In September/October 2020, Calibrate Legal (in partnership with Totum Partners in the UK) surveyed first-chair marketing and BD leaders at law firm to benchmark department sizes and understand firms’ planned responses to Covid-19 within their Marketing/BD teams.

Annual revenues for the 127 responding law firms in North America and UK.ranged from $8 million to $2.5 billion.

Department Sizes and Ratios

The research covered 5,098 Marketing/BD roles at the participating firms   The average ratio of partners to Marketing/BD staff members at all participating firms was 9:1.  The lowest ratios (correlating to the best resourced marketing/BD teams) were found in the $500M-$1B revenue group.

Sponsorship Budgets Set to Plummet In Response to Covid-19

All sizes of law firms are planning to de-emphasize sponsorship marketing in the wake of Covid-19.  On average, 82 percent of the respondents stated that they intended to reduce sponsorship budgets.

In-Person Events Will Be De-Emphasized, but Remain a Significant Part of Firms’ Marketing Mix

Not surprisingly, the responding firms have already decided to reduce their reliance on in-person events in the wake of Covid-19.  But the responding firms are far from unanimous on how far this reduction will go.  46 firms stated that they planned to reduce their number of planned events by 50% or more, but 49 more foresaw much smaller reductions – 30% or less.  Despite Covid, it appears that in-person events remain an essential part of the responding firms’ marketing mix.

Digital Marketing Budgets Predicted to Surge

On average, 84 percent of the responding firms plan to increase their budgets for digital marketing programs because of Covid-19.  This result was broadly consistent across all sizes of firms.

A Wave of Martech Hires is Coming

More than half (69) of the responding firms stated that they planned to increase the size of their marketing technology teams in the next 1-2 years.  The respondents identified a total of 72 planned FTE martech hires, with an average of 1.6 hires per firm across all revenue groups.  This is consistent with the projected increase in digital marketing spend identified above.

This infographic originally appeared in the January-February 2021 issue of Strategies, the magazine of the Legal Marketing Association.

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