8 reasons why a law firm should outsource its marketing

A review of why several law firms came to us has revealed eight reasons why law firms might decide to outsource their marketing.

When talking to law firm managing partners about outsourced marketing, they are often surprised to find that this is an option for smaller firms. The phrase ‘outsourcing’ brings to mind multi-million pound contracts for facilities management, security or prison catering – huge contracts which hit the headlines when things have gone wrong.

The principle behind outsourcing any aspect of your business is that it is not always practical or cost-effective for an organisation to do everything itself. By outsourcing non-core activities, such as support services, senior management can focus on their core activities more effectively.

Marketing is just such a non-core activity for many law firms, but the motivation to consider outsourcing may be very different.

Law firms have been outsourcing their marketing services to Berners Marketing since 2004. A review of why a number of firms first came to us has revealed several reasons why law firms decide to outsource their marketing activities.

Firm A – had employed a series of marketing executives. Each person had strengths in a particular area, such as PR, events or digital. Consequently, the marketing actives would lurch in these directions at the expense of other activity being neglected when staff changed. Outsourcing their marketing provided access to all aspects of the marketing mix in one place and a more consistent approach.

Firm B – had also employed a series of marketing executives. However, here the problem was that the firm was unable to keep any single executive for more than two years, as there was no opportunity for career progression within the firm. The frequent recruitment was costly in terms of agency fees, time spent interviewing and inducting a new recruit. Outsourcing has provided stability and savings in recruitment fees.

Firm C – had ambitious plans to grow, but had never had any dedicated marketing resource. They were nervous about adding someone to the payroll and outsourcing the marketing provided an ideal solution without the overheads. As the firm grew, the level of outsourced marketing support increased too.

Firm D – based in the USA, where the law firm had a large internal marketing department, needed a flexible resource in the UK that could work with the US marketing department to deliver communications in Europe.

Firm E – had joined a national branded network, but had no internal resource to review or implement all the activities proposed by the network. The outsourced marketing team was able fill the gap, implementing the network's communications programmes and adapting these for more local campaigns.

Firm F – was a niche start-up that had spun out of a top 50 law firm. The partners were used to sophisticated marketing support and wanted to outsource all their support services from the outset, allowing them to focus on their core legal business.

Firm G – operated as a dispersed firm with solicitors working as independent consultants under a common brand. Keeping overheads under control was an important aspect of the business model and an outsourced marketing service was an ideal fit.

Firm H – was a niche practice operating in a highly technical area of law. Their experience of traditional marketing agencies had been frustrating as they had struggled to cope with the technical aspects of drafting legal content for this complex area of law. They outsourced the marketing of a particularly important campaign that was very time sensitive.

Firm I – a consortium of several overseas law firms needed a central marketing function to support their members.

For further information on outsourcing marketing please call 01785 859 995 or email info@bernersmarketing.com

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