GUEST BLOGGER: Michael Zolno, Principal – Zolno Consulting
Six months ago, after almost a year of trial and tribulation and at great expense, your law firm completed its rebranding efforts. This morning, at the marketing committee meeting, you; the Director of Marketing, were asked by the Managing Partner, “are our new branding efforts showing a return?”
Fumbling with your papers and looking taken off guard respond, “I think so. Some of our clients have told us they like the new website and …”
“Give us a written report at the next meeting”, the Managing Partner requests.
As you walk back to your office, you think, “no problem, I’ll pull a website activity report and survey some of our clients to see how the firm’s recognition level has improved, and ask some of them if they like our new website and collateral pieces they have seen. Piece of cake.”
All fine and good, but of questionable value in answering the Managing Partner’s query.
So, what is our Director of Marketing to do – or better stated – what should they have done?
- Prior to the undertaking of the rebranding campaign (project) data needs to be gathered via a benchmarking study on at least the following:
• Brand recognition – both internal & external
• Brand effectiveness – degree of reliance by marketplace on your “branded” materials
• Response rates to your “branded” materials
Without the information from a benchmarking study, you have no reliable data that shows where you started from prior to a rebrand and you will have nothing to measure against after your branding initiative launches. Don’t expect immediate returns. Brands take time to build and develop influence.
- Set expectations early with your management team that the amount of time it will take to see any measurable results will depend on how much the firm has budgeted to promote the new brand after it has launched. Generally you should allow at a minimum 3-6 months internally and 12 – 18 months externally to see any real difference in your recognition and recall value.
- Take your findings and establish a set of goals that can be tracked and measured covering at least the areas noted above.
- Do a Trend Analysis – Given your current rates of growth, marketplace, etc. where might you expect to be without any rebranding campaign using the same set of measures (metrics).
- Track and measure in a manner that allows you to compare to precampaign data and against your goals.
- Analyze, compare and discuss the findings, explaining deviations while keeping in mind that effects due to changes in the marketplace are valid and beyond your control.
If your Director of Marketing had done a benchmarking survey, established a set of measurable goals, and measured properly, then they would be able to provide a meaningful written report for the next Marketing Committee meeting. It would be a piece of cake, and a tasty one at that.
Michael Zolno, Principal of Zolno Consulting, assists law firms in developing and implementing strategic marketing plans that lead to practice growth, increased profitability and improved client services.