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What to Expect of Your Marketing Campaign

By Bruce W. Marcus

Today we have a treat from one of our favorite marketing mavens: An excerpt from Bruce Marcus’ book “Professional Services Marketing 3.0,” with a reality check before you launch your next marketing campaign.

If your firm doesn’t have vast experience in marketing, or in any of its parts, you have no way of knowing what to expect from your marketing efforts. Why shouldn’t anyone expect a rush of clients, for example, from a single ad — unless you have been educated very specifically in what an ad can and can’t do? Why shouldn’t a marketing campaign produce a rapid return of inquiries from a well-developed ad campaign?

There are too many cases of law firm partners expecting that press releases will be printed verbatim, that interviews will be reported accurately, that a three-day sales training course will double the size of the clientele within weeks. This is why expectations must be precisely delineated.

What Should a Good Marketing Campaign Do for You?

In reality, here’s what you should expect from any effective marketing campaign:

  • Name recognition.
  • That a great deal is made known about your firm and its capabilities.
  • That the market will view your firm favorably and will retain a sufficient measure of the campaign’s message to remember the firm when the need for your services arises.
  • That the market will identify a problem or a need that it has or expects to have, within the context of your firm’s capabilities and skills.
  • That the market will believe that your firm has the capability to understand and solve the problem.
  • That some action, such as an inquiry, will be taken (if appropriate), or that the reader will be receptive to a follow-up call.

Measuring marketing results is one of the discipline’s thorniest problems. There is simply no tangible measure that offers valuable information that goes beyond the pragmatic or subjective.

The best that can be expected of a marketing campaign is to serve as a red carpet to develop a personal meeting. And that is done by pre-selling; by educating; by whetting the appetite for a solution to a problem that you’ve identified and understand. But don’t expect anybody to call and say, “I liked your letter (or ad, or blog). Start Monday.”

In other words, your expectations should be tempered by the quality of the way in which the medium is used. Poor advertising, poor public relations, poor direct mail — all mean sharply diminished performance. To ask more than the medium is capable of producing, or that level of quality can deliver, is a vast self-deception. And you will be disappointed.

Excerpted with permission from “Professional Services Marketing 3.0” by Bruce W. Marcus.

Bruce W. Marcus is a Connecticut-based consultant in marketing and strategic planning for professional firms. He is editor of The Marcus Letter on Professional Services Marketing, co-author of “Client at the Core” (John Wiley & Sons) and author of “Professional Services Marketing 3.0” (Bay Street Group). Write to him at

You can order Bruce Marcus’ excellent book “Professional Services Marketing 3.0” from the Attorney at Work bookstore and beat the competition.

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Categories: Daily Dispatch, Law Firm Marketing
Originally published July 9, 2014
Last updated October 16, 2018
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Bruce W. Marcus

Bruce W. Marcus is acknowledged as a visionary and advocate for marketing and business development as a professional function within professional services firms. Marcus, author of several books and editor of The Marcus Letter on Professional Services Marketing, passed away in December 2014. His writings include Client at the Core (John Wiley & Sons) and Professional Services Marketing 3.0 (Bay Street Group). In 2015, the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) creating the Bruce W. Marcus Lifetime Fellowship Member program.

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