Topic Talk Thursday (on Friday) – Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your (Potential) Clients

Hola Todos!

Today’s topic talk is from Doug Cirillo, Project Manager at LexisNexis.  Doug reminds us that empathy (a nugget Keyword, click here) is strategic necessity when operationalizing an e-marketing campaign.

Doug, the floor is yours…


When it comes to modern social media (specifically in the context of e-marketing campaigns), it’s absolutely vital to have a full understanding of what your goals are (what it is you are looking to achieve in the online sphere/campaign) and who your audience is. Without this knowledge, there is no way a company can build a strategy, let alone measure performance.

I help service a niche market in the e-marketing sphere, working at LexisNexis to provide and lead online marketing efforts for lawyers and law firms. The important thing in all of e-marketing/social media (and for sake of this topic talk, I am including websites/SEO/SEM within the umbrella of social media given the current integration/synchronization of all online destinations) is to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your potential client base, who it is your targeting. The mistake most law firms (or companies in general) make is trying to tailor their online marketing efforts around how they perceive themselves; you have to approach it from the paradigm of either the customer base your serving or those you’re marketing towards.

For instance, for most small law/solo practitioners and litigators (B2C), we’re trying to build a campaign around search driven results, i.e., consumers who are going to the web (Google) to search for legal representation. These are oftentimes people that are in a rough spot who now find themselves in an intimidating position of having to search out a lawyer for help. When in this position, what are these people looking for and how are they seeking it out (or, how are they searching for it online)? And once they find a website or social networking site, what will drive them to conversion, i.e., what information and elements within that portal will drive them to reach out and connect or interact with that lawyer or law firm? Consumers are looking for reassurance and help from someone that can deliver results. They are not necessarily looking for a recitation of law or whether or not an attorney graduated cum laude from Harvard; they want someone who is easy to reach (both in terms of contact and travel), engage and willing to help.

On the other hand, for large or corporate law firms (B2B), more often than not, their online drive isn’t so much in the direction of advertising; rather, it is to establish an online presence that will serve as an easy referential point for the firms’ members. You need to market these campaigns around the backgrounds and accomplishments of each attorney in a more specific and legalese manner, i.e., what is there educational background, what cases have they worked on and what was their role within that case. They are not at all concerned about advertising to consumers or searching out attorneys blindly online; instead, they want to be able to easily access information about attorneys and how well established they are within the area in which they practice (what is their background?/have they written articles/blogs?). In these cases, it is important to build an authoritative online presence.

It’s a twofold effort in either case (or really in all e-marketing) in that you have to have a site or media destination that’s engaging to your target base in order to promote conversion or interactivity while also having a successful SEO/SEM effort that drives traffic to it. You cannot be successful unless both are working in parallel. It’s akin to building a beautiful, engaging billboard in the middle of a desert or holding up a 3.5 notecard on the side of a busy highway; you need a well thought out strategy on both ends in order to build a successful campaign.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Doug Cirillo,

Project Manager at LexisNexis



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