What marketing advantages can a smaller law firm have over the big firms?
By Charlie Britten
11 Jun 2020
When it comes to marketing, it can often seem like large firms have some major advantages over smaller players. So much so, in fact, it can often seem like it is almost impossible to compete with them or even find a niche in the marketplace.
However, there are some advantage smaller firms can enjoy through being more agile and flexible, able to change faster and also capable of focusing on a particular niche. There are also benefits to be enjoyed by being local.
Advantages the big firms will have
It must, however, be acknowledged that there are some undeniable benefits of greater scale. Indeed, drawing up a list of these is simple:
- Geographical reach: For any business with high street stores, the likelihood is they will have a presence in many locations, ensuring they are both well-known and have a larger pool of potential customers who can access their goods or services.
- Brand name: Bigger companies will have well-known brand names and reputations to draw on
- In-house marketing: An advantage of scale is being able to fund an in-house marketing department with an innate understanding of company culture and the capacity to run large campaigns
- The ability to leverage economies of scale through marketing, such as loss-leader promotions
Disadvantages of large size
Against that, however, it is worth noting that some of these factors could also prove to be a disadvantage:
- Being a large firm with a wide geographical reach could lead to reputation-damaging suspicions that some areas are being preferred to others, particularly in the event of occurrences like branch closures. A smaller local firm is unlikely to have this problem.
- Being a well-known brand name can be a disadvantage if something happens to damage the brand, as more people will know about it
- An in-house marketing team may be less willing to challenge an aspect of company culture or marketing strategy that could benefit from change
- There are also diseconomies of scale, such as too many levels of management that can lead to marketing decisions being taken too slowly
What can small firms do differently?
Being a small firm means a company will necessarily take a different approach. The number of different goods and services on offer is likely to be smaller, so the focus of marketing efforts will be narrower and more specific.
This can in itself have some great benefits:
- It means the marketers can take an objective look at their client firm and its marketing approach to date, identifying what needs to change
- An outsourced marketing firm can apply a tailored solution designed to meet specific needs within a limited budget, rather than an in-house marketing firm using the same formula every time out of habit.
- By offering this flexibility, an outsourced supplier of marketing can also make swift adjustments if and when analytics data shows certain measures are not working, such as switching from one social media channel to another
This flexibility, capacity for original thinking and a lack of cumbersome decision-making systems and processes can enable smaller firms to evolve their marketing strategies quickly.
Benefits of small scale
There are also some vey specific benefits of being small in scale that can be leveraged in marketing.
- Many people will trust a firm because it is local, is a family firm, or is involved in a cottage industry, not least if the latter maintains what would otherwise be a dying tradition, or has an ethical element
- Some people will trust a small firm more because they have a negative view of large firms, especially multinationals
- Smaller firms can be trusted to provide better customer service because they cannot afford to lose customers easily, whereas large firms with a large customer base may take people for granted
- You may have a great unique selling point, such as serving a very ‘niche’ market
These are elements that can be highlighted in your marketing campaigns, ensuring that the old mantra of ‘small is beautiful’ plays to your advantage.
What BeUniqueness can do for you
BeUniqueness is designed specifically to help SMEs to enjoy the benefits of all the marketing services available to larger firm, while also being able to draw out your own unique selling points.