Avoid Data Overload and Focus on The Data That Matters
Technology gives us access to incredible amounts of information or data. However, common issues with technology involve having too much rather than too little. We get too much email, too many texts and calls, and, finally, too much data.
Peek at your website’s Google Analytics data, and you will quickly understand what I mean. You can get detailed information about almost all the activity on your site, but you probably only use 10% of that data to make changes to your website.
If you want data-driven law firm marketing, you need to learn how to focus on what is important and ignore all the data that will lead you astray. In this article, I am going to give you some quick tips that can help.
How Vanity Metrics Can Wreck Your Marketing
The term “vanity metrics” first appeared in 2009 (at least according to Google Trends) and data experts have been warning business owners against them ever since. In a nutshell, vanity metrics are data points that track interesting, but useless information.
In lawyer marketing, vanity metrics typically take the form of social media likes, incoming leads, and blog post views. These metrics have some value, but in the grand scheme of your marketing, they don’t matter.
Why don’t these numbers matter? Because they don’t measure the most critical metric for your business, profit.
These metrics (and others like them) have overinflated importance. For example, social media is excellent for engaging customers, but it does not bring you good leads or make you money. Blog post views are wonderful, but they do not equate to a potential client calling your office. The number of incoming leads is a critical metric to monitor, but if those leads aren’t quality, that number is useless.
How Vendors Use Data to Mislead You
Vanity metrics are beloved by companies that sell ads and leads because they can focus your attention on the big numbers that don’t matter. In 2017, I grappled with Yelp over this exact situation.
Yelp was excited to report the number of impressions our Yelp ads were getting, but they didn’t want to address the lack of calls through the Yelp tracking number. Bottom line, we got ZERO clients from Yelp, but they wanted us to focus on the “vanity numbers” so we would spend our marketing budget there.
The Most Important Metric for Your Marketing Campaign
As I stated above, your profit is the most important metric for your business. The more marketing specific tracking you can do, the better. You should have a tracking number for all major campaigns, and tracking links in your emails.
Design your marketing to be tracked. Don’t rely on the default tracking methods. The goal is to attribute new clients to specific marketing campaigns, so you know which one is bringing you money.
High quality metrics are closely tied to money. Metrics like incoming calls, click-through-rates, conversion goals, and retained clients. As often as possible, ask your team to report on these metrics and avoid the “vanity metrics” that distract from your goal.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Tifiny Swedensky
Tifiny Swedensky is the Marketing Director and data analysis expert at Great Legal Marketing.