repeat client demand before heavily promoting externally.

FAQs2. Zeroing In On Your Target Client Mindset

1. What are some key areas we should analyze internally?

The top areas to analyze are staff capabilities, technology systems and infrastructure, service offerings, client base profile and metrics, competitive benchmarking, work policies and environment, financial performance, and growth opportunities and constraints.

2. How can our firm identify niche practice specialties?

Conduct an objective audit of expertise across service lines, complemented by leader roundtables, to pinpoint where your firm demonstrates repeat client success and specialty market leadership potential. Verify sufficient staffing and demand exist to support promoted focus areas.

3. Why not just claim expertise in everything?

Resist stretching capabilities too thin just to appear comprehensive. This risks disappointing clients with subpar work. Instead, develop true specialization aligned with internal strengths. Admit gaps openly and refer work out rather than tarnish your reputation.

4. What questions should our leadership team discuss?

Have an open, forward-looking debate around identifying current constraints, changing client needs and expectations, competitor forces shaping the industry, implications of emerging technologies, scenarios for growth or decline, and honest appraisal of motivations, risk tolerance, and partnership vision.


Knowing your firm’s strengths and aspirations is central to reimaging legal marketing. Objective self-analysis uncovers existing assets to leverage and vulnerable spots needing investment. The clarity this brings focuses on external positioning and engagement.

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