4 Strategies To Strengthen Your Firm Marketing and Business Development
With the start of a new year, it’s a great time to revisit your firm’s marketing plan to strengthen your business development strategy.
Here are four tips to make sure your marketing strategy is on point for 2023:
1. Assess your strategy
To adjust your strategy, you first need to look at your current work. You may need to sit down with your marketing and business development teams to assess the effectiveness of their efforts, such as email performance or website traffic. But you will also need to take a look at your work. How many new clients are you bringing in? How often are your RFP responses successful?
Although you can use many metrics and methods to benchmark performance, you may find some more valuable than others.
You can use Juristat’s Prosecution Health Dashboard data to evaluate your business development strategy.
- Reviewing your firm’s prosecution volume will show you how your patent practice has grown over time. While there is more to billable growth than just the number of new filings each year, it’s one indication that new work is coming in the door.
- Keep a close eye on your firm’s work distribution, showing how evenly your patent portfolio is spread across your clientele. Firms with most of their work associated with one or two clients face more risk than those with more varied client portfolios.
Checking this report regularly can help you assess your efforts. For example, you should examine your at-risk clients each quarter, where your metrics lag against competitors or where your share of filed applications has decreased. Were you able to salvage a relationship that was once listed here?
2. Set SMART goals
While setting a “do more” goal might seem obvious, it isn’t very attainable. You need to set SMART goals.
- Specific – Setting marketing goals that are too broad can be overwhelming to team members, and they may not get done. Don’t set a broad goal to “improve your practice.” Instead, set specific goals for team members to spend 10 minutes a day connecting with people on LinkedIn, sending personable emails to existing clients, or grabbing coffee with a potential client.
- Measurable – While focusing on quality is important when gauging your firm’s marketing and business development efforts, you need to dial in on what is quantifiable. That could be the dollar amount of new business brought in or hours saved on an IDS by using workflow automation. It should be a metric that will go up or down, so you can know if your strategy is working.
- Achievable – Make sure your firm’s marketing goals are accomplishable. Don’t set a goal to increase your book of business by 1,000%. Instead, look at your competitive analysis, determine what is reasonable, and make contact with clients you know would be well served by your practice.
- Relevant – Your marketing and business development goals should relate to the overall goals for your patent practice. Are most of your clients and prospects in another city? Then you probably shouldn’t force the goal of taking clients out for coffee on your staff.
- Timely – Make sure your goals and your strategy are appropriately scheduled and realistically achievable within the time you have. Take into account the seasonality of your business, including when examiner procrastination at the USPTO might derail your schedule.
3. Target your audience
To create an effective marketing strategy, you need to know your target audience.
With patent analytics, you can look into the USPTO Art Units or Technology Centers where your firm has the highest success rate and then identify the companies filing the most applications in those categories. And, by paying attention to the number of filed applications over time, you’ll know which companies are investing the most resources and which young upstarts are about to take over the industry. You can ensure a focused, more impactful business development strategy by finding the major and emerging players most relevant to your firm’s skillset.
Completing a landscape analysis can give you insight into your market share in a specific tech center, showing you where you may have growth opportunities. Using Juristat Analytics to check a client’s business intelligence report can help you identify companies that may have more work in their portfolio.
And, if you need help deciding which of your clients might be open to your efforts, log into the Juristat app, where your Prosecution Health Dashboard has combined vital performance metrics and competitive intelligence data to determine who has the most growth potential. It will also help you identify potential clients where you’re outperforming their current counsel.
4. Put your best foot forward, but don’t be afraid to change paths
With your existing marketing strategy assessed, your SMART goals set, and your target audience clearly defined, it is time to implement your marketing strategy.
Once you have your target companies lined up, research the firms currently handling their work. You can compare fundamental metrics, like allowance rate and the average number of office actions to an allowance, but don't stop there! With a little more time, you can calculate a client's potential prosecution savings if they send their applications to your firm instead of another. Or, you could focus on portfolio value and show how your superior allowance rate ensures portfolio growth. Armed with this compelling data, crafting a data-driven RFP response and preparing a pitch deck will be a piece of cake.
Much like in your patent practice, your strategy may require adjustment as you go along. Regularly checking your marketing data and prosecution analytics can let you know when or if changes need to be made. Relying on a patent analytics company that is constantly updating its dataset, like Juristat, will put you ahead of the competition.
Integrating industry-leading patent analytics into your marketing and business development strategy can take your firm to the next level, clearly showing potential clients what they can expect in terms of ROI and making your team of patent professionals the obvious choice.
If you would like to base your marketing strategy on industry-leading data analytics, Juristat can help. Schedule a demo to see how we can help you grow your business.