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Three Ways to Get Lawyers to Fall In Love with Marketing Technology
Thursday, February 15, 2024

While it may (or may not) be shocking that 50% of marriages end in divorce, what may be a more jarring statistic is how 77% of lawyers have experienced a failed technology implementation. And while some may take a second or even third chance at marriage, you rarely get a second chance at a marketing technology implementation, especially at a law firm.

Today’s legal industry is hyper-competitive, firms are asking attorneys to learn new skills and adopt new technology like artificial intelligence, eMarketing, or experience management systems. So, lawyers should be eager to embrace any MarTech that could help them gain an advantage, right? Unfortunately, fewer than 40% of lawyers use a CRM, and only slightly more than a quarter of them use it for sales pipeline management.

When considering lawyers’ love/hate relationship with their firm’s marketing technology infrastructure, it is important to consider the lawyer’s perspective when it comes to change management and technology adoption. By nature, lawyers are skeptical, hypercritical, risk-averse, and reluctant to change. These attributes are certainly beneficial for practicing law, but not so much for encouraging marketing technology adoption. This is why it can sometimes feel like you are herding cats, except these cats are extremely smart, have opposable thumbs, and argue for sport.

While lawyers and technology might not seem like a match made in heaven, you can follow these steps to ensure greater adoption and utilization of your marketing technology:

1. Needs Assessment

The beauty of technology is that it can do so many things, the problem with technology is… it can do so many things. For technology to succeed it has to adequately satisfy the end users’ needs. Because each firm has its own set of unique needs, technology selection should start with a needs assessment. Interviews should be conducted with key stakeholders to determine your organization’s specific needs and requirements. 

As a follow-up to the needs assessment, interview user groups like attorneys, partners and even their assistants, to understand their needs and requirements, and understand their day-to-day processes and problems. These groups each define value differently, meaning that each group will have its own unique needs or set of requirements. Making these users part of the process upfront will increase the likelihood they’ll adopt the technology later on.

2. Communicate

Like any good love affair, a successful technology deployment requires extensive communication. Attorneys must be convinced that the technology will not only benefit the firm, but them individually. It can be helpful to take the time to craft a formal communication plan -starting with an announcement coming from firm leadership outlining the system’s benefits. Realistic expectations should be set, not only for the system but also for user requirements.

Next, establish, document, and distribute any processes and procedures necessary to support the implementation. Most importantly, sharing is caring, so always communicate when goals have been reached or solicit feedback from the end users.

3. Resources

All good relationships require attention. Oftentimes, firms forget to account for the long-term costs associated with a technology deployment. For a successful technology deployment, firms must dedicate necessary resources including time, money, and people. It also takes the coordinated efforts of everyone in the firm, so be sure to invite everyone who may need to be involved, such as:

  • Technical support to assist with implementation and integrations
  • Training programs with outlined criteria for different user groups
  • Data stewards (internal or outsourced) to make sure data is clean, correct and complete
  • The marketing and business development departments that will be tasked with developing and executing a communication strategy
  • Firm leadership and key attorneys whose support can be used to drive adoption
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