Legal marketing professionals have spoken, technology must deliver!

Nearly 2 out of 5 CMOs across the United States report that driving growth is their top challenge, according to research conducted by Deloitte, American Marketing Association, and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

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This should come as no surprise as we think about a Chief Marketing Officer’s core mission: successfully populating the funnel that moves customers along their journey from awareness to consideration to purchase in order to fuel the growth of the business.

At Intapp, we serve a variety of customers across professional services, including legal, accounting, and consulting—including CMOs. And with a regional tour of Legal Marketing Association (LMA) events across North America presenting the opportunity, we decided to test whether these same findings hold true within the legal industry.  So we invited attendees of 6 Regional LMA events to answer this very same question, borrowed from The CMO Survey, to test whether marketing professionals in legal are driven by the same challenge.

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The findings of our LMA survey indicate that marketing professionals in the legal industry face more challenges internally than marketers across industries.

Kathryn Whitaker, Director of Recruitment & Strategy Consulting at Calibrate Legal further confirmed this, as responses from their recent legal marketing survey showed that “the number one challenge [for marketers was] described as “lack of resources” with “internal barriers” coming in a close second.” This is why the legal talent and executive search firm is committed to redefining legal marketers as Revenue Enablers™️.  “When lawyer leaders understand marketing as essential to the business of law and [the fact] that impact players help you achieve sustainable growth, those internal barriers lessen,” says Whitaker.

In legal, marketing professionals are more than twice as likely to be challenged to demonstrate ROI over other primary challenges like driving growth or gaining the support of your executive team.

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Modern legal CMOs have secured a seat at the leadership table, according to Deborah Farone, Founder of Farone Advisors and a former legal CMO herself.  And while this is great, it also comes with significant responsibilities “to develop  innovative solutions to help drive growth and provide more of an ROI on marketing activities. With today’s technology, using metrics and KPIs is possible, whereas in the past, firms didn’t have as many arrows in their quiver,” says Farone.

Legal industry veteran, Julie Savarino says, “For all law firm CMOs, it’s equally important to generate results and to report ROI, yet the struggle to do both is real. Why? Because generating results from most marketing/business development tasks requires significant time and effort to manually gather relevant information, contacts and data from various, unconnected systems and sources. All of which leaves little time or bandwidth left to efficiently report ROI, which also must be done manually in most law firms.”

This is one of the most common challenges we hear, regardless of firm size. Far too often, we’re told that business development initiatives are either not tracked, necessary information is not entered, or from a budget perspective, never tied back to a client. The same holds true for marketing events, where firms are simply unable to calculate how much they have spent on a client.

Several forward-thinking firms have started integrating expense management systems directly into their Intapp OnePlace CRM and requiring critical pieces of information as fundamental as name and a client ID to be entered, before getting any expense reimbursement. Those firms can now drill down to an individual level to see how much marketing dollars have been spent vs. revenue that has been brought in. Leveraging this data, business development and marketing teams now have the insight to know who to invite, how much to spend, and what initiatives are the least/most successful.

Since we collected these data across regions, in some cases we found region-specific answers that spoke directly to the unique challenges faced in that region.

LMA Southeast regional findings

At the LMA Southeast event, nearly 4 in 5 marketing professionals identified having the right technologies as their top challenge. Current research indicates technology makes up about 10% of indirect spend at the firm and is growing annually at about 4%. This is certainly true among marketing technology, as well. Much of the marketing technology stack is characterized by disparate point solutions that either rely on old technology or don’t provide synergistic benefits in their integrations with other solutions that tie it all together. At Intapp, we’ve solved for that by introducing Intapp OnePlace Marketing & Business Development, a solution that provides the best that CRM, ERM and experience management can offer marketing professionals.

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LMA West regional findings

In the West where technology is ubiquitous, customer data becomes the gold standard that drives customers through the funnel toward success. Hence, generating customer insight was identified as the second-most important challenge to a marketing professional in legal. At Intapp, we’ve also recognized the value of customer data, building our Intapp OnePlace Marketing & Business Development solution to share data across Intapp Relationships, Experience and OnePlace CRM to leverage the customer data each solution derives in a way that is utterly unique in the marketplace.

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LMA Northeast regional findings

In the highly competitive Northeast, marketing professionals identified executive team support as their most important challenge. It’s one thing to have the most robust Martech stack powering your marketing engine, and another thing to lack executive sponsorship to support your efforts. In the legal industry of the past, sharing client lists for the purposes of business development can be a formidable challenge, since that represented the sweat equity of every lawyer. In the legal industry of tomorrow, however, technology and the benefits conferred are transforming the business of law to help make firms more efficient and competitive.

Competition is fiercer than ever while at the same time, customer loyalty disappears more and more each day. Firms who wait to see what the shop down the road does will be left two years behind before they even react. Gone are the days of building homegrown solutions or purchasing point products that can’t integrate. Firms need a tool like Intapp OnePlace Marketing & Business Development that leverages advanced cloud technology and artificial intelligence to help assess risk, predict pricing, and map information across multiple systems to give lawyers precisely what they need at their fingertips. Those marketing professionals who invest in next-generation technology will advance their firm forward and will reap the rewards of growth for years to come.

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Initially, we set out to test whether marketing professionals in legal have the same challenges as CMOs across industries. What we found is so much more valuable than that, as it speaks to the unique challenges of a legal industry in transformation. Legal marketers, and the technology that supports their efforts, are on the front lines of that transformation, and something we’ll be showcasing first-hand at the upcoming Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference on March 25th – March 27th in Denver, CO. Please join us there and get a walk-thru of Intapp OnePlace Marketing & Business Development, as well as chat with our marketing and business development team.


Legal marketing professionals have spoken, technology must deliver


    A recent legal marketing survey conducted at Legal Marketing Organization (LMA) regional events reveals a legal CMO's top challenges.