Navigating Marketing During Economic Downturns
Is there a significant economic downturn coming in late 2023 or in 2024? It is an impossible question to answer. However, given that some risk factors are present in the broader economy—the World Bank notes that the odds of recessions are rising all around the globe—it is crucial that law firms are properly prepared. You may be wondering: How do law firms navigate marketing in an economic downturn? The answer depends on a number of different firm-specific factors. Here, our legal marketing team provides a brief guide to navigating marketing during economic downturns.
Plan Ahead: Be Prepared for a Potential Downturn
Planning is one of the cornerstones of a successful marketing endeavor. A proactive approach is even more important when there are serious economic challenges. For law firms, it is vital to understand the cyclical nature of the economy and anticipate downturns—especially the types of downturns that affect their specific practice areas.
Consider the Effect of the Downturn on Your Specific Business
Every downturn affects sectors differently—and even within those sectors—specific businesses can have varied experiences. Some legal practice areas are heavily exposed to economic conditions. For example, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions tend to trend up during recessions. On the other hand, bankruptcy filings are countercyclical. Business may actually pick up. Some practice areas, such as personal injury law, are often less directly affected by the broader economy.
Emphasize Efficiency: Try to Figure Out Strategies to Get More Out Of Your Budget
Efficiency is key during a downturn. Focus on cost-effective digital marketing strategies like SEO or content marketing, which can provide long-term benefits for a one-time cost. By putting in a well-developed marketing strategy in place now, your firm can reap dividends well into the future—including if and when there is a significant economic downturn.
Look for Opportunities: Marketing/Advertising Costs May Fall Turn a Downturn
One of the few benefits of an economic downturn is that advertising becomes more affordable, as many companies pull back their marketing investments. For shrewd law firms, this is an opportunity to double down. Traditional advertising venues, such as billboards or radio spots, might offer discounts. Online, pay-per-click ads could become cheaper due to decreased competition.
Do Not Give Up On Marketing: Client Acquisition Becomes Even More Vital During Downturns
A big mistake that law firms make during a downturn is eliminating their marketing efforts. While the instinct during tough times might be to cut costs, abandoning marketing can cause serious problems for your business. Client acquisition is vital for lawyers and law firms. Without the right marketing plan in place, your law firm could struggle to find and retain new clients. That could cause big problems for the financial health of your legal practice.
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