How Marketing Delivers During a Recession

December 19, 2022

As the current economic slowdown continues to impact the legal industry, law firm leaders are making tough choices, scrutinizing everything from staffing to technology as they plan budgets for 2023 and beyond.

This means marketing professionals need to be prepared to show why their work is a must-have, not a nice-to-have, in fostering firm success. During a slowdown, communicators and business development pros can help firms make the most of their areas of strength. Marketing is key to keeping things moving for the firm until the economy recovers.

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  1. Marketers’ know-how provides stability in uncertain times. Marketers’ expertise is invaluable when the firm needs to quickly pivot and adapt to shifting market conditions. In-house marketers and business-development professionals thoroughly understand their firm’s strengths, differentiators and long-term strategic plans. Their institutional knowledge is especially valuable when there’s little margin for error in decision-making. And marketers’ extensive knowledge is vital when working under tight deadlines; there’s just not enough time to bring in new players and get them up to speed.
  2. Marketers make it easier for clients to find your firm. Most midsize and larger firms have countercyclical practice groups that experience a boom during economic downturns. Marketers can help the firm capitalize on these opportunities and promote the work these groups can offer to clients. And if competitors reduce their marketing efforts while your firm continues investing, your firm will enjoy increased visibility and brand recognition.
  3. Marketers help protect your firm’s talent investment. The talent war may be cooling as the legal industry anticipates a slowdown. But the expensive battle for talent is still top of mind for firm leaders who fought hard to attract new lawyers. One way for firms to retain their attorneys is by providing the marketing resources they need to build their network and book of business. Offering attorneys marketing support signals the firm is investing in its people, especially in lean times. 

Of course, recession-proofing a firm isn’t all about marketing. But marketers’ sweet spot is their expertise in tailoring messaging to clients and emphasizing the value the firm delivers. These superpowers can position a firm to weather the economic storm and to ramp up again once the economy is on the upswing.