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Data, BD and the IP professional

The practice of law relies on a foundation of fact and evidence, and so should the business of law. In particular, managing the business development and marketing strategies of a firm and even for an individual practice should rely on data driven decision making. Different parts of a growth plan should use data to set the course of activity.

Client acquisition and expansion The main area of focus for growth centers around acquiring new clients and expanding relationships with existing clients.

When targeting new client acquisition, it is important to first profile your ideal client. What criteria will be used to determine the ideal client? Is based on their size or revenue base? Are they in a specific industry? When considering which existing clients to focus on, internal data can help to identify your key clients - those who are responsible for significant volume of work. You can also identify which clients might benefit more from additional offerings and services. For example, does your research show that a client has acquired a new product line, the IP of which you can protect. With a wide field of available new and existing clients to targets, external industry data can help to narrow the focus and help you direct time, funds and resources to those with the greatest potential for growth.

In today's competitive legal landscape, it's essential to understand your market to make strategic business decisions that will set your firm up for success. Understanding your market is crucial for making smart business decisions that will position your firm for success in the cutthroat legal market of today. Data-driven market research can help in this situation. Finding your target audience is the first step in conducting market research. Who might become one of your clients? What sectors do they work in? What are their requirements and problems? You may use data to get insights into your target audience's behavior, preferences, and motives once you have a firm grasp of who they are.

You can perform market research using a range of data sources. Customer data, which may provide you with a wealth of knowledge on the habits and preferences of your target audience, is one of the most useful. This can include data on website visits, social media interactions, and email engagement. Industry reports and surveys are also useful sources of data. These can provide insights into market trends, emerging opportunities, and potential threats. By staying on top of industry changes, you can remain agile and ready to pivot your business development plans when necessary. Another valuable data source is competitor analysis. By analyzing your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, you can identify gaps in the market that you can exploit. This can also help you develop a unique value proposition that sets your firm apart from the competition. Once you have gathered and analyzed your market research data, you can use it to make data-driven decisions about where to focus your business development efforts. This might include investing in marketing campaigns targeting specific industries or geographic regions, developing new service offerings to meet emerging needs, or expanding your team to better serve your clients.

In today's digital age, data-driven decision making is a must-have for any successful business, and the legal industry is no exception. From tracking website and social media metrics to conducting market research, the insights gleaned from data analytics can help you make informed decisions about your business development plans, improve your online presence, and ultimately, drive more leads and revenue.

Data analytics holds a special place in digital marketing. The investments made in developing an online presence, from your website to social media, can be tracked and analyzed to understand effectiveness. You can track Google Analytics and SEO performance, along with social media metrics such as engagement. Based on the data, you can determine the effectiveness of your digital marketing plan and tweak as necessary. With social media, you want to stay clear of the trap of tracking vanity metrics. Beginners are watching the number of views and likes. Pros know to track the practical outcomes instead. How many new connections did you make? How many leads came from a particular post? Look beyond the claps and hearts and pay attention to the people. I would rather have a post with little "likes" but one strong connection than a post with a large number of "likes" and no connections. Whether you're a solo practitioner or part of a larger law firm, understanding the role of data in business growth can help set you apart from the competition and drive success in the years to come.

With every business development and marketing initiative, you should be tracking progress. You need to know what a successful implementation looks like. This is best achieved by setting appropriate KPIs when starting a new initiative, and then monitoring the KPIs at suitable intervals. The KPIs for each initiative is going to be unique for each initiative. Many times, revenue gained in a key metric to measure. But you may also consider the number of new clients gained or files opened may be more appropriate metrics. When monitoring the KPIs over time, pay particular attention to the trends. If the trend indicates success (increased revenue, for example), you can safely assume the initiative is working. If the trend is not moving the desired direction, changes or adjustments may need to be made, and this can be done taking the data into account.

The use of data in law firm growth is key in making strategic decisions. With the growing accessibility of data analytics available to law firms, growth strategies no longer need to be done with a "shoot and hope" approach. It's much easier now to track metrics, gauge progress and success and course correct as needed. Data-driven market research is an essential tool for law firms looking to optimize their business development plans and remain agile in a rapidly changing industry. By gathering and analyzing data about your target audience, industry trends, and competitors, you can make strategic decisions that set your firm up for long-term success. So, start collecting your data, analyze it, and make data-driven decisions to drive the growth of your law firm!

We know that trying to find time to do business development can be tough. We are here to help you create a personalized business development plan that is tailored to your specific needs. Whether you are a trainee, an associate or a partner, we have a program for everyone.

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