Leveraging your Law Firm's Data to Reach Relevant Audiences

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Leveraging your Law Firm's Data to Reach Relevant Audiences image

Recommendations for law firms to leverage the power of data

Data, and especially how effectively you can leverage data, put analytics into action, and deploy emerging technologies, is fast becoming an increasingly important competitive advantage for law firms, legal recruitment agencies, businesses, and legal service providers.

So, how do you develop a solid and systematic strategic approach to data? You should first look into your law firm's current situation to assess if you have a substantial amount of data information but do not know how best to utilise it to maximum effect.

A robust data strategy focuses on what your company wants to accomplish and how data can support your firm in reaching its goals. Data should always target a specific business demand, assist your law firm in reaching its strategic objectives, and create tangible benefits to be truly successful.

At Lawzana, we understand the power of data in reaching relevant audiences as our data drives the platform that we provide to users and members from around the world looking to connect with the right lawyer for them.

In this article, we share some suggestions for developing a more thoughtful approach to leveraging business insights to assist in your law firm's growth efforts.

Conduct an audit of your existing client intelligence (CI) environment

You should first look at the databases and management systems you already have in place. Then you can analyse these to identify those that you currently use. When looking into this, you should explore if your firm is taking full advantage of the system's functionality.  You can use this information to assess what services your law firm is currently signed up for and focus on ensuring that you genuinely need it, use it, understand how to leverage all that it has to offer and identify any blind spots or unmet needs.

Set a time with each of your data suppliers to request a checkup on the recent versions of each platform and to learn how your team can more effectively utilise the resources once you have the responses to the questions in the previous paragraph. Bring questions, pain points, and even a wish list of your current data requirements to the meeting in relation to the platform. As a result, you and your team are likely to learn something new.

Conduct an internal audit to make the most of your current resources

Exchange data knowledge with other internal departments about what tools they already have in order to compile a master list and leverage existing tools. Silos exist in law firms just as they do in other companies. There are many cases where a law firm's marketing department believes they need to see a demo of a particular tool to find out, despite the fact that another department at the firm already has a subscription to the services and may have been using it for many years already. It is in the best interests of your law firm to break the silos and pool resources.

Make a detailed strategic plan

You can define clear objectives for utilising the data that match up with your law firm's needs and upcoming client work or project now that you know what kind of data you have and what data you need.

This is significant given the vast amount of data available today. Many law firms and companies of all types experience "data paralysis," in which they have accumulated so much data to analyse that they are almost paralysed by it since tackling it appears to be an insurmountable task.

Legal data can be leveraged in a variety of ways, including:

  • Legal staffing
  • M&A strategy
  • Business growth
  • Benchmarking
  • Market intelligence

Highlight your law firm's most critical requirements, and then look for ways to put the data to use to contribute to the growth of those initiatives. As an example:

  • Getting to know your key clients better
    • Because relationships are so crucial for successful law firms, find out more about who your law firm is representing and seek out people in your organisation who can give insights on these key people.
  • Increased hiring of associates by region, practice, and/or industry
  • Identifying strategic partners in a specific practice area, business sector, or geographical location
  • Looking for new markets to expand into
  • Developing new practice areas
  • Searching for merger partners or acquisition opportunities
  • Putting together an alumni relations programme
  • Increasing hiring diversity

The conclusion of this point is that robust and purposeful data can help promote a law firm's business growth, branding, or recruitment process action plan.

Establish roles and processes

It is critical to allocate individual tasks to team members responsible for different parts of the data process, to maintain open lines of communication within departments, and to develop a coherent process for data queries.

If the business development and marketing teams require research, but the actual work is completed by the research team, help ensure your group members illustrate the reason why the data request was made rather than simply requesting snippets of data. To put it another way, to clarify the goal of what you are trying to accomplish with the data you are looking for. This will allow those collecting and formulating data to deliver a better outcome placed in a powerful context.

When considering internal resources capacity planning (e.g. staffing), map out the data stages first and then consider who would be best suited to collaborate on the project. Collecting the data, storing it, processing/analysing it, extracting key insights from the data, and ultimately presenting the results are all important parts of this process. If you discover that you require additional assistance that your law firm is not currently capable of providing, you may need to consider outsourcing the projects or aspects of them.

