Oh, THAT Box…

Blogging and online networking are by far the current “out of the box” darlings of legal marketing, but the discipline remains inside an even bigger box. It’s an ongoing puzzle to me why lawyers look almost exclusively to other lawyers for marketing insights, ideas and inspiration. Survey leading marketers in consumer packaged goods, manufacturing — even other professional services — and you will find that in addition to competitors and leaders in adjacent markets, they look to other industries and geographies for best practices, then innovate for their own products, services and customer/client segments.

My sense is that some of it is rooted in a sense of exceptionalism — i.e. “Lawyers are different, we do things our own way.” Yes, like every other law firm. Everyone uses the same blogging platform, everyone belongs to the same LinkedIn groups, everyone angles for speaking spots at bar association meetings…you get my drift.

If you want to really stand out and break through, then borrow a page from the Apple playbook and “Think different.”

A couple of examples:

  • Like the legal profession, advertising by financial services providers is highly regulated and scrutinized. If you’re struggling with how to make a splash with a Facebook campaign while staying in bounds with bar association rules, check out Genworth Celebrates and Genworth Celebrates Parents for inspiration.
  • The Social Media Business Council’s Business Blogging Blog is an invaluable conduit for case studies and online content with great ideas applicable in law firm marketing from companies like Pfizer, GE and Nokia.

What companies and organizations outside the legal profession inform and inspire your marketing?

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