Law Firm Marketing Operations Survey: Previewing the Results

Gordon Braun-WoodburyMarketing Operations

Within the next few weeks our team will be releasing an original research study designed to map the state of Marketing Operations function across the law profession.

Marketing Operations, today’s fastest growing marketing discipline, seeks to increase marketing’s efficiency, organizational agility, and alignment with revenue growth.

We undertook this research in response to a wave of interest from our law firm clients, many of whom are asking their marketing/BD teams to become more transparent, efficient, and accountable. We believe the study will help us better understand our clients’ needs, and will also help our clients plan their future investments in this emerging domain.

The research draws on previous studies of Marketing Operations maturity across a range of industries. Using these studies as a base, we identified seven categories of leading business practices demonstrated by the highest-performing marketing and business development organizations:

  1. Business Alignment and Accountability
  2. Marketing Performance Management
  3. Marketing Data
  4. Business Processes
  5. Revenue Enablement
  6. Systems and Technology
  7. Talent and Knowledge

We designed a 110-question survey to quantify the maturity of each of the seven business practices. We emailed the questionnaire to Chief Marketing Officers at 280 of the largest law firms in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The survey was in field from March 6 to March 30, 2017.  Sixty-eight questionnaires were completed and returned, giving a satisfactory response rate of 24% of the survey population.  Mean survey completion time was 23 minutes – suggesting that the responding CMOs were personally invested in answering the questions. Respondents included 22% of the world’s top 50 law firms.

Here are a few highlights on the survey population:

  • More than two-thirds of the responding firms were US based, with the balance located in Canada and the UK.
  • A sizable majority (58%) of responding firms reported annual revenues in the range of USD $500M – $1B.  Nine percent reported revenues of over $2 billion.
  • Most responding firms reported healthy rates of revenue growth for the preceding fiscal year, with 58% growing at 2.5% and above.
  • Eighty-four percent of respondents reported that their firms organized Marketing and Business Development as a single integrated function, rather than as two autonomous groups
  • More than half (55%) of responding firms reported that their total marketing budgets represented more than 2.5% of firm revenues.

We are currently analyzing the survey data, and we are very much looking forward to sharing the results with our clients in May.