Once this has been carried out, you can create a process that includes a basic form to centralise the information and to help your firm simplify, monitor, and oversee data requests. Keeping track of previous data requests in one place can also enhance your firm's overall effectiveness for subsequent related projects.

Data collection process

Assuming your law firm has the processes and staff in place, you will then need to consider how you will gather the data required for the project. You should begin by outlining the questions you are looking for your data to address. At the fundamental level, you may consider whether qualitative or quantitative data would be more beneficial for this project. Of course, you can also set up a  hybrid of the two. You can also consider creating a survey to be distributed via social media and email.  Based on the raw data, you can then begin to create a narrative of the results of your findings.

Analysing the data for marketing

The simplest and most practical way to start analysing your audience is to use information you already have, which could come from your law firm's email subscribers list in your Client Relationship Management (CRM) or marketing automation system. As you work through the list and learn more about the different segments of your subscribers, you will gain a deeper understanding of whether you are catching the relevant audiences in terms of people and/or businesses who are truly a perfect match for your law firm.

Creating relevant audience segments

Begin segmenting your list based on your subscribers' demographic information and company attributes, taking into consideration the criteria that are most applicable to your specific situation. Gender, job position, size of the company, business sector, and location are all potential indicators.

You should be able to gather several core insights into the individuals on your list and how well they fit the profile of your law firm's ideal target audience by tagging and categorising contacts with these measures. This will also enable you to dive deep into the data to understand whether your audience is composed principally of any particular type of group, such as company owners or executives, females, males, living in a particular location, working in a specific industry and so on.

As you work your way through the subscriber list, you are very likely to discover information gaps. As a case in point, typically, a website email signup form may only collect a name and email address; you might consider updating this to capture the relevant data that your law firm requires while still taking into consideration the user experience of not having to complete an overly long form.  Also available are "data-appending" solutions that have the ability to take your existing information and perform search queries to assist you in filling in any gaps. Alternatively, your team can also conduct manual searches, which could involve searching for additional data online on websites such as LinkedIn.

If your law firm uses a marketing automation tool, you will most likely be able to segment your list based on behaviour as well.

It is possible to gather valuable insights into what your audience interacts with the most by tracking what the subscribers on your list do on your website. This can significantly help with subsequent content creation decisions.

Determining your ideal target market

Your law firm's target audience should be centred on the ideal client profile for your law firm. Once you have determined the type of individual who will comprise your ideal audience, you can project the size of the overall market.

Fully understanding the size of the market will assist your law firm in determining what you will need to accomplish in order to reach your target audience. When evaluating the market size, consider whether you want to take a small portion of a larger, more generalised market or a larger piece of a narrower, niche market. For instance, a firm may be interested in real estate investor clients, or they may only want to work with large corporations in a specific business sector or geographic location.

Selecting the characteristics to compare

Once you have determined what your overall target market looks like, you should select a set of factors that you can use to segment that audience further. The same properties, or a subset of the criteria, that you used to analyse your subscriber list will be most beneficial in the majority of cases. You could be interested in the gender, job role, and location of corporate executives who work in a certain industry, as one example. This will enable you to build and analyse various segments; for consistency, you can conduct this in the same way that you did with your email subscribers list.

Once you have determined who your target audience is and which properties you would like to compare, you can begin looking into the actual data. This may require some time and effort as there are many places that you will need to gather the data from.  LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for obtaining accurate estimates. Many business or specialist associations will also have a wealth of statistics that can provide your firm with useful information.

The goal is to gather the information that demonstrates how large the overall target market is and who it is made up of. For comparison purposes, you may discover that there are 112,000 C-level executives in your target market. The 112,000 people are also distributed across fourteen cities, with approximately 58% males and 42% females. Your team now has some data to compare to your law firm's own audience lists.

