New evidence shows that with an increase in the number of touch points in the customer/client decision-making process come new client service and marketing challenges. They can effect conversion from prospect to client and impact, positively or negatively, client loyalty, word-of-mouth and willingness to refer new business.  

LESSONS FROM THE ARTICLE . . .

“Consumers are changing the way they research and buy products.”  Multiple touch points or points of influence can now impact decision-making. The site of control has shifted to a “discerning and well-informed consumer.”   

Informational web sites, online communications, PR, client testimonials, a variety of media (including social media and video), advertising, expanded choices, the opportunity to experience you prior to engaging your services, and more reliance on word-of-mouth have changed how companies and firms are evaluated and hired.  They have also increased the importance of what transpires “post purchase.” 

In the McKinsey & Company article “Winning the Consumer Decision Journey,” the authors (David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder, and Ole Jørgen Vetvik)* discuss marketing and engagement with customers/clients in the new digital environment. 

Fundamental to this occurrence are:

  • Managing the customer experience by interacting with them at several points of influence
  • Reinvigorating loyalty initiatives by increasing spending on engagement and messaging post-purchase when consumers tell others about the product or service they bought
  • Getting ahead of the change in the balance of power in which the purchaser of services often drives marketing activity

 

LESSONS FOR THE LAW FIRM . . .

Your firm’s web site, Internet research, client visits and social media are some of the factors that create new client touch points along the continuum of client acquisition and service.  They require more sophisticated, evolved, informed, and possibly resourced, marketing planning and execution. 

Clients are making active choices in purchasing legal services.  The chosen firm may be the one that has executed its marketing strategically to interact at various critical junctures along the client decision-making journey.   

As you plan marketing budgets for 2013, here are three steps to help you get to the most profitable allocation of your promotional dollars:


    √  Audit and evaluate how/where/when marketing interacts with clients and prospects

    √  Ask clients what tools they use when researching lawyers, firms, and client experiences

    √  Identify a small sample; beta test shifting dollars to several touch points and measure results


 
*About the Authors: David Court is a director in McKinsey’s Dallas office, Dave Elzinga is a principal in the Chicago office, Susie Mulder is a principal in the Boston office, and Ole Jørgen Vetvik is a principal in the Oslo office