Your Digital Footprint Sets You Apart in the Canadian Legal Market – 2015 Canadian Legal Digital Survey
Vancouver, BC – June 9, 2015 – LinkedIn, blogs and lawyers’ online bios are among the tools most frequently used by in-house counsel in their professional lives, according to a new report released today, the 2015 Canadian Legal Digital Survey, by consulting firm fSquared Marketing.
Recent years have seen various reports and analyses that seek to understand the needs of in-house counsel. However, the majority of these surveys are initiated by, and focused on, the US market. This implies, perhaps incorrectly, that Canadians both find and consume legal services and information in the same manner as their American counterparts.
The focus of the research was traditional digital interaction, web and social media engagement and related areas such as content marketing, client feedback programs, electronic billing, client portals, and directories.
”Our research confirmed that there were distinct differences between the jurisdictions. For example, smartphone usage in Canada was significantly higher and e-mail alerts twice as high as in the US,” says Lynn Foley, partner and co-founder of fSquared Marketing. “We also found that, although significant, there was less usage of social media in Canada with all but LinkedIn deemed to be less credible, compared with how colleagues south of the border assess the credibility of social media.”
The survey, referenced with the hashtag #CanadianLegalSurvey on Twitter and represented visually by the attached infographic, suggests that many law firms are not yet making full use of the channels and media that their in-house clients are using to research and consume information.
The Second Annual survey will be conducted in the Fall of 2015, for release in early spring of 2016.
For more information, visit www.CanadianLegalDigitalSurvey.com
About fSquared Marketing
fSquared Marketing provides strategic consulting and marketing services to law firms. We offer clients a full spectrum of services, including strategic planning, digital strategy, business development, client management, branding, website design and lawyer training.
fSquared Marketing’s expertise comes from our thorough understanding of the North American legal marketplace and our detailed knowledge of the particular needs of Canadian firms. We take pride in offering practical, measurable and proven solutions to the challenges our clients face. The team at fSquared Marketing can both develop strategic plans and implement them with a focus on growth. We know law firms and we get results.
Lynn Foley, Partner and Co-Founder
Office: (604) 343-2758
- Web is now mainstream. A lawyer can no longer legitimately say that it doesn’t matter if he or she has a presence on the internet. When 83% of in-house counsel use the web to consume legal industry information on a daily or weekly basis, this is a medium that must be taken seriously.
- Use of mobile is on the rise. Of those who consume information from the web, 37% use smartphones/mobile devices and 20% use a tablet. What this means is that there is a defined segment that want to receive their information immediately, no matter where they are.
- Content marketing influences hiring. With almost 75% of In-House Counsel saying that lawyer-authored articles and speeches influence their hiring decisions, it’s imperative for law firms to ensure that they provide clients and prospects with the best, most interesting content they can make available.
- Trusted referrals still trump all. Unsurprisingly, the number one factor considered by in-house counsel when looking to hire a lawyer was a referral from a trusted source, with 100% of respondents noting this as an important decision-making criteria. Client satisfaction, and by default client feedback, are still essential today.
- Lawyer bios command attention. With 78% of our in-house counsel respondents using lawyer bios to research potential outside counsel, they were the second most important factor in researching lawyers for hire.
- Most in-house counsel remain “Invisible”. Our research indicates that 90% of those who use social media don’t post information. Rather, they just listen to stay informed of the latest news, developments and conversations on topics of interest.
- LinkedIn is king. LinkedIn is at the forefront of on-line professional communication. 24% of our respondents use LinkedIn daily, while just shy of 50% use it at least once a week. Specific uses include connecting with other in-house colleagues (39%) and connecting with business or industry leaders (41%). Following at quite a distance was Twitter (10%) and Facebook (7%).
- If you write a blog, they will read it. Our research showed that 54% of in-house Counsel use lawyer-authored blogs to research potential outside counsel. More than half of your potential prospects read blogs as they research the outside lawyers they are hiring.
- Client Feedback Programs are lacking. More than 50% of the in-house counsel who responded reported that few or none of their law firms had asked them for feedback. More worrisome still is that only 68% of in-house counsel who were asked felt that their feedback was heard and acted upon by their outside legal counsel.
- Electronic billing is not the norm. It is surprising in this world of legal futures to find that 46% of respondents say their counsel offers little or no electronic billing options. Of those that do have the option, 41% only use it to a limited extent.
- Client portals are an opportunity to differentiate. Upwards of 44% of respondents say their law firm has never offered a client portal or extranet (sometimes simply termed as “online services”) for reviewing documentation and communicating matters of interest to their clients. Of those who are offered a client portal, 65% will use them.
- Not all legal directories are created equally. We asked our respondents to tell us which legal directories influence their decision to retain outside counsel. Lexpert, Best Lawyers and Chambers were all consider top tier influencers. Lexpert led the pack with 44% of respondents being influenced “to a great” or “some extent” by their rankings.
For more information about fSquared Marketing, visit www.fsquaredmarketing.com