How to compile and share your data findings internally

The next step is to figure out how to turn your raw data into actionable insights while also presenting it in a way that successfully engages and shares valuable information with your target audience. As with all presentations, this entails understanding your audience and how they will react to the information that is available. You may wish to consider if documented reports strike a chord with the target audience. Or perhaps PowerPoint presentations supported by charts and graphs. Some people are more enthralled by a storytelling approach.  Always consider how to best impart the information you have, or your efforts in researching and developing your insights will be in vain, and your law firm will not be able to benefit from the work.

Making the data actionable

Now that you have gathered information on both your present and ideal target audiences, you can compare both to assess your current situation. Look for areas where your existing audience differs from your target audience and look for ways to make any necessary changes.

Here are some examples of changes that you might make:

  • If your intended audience is roughly 50/50 males and females, but your actual audience is made up of 70% males, you are missing out on a sizable portion of your target audience.
  • You are reaching the wrong kind of people if your target client audience is corporate executive decision-makers at large companies, but your existing audience is mostly administrative staff.
  • If you are targeting a comparatively narrow niche market and receiving responses from only 1% of that market, you may need to increase your marketing efforts to reach a larger number of people ultimately.

Generating audience personas

You can then start creating audience personas. Audience personas are imagined profiles created by marketers to determine who their target audience is. Include characteristics such as:

  • Demographics: including their age, gender, and civil status. Do they have any children? What is the median household income in their area?
  • Academic background: What level of education did they obtain? What were their degree courses in university, and what institutions did they study at?
  • Company: What industry does their firm operate in? What is the company's size, and how many employees does it have?
  • Job role: What is their present position with the company? Who do they report to? Who is reporting to them?
  • Career path: How did they get to where they are now? What were their previous positions? Is their profession related to their field of study at university? Have they ever received a promotion?
  • Specialized expertise: Does their job necessitate the use of specialised skills? Where did they learn these abilities? What programmes and tools do they use on a daily basis? How frequently, e.g. once a week?
  • Concerns: What are their current challenges? How do they intend to address them?

Once your client personas are put in place, reassess and refresh them periodically (quarterly, bi-annually, etc.) to make sure they stay as precise as possible.

Using intent data to reach your ideal client

After conducting the research to determine where your audience currently stands and the characteristics of those you want to target, your company can take the next step in data optimisation by focusing on intent data. This type of data analyses users' online behaviour to determine which services or solutions they are most likely to sign up for. This means that law firms can directly target the prospects who are most likely to convert and implement marketing strategies that are significantly more likely to succeed.

Leveraging intent data makes it more straightforward to reach your ideal client and gives your law firm a competitive advantage over competitors who focus on strategies that continue to target mass audiences. This will streamline your firm's marketing efforts, saving resources and increasing your return on investment (ROI).

How to keep your data organised moving forward 

After having expended a great deal of time and effort getting your data organised and actionable by determining what data you need, it's critical that you have the appropriate methods and tools in place to keep your data in good shape and to maintain the data so it is actionable. Determine the frequency with which certain data should be reported and assign accountability for the process to stakeholders. Create easily updatable templates so you do not have to rethink the process every time you synthesise data and so you can directly compare each report to the others.

In relation to data your law firm has on people, the firm's CRM system will not only assist with contact management, but it can also enhance client service, optimise your lead generation strategies, and uncover new or undiscovered relationships when fully deployed and utilised. After all, key stakeholder participation and up-to-date data are essential for a successful CRM system. Your law firm will benefit from taking the time to keep your contacts up-to-date and segmented. If you identify that this assignment is too difficult to handle internally, you can consider outsourcing the task.


Today, law firms and legal service organisations have an abundance of data at their disposal. The key is to collect it strategically, update it, synthesise it, and share it. In today's competitive legal market, organisations that view data as a strategic resource and develop robust data and analytics strategies will have a strategic advantage.

Understanding your ideal target audience by leveraging the power of data is an important step for any law firm when developing a digital marketing strategy.

When your firm has identified your ideal clients and gained a better understanding of the challenges they experience and the concerns that need addressing, your team can start creating content for every phase of the client lifecycle, guiding prospects through the funnel until they are ready to become highly prized clients.

If you have any questions related to law firm marketing or effective data management, do not hesitate to contact our expert team at [email protected]