First and foremost I hope that every single person reading this post has thorough tracking methods in place to check your return on marketing investments. Assuming that, what do you do when your marketing efforts just aren’t working?
Managing a mid-size firm, we do not have the budget to invest in marketing ventures that don’t work.
Even though there is no way to guarantee that everything that you do is successful, there are ways to safeguard you and your firm against spending too much money on something that is destined to fail.
- When thinking about giving a new company a chance—whether its for SEO management, website design, or new marketing materials—always make sure that you negotiate the best deal you can possibly get. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people will hear a rep tell them that they are offering the best price and accept the statement as fact. As a rule, never accept the first offer. Do your homework and ask around to see what other attorneys in your market are paying and more importantly what kind of cancellation policy they have.
- Always ask about trial offers. If the company is keen to retain your business (and why wouldn’t they be) find out if they are willing to let you test their services for free, or at least a significantly reduced rate. If their product is really “the best thing ever” and “something your firm can’t succeed without,” make them prove it. If it turns out that pots of gold appear at the end of their rainbow, then you are guaranteed to sign up with them and will most likely recommend their services to your inner circle. The amount of money they will end up making far outweighs their loss during your trial period, if they prove the worth of their product. If not, at least you found out before you invested a fortune.
- Always do a Google search with the company’s name, followed by “reviews” and “scams.” Read all the reviews that you can find; obviously there will always be a disgruntled customer that just wants to leave a spiteful review, but if everything you are reading sounds bad, turn and run. I can’t tell you how many deals I have turned down after reading reviews on the internet.
- As attorneys, this next step should seem obvious, but always read the cancellation policy before you sign up with a new company. I don’t care if they are offering you the moon for $1, in the world of marketing things are constantly changing and you always need an exit strategy. Don’t sign anything unless you know you will be able to cancel if and when the time comes.
- Always learn from your mistakes and move forward.
If someone wants your business they will work for it, and if they really believe their product is the bee’s knees they should be willing to prove it. One thing to remember is that certain marketing ventures, like TV, can take months before you see proven results. But as long as you have an exit strategy from the beginning, when it doesn’t work you can bow out without having to deplete your marketing budget.