How lawyers can capitalize on real time marketing

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Real time marketing (RTM) is a relatively new phrase yet something lawyers have been engaging in for at least two decades. It just wasn’t called “RTM” back then.

What is real time marketing?

Real time marketing is responsive and based on immediate events, trends and things happening in the media. Instead of following a strategic marketing plan, real time marketing reacts instantaneously. A primary goal of RTM is to engage with your target audience in the moment where they are – which is quite often online.

Is real time marketing a valuable approach for lawyers and law firms?

While every legal marketing tactic has its pros and cons, it is important to understand the what, why and when of real time marketing for law firms. The thing about legal services is that they are needs based. It is only when someone needs a lawyer that they begin to search for one. With legal services, it is important to understand which practice groups will lend themselves to real time marketing, and when and how to engage.

What are valuable real time marketing opportunities for lawyers?

There are many types of events that marketers exploit for real time marketing, many of which are consumer-product-related, like Twitter campaign ads for products whose commercials run during the SuperBowl. However, unless your firm has millions of dollars to spend on single-day marketing, this type of campaign may be well out of reach – even for the sports agent attorneys.

There are, however, many types of events, some of which can be anticipated and others that cannot, which lend themselves to real time legal marketing.

Personal injury and class action law firms have been doing this for many years – they just never put a label on it. For example, with every drug recall, lawyers are quoted on the news as legal correspondents and others issuing digital press release to tell prospective clients that they handle this type of work. Some firms go so far as to launch unbranded lead generation websites holding themselves out as the “XYZ drug defect lawyers in America,” while still others focus their efforts on engaging in social media.

While PI firms have had real time legal marketing figured out for years, other law firms are beginning to capitalize on opportunities, too, especially those that complement niche legal practices, such as:

  • Major news events and court rulings
  • Times of crisis
  • Special holidays, anniversaries and events

Which legal practice areas might benefit from real time marketing?

When Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were sued over “Blurred Lines” because it had allegedly infringed on Marvin Gaye’s IP rights, intellectual property lawyers immediately started blogging about how to protect and defend one’s IP. This case lent itself to many opportunities for IP and entertainment lawyers to engage their target audiences, from the filing of the lawsuit to the date of the $7.4 million verdict and for years to come.

The same types of opportunities presented themselves for family law attorneys as high-profile marriage lawsuits and rulings were made public. Criminal law attorneys seized their opportunities when marijuana was made legal in various states. In the wake of the Enron scandal, insurance defense attorneys focused on directors and officers liability and fiduciary liability issues. The list goes on and on.

Adopting a real time marketing approach for lawyers

Lawyers and legal marketers can benefit from real time marketing if they have the right message for the right audience at the right time delivered via the right vehicle. This begs the question: what are the best marketing tools for real time marketing? Stay tuned for my nextLawyernomics blog.

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