“[INSERT LAW FIRM NAME] is a full-service law firm with market-leading strengths in the energy, financial services, real estate, technology, pharmaceutical, and [insert industry] sectors. Our multidisciplinary teams handle business transactions, M&A, intellectual property, corporate governance, complex litigation and anything else that could come your way. In other words, we do anything for anyone.”
With the exception of the last sentence, this description or a near facsimile could be found on any of hundreds of law firm websites around the globe.
Well-intended writers — usually at the direction of attorneys — often try to appeal to the widest possible audience of existing and prospective clients. The impact is just the opposite. The description ends up so broad that the message appeals to no one.
Buyers of legal services are more sophisticated than ever. They don’t have time to waste. And the competition for their attention is fierce. Too often law firms fail to reach their target audiences because they try to be everything to everyone.
Through market segmentation, law firms can gain greater insight into what drives the unique audiences they serve to buy legal services.
Simply defined, a market segment is a group of people who have similar demands and needs based on common characteristics, such as a shared demographic, geography, psychographic or behavior. As a result, the way a segment makes buying decisions is typically the same.
With an understanding of what drives and motivates a segment, you can create messages and identify specific marketing tactics that will allow you to get the attention of your audience.
A simple exercise to better understand a market segment is to consider the following:
1) What are the unique challenges facing this segment?
2) What specific benefits does our firm offer this segment?
3) How does this segment communicate?
Do this with two-to-three different segments and compare the results. Then look at the key messages your firm uses to market. Do they apply to the segments you’ve identified?
The reality is one-size marketing usually fits none.