Top legal marketing trends in 2020

By Charlie Britten
12 Dec 2019

Top legal marketing trends in 2020

With the old decade almost over, the legal sector will be wondering what the 2020s will bring, not least in marketing.

The turn of a new decade always brings plenty of uncertainty and with the 2010s ending amid such political uncertainty that can seldom be truer than now.

Even so, the last decade as a whole has seen plenty of change for the legal sector for many other reasons, not least the shift in marketing.

  • A primary feature has been the growth of digital marketing as SME firms in particular have increasingly realised that traditional methods like billboards and newspaper ads are ineffective and represent a poor return on interest. The need for more integrated marketing communications has become increasingly evident.
  • At the same time, the nature of technology has shaped the sort of digital presence and marketing firms do.
  • A prime case in point has been the growth of smartphone use, which means it is now more important than ever for websites to be mobile friendly when undertaking campaigns like social media marketing.  

These have been important trends in the last decade, but what comes next? 

Will it be more of the same?

Some legal marketing trends are likely to continue. Data on UK internet and smartphone use has shown that while the majority of those over 55 use electronic communication, such usage is almost universal for younger generations.

With young people now growing up having never known an age before the internet and mobile phones, democratic change is only going to take these trends in one direction.

What role will AI play?

The concept of artificial intelligence has often been parodied with the notion that the robots will take over, either turning hostile (like in the Terminator films) or, more seriously, taking jobs away. Technology figures as important as Bill Gates have called for robots to be taxed to provide incomes for the new global army of jobless.

In fact, AI is already here and is using machine learning and big data to provide more information, something that can help inform and enhance marketing strategies.

  • Rather than law firms or marketing companies being staffed with cyborgs, it is likely humans will still be making decisions, but with more information about target markets, buyer personas and changing customer needs.
  • This could enable more marketing messages to be tailored with greater precision to different leads.  
  • In the meantime, packages like Google Analytics will still have a big role to play in providing important information to help inform marketing campaigns.

Why might augmented and virtual reality be a feature of legal marketing?

Writing on LinkedIn earlier in 2019, Microsoft's assistant general counsel Dennis Garcia observed that there had been "a lot written” about the use of AI in the legal sector, but much less about virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.

Discussing how they might impact on legal marketing, he suggested that the use of such devices "may provide potential clients with virtual interactions with specific lawyers and other legal professionals so they can gain greater insight about them and their particular expertise”.

Mr Garcia admitted that the use of such devices are in their "infancy”, so their impact on the sector will "not be immediate”. Therefore, while innovative marketing may see more of this technology being used in 2020, it may be later in the decade before it becomes particularly prominent.

How markets may change

Changing technology is one matter, but the markets served by lawyers may also change significantly, an important consideration when devising buyer personas for marketing campaigns.

  • Among the most likely changes in 2020 could be immigration law markets, with Brexit now a reality.
  • Different immigration laws could significantly alter client demographics as well as creating different opportunities or problems for different people.
  • An obvious example of this will be reduced opportunities to migrate to Britain by EU citizens, while some people of other nationalities might find the whole process easier.

What can BeUniqueness do to help?

BeUniqueness exists to provide modern digital strategies and services that fit with today’s technology and markets. As a new decade dawns, we will remain at the forefront of marketing developments, ready to help you develop a marketing mix that will suit the needs of 2020 and beyond, whatever they may be.     

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