As marketing shifts from an art to a science, and marketers become more technologically advanced, industries across the world now view outsourced employees in a new light. Companies outsource their IT opportunities, client care, security, and dozens of other business operations because they realize that it’s more cost effective to get expert help - and focus all internal efforts on their core business.
Focusing on Core Business
Law firms are not great at marketing, with very few exceptions. Law firms excel at practicing law, and at the rates lawyers charge for their services, no partner should run the day-to-day marketing operations of a firm. Having an internal marketing manager solves some of the issues of marketing and branding distracting lawyers. However, an internal marketing manager still needs top-down management from partners - who likely don’t have the bandwidth to stay on top of creating marketing strategies that work in a rapidly changing media landscape.
How often do you need to design something for your law firm? Maybe a handout for a seminar, periodic updates to your website, resources for your firm, or updates to your firm’s brand every few years. The point is that you don’t need a designer every day, but when you do, you need the absolute best you can afford. The same can be said about SEO experts, data scientists, copywriters, paid advertising experts, digital marketing analysts, web developers and every other facet of marketing. Having a generalist can solve a lot of marketing issues, but eventually, firms outgrow the ability of one person - and they need access to additional expertise. Marketing managers at law firms often become mission control for outsourced expertise, acting as the main point-of-contact for outsourced specialists. Instead of relying on one person to fill 12 different roles, firms activate their marketing manager’s expertise by giving them access to distributed talent. Firms don’t need to hire a designer full time, but they need access to expertise when those projects arise.
Distributed expertise is closely related to cost savings for obvious reasons. Hiring 12 full time marketing experts in their respective fields is unfeasible for most firms. The weighted cost of a single marketing expert can vary, but you should expect it to cost between $60,000-$100,000. Hiring one marketing professional is usually the limit for most firms, but that doesn’t cover the actual marketing needs for that business.
Before outsourcing, firms would have to choose between not fulfilling their needs by limiting their growth and over-hiring. Now, firms have the ability to outsource work to teams of distributed expertise that can lend their skills to your projects when you need them. Along with the smarter use of resources, outsourced teams also bring with them the experience from doing similar projects for firms across the nation. Because these experts can focus on what they spent years mastering, they get exceptionally good at executing their tasks.
Outsourced Project Management
It’s no surprise that managing 12 people is harder than managing one marketing manager. Although there’s greater access to expertise with a team of twelve, it’s inherently more difficult to communicate with a team of twelve. Thankfully most outsourced solutions have a dedicated account manager or project manager who has the responsibility to take business goals and translate them into projects for individual technical experts. The ultimate goal of this chain of communication is that business goals flow into the outsourced team, and results flow out. A great project manager who knows their both the legal and marketing industries and can connect the needs of a business to a viable execution strategy is invaluable.
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Looking for a long-form breakdown of the state of law firm marketing and how firms are catching up? Check out our compiled guide to law firm marketing.