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‘Why do we need to improve the effectiveness of our marketing? We have just had our best year ever, profits have increased by 25%, and we couldn’t be busier.’ This is a common reaction from law firm senior partners when the subject of marketing effectiveness is raised. Granted, some firms are currently doing so well that they can probably afford to be this complacent. But even though the current benign economic climate and the continued globalisation of legal services is leading to record levels of activity for UK commercial lawyers, the competition in many legal markets is getting noticeably tougher. Just ask those firms that are reliant on banking, insurance or property work. And what about the City firms being squeezed by the ‘magic circle’ at one end and the niche and provincial players at the other?That some firms are responding more successfully than others to these competitive challenges can be observed in the marked differences in profitability between firms that ostensibly operate in similar markets. Greater effectiveness of marketing and business development activities is one of the reasons behind their success.So how do law firms learn from the best in order to improve the effectiveness of their own marketing?

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