The September issue (No.212) of the Legal Technology Insider newsletter (UK & EMEA edition) has just gone out digitally and will be hitting email in-boxes just about now. The print edition went out in the post yesterday, has already hit some desktops today, and will be reaching the rest of our subscriber base over the next few days (depending where you are located).

From the reactions we've already received, this month's editorial – about whether legal IT vendors should start considering online/web 2.0 type technologies, such as webcasts, rather than traditional direct mail & exhibitions – seems to have struck a chord…

“LOVED the editorial!!!  Nothing more to say really, agreed with everything you said.”

So here it is…

Time for vendors to rethink
Talk to any legal IT vendor today and you will hear grumbles about the declining effectiveness of their traditional marketing methods, particularly exhibitions, road shows and telesales. But, while it is easy (very easy) to pin the blame on short-term scapegoats (such as dozy telesales staff and unimaginative event organisers) a more fundamental question needs asking, namely has the world moved on and vendors now need to rethink their whole approach to marketing?

What we have seen over the past 30 years has been a prevalence of ‘interruption based’ marketing, with prospects being ‘interrupted’ from their day jobs by mailshots, telephone cold-calling (both increasingly neutered by secretaries and PAs) and having to attend events. The theory among marketeers is we are now moving into the era of ‘permission based’ marketing, where instead of bombarding prospects with marketing materials they don’t want, materials are made available in a format prospects can access at their own time of choosing and convenience.

Good examples of these include podcasts, webinars and videocasts. They allow audiences to access them when they want – and are increasingly being used as an alternative way of making first contact with prospects. True, they are not cheap – and it’s currently like the Wild West out there trying to sort the good webinar production companies from the rest. But there again, look at all the money vendors have wasted in the past on such things as glossy brochures that go straight in the bin without being opened?