How do the best digital marketers consistently achieve above average performance for their marketing programs? FindLaw addressed this question in a session at the recently concluded ABA Techshow. The answer lies in understanding the “Digital Marketing Game.”

The rules of the game
The first thing anyone engaged in digital marketing must understand is the highly dynamic nature of the online landscape. Marketing opportunities continually emerge, evolve, sometimes thrive and occasionally pass into oblivion, presenting marketers with a constantly changing picture.

For example, in 2003, MySpace dominated the emerging social media space, while Facebook was just beginning to expand beyond its roots as a college student networking tool. Fast forward to today and Facebook is the most important social media property in the world, while MySpace is fighting for relevance and continued existence. In such an environment, few tactics deliver high performance forever and the astute marketer is always looking for “what’s next.”

The best marketers always look for opportunities to separate themselves from their competition by adopting high performance tactics before the rest of the market or by implementing known tactics in a more effective manner.

What’s up with SEO?
It is interesting to consider traditional, organic SEO within this context. Given the increasing competition and the evolution of Google’s policies and algorithms, most SEO consultants would agree that it’s harder than ever to build one’s marketing program entirely around organic search engine optimization. While traditional SEO will remain a foundational digital marketing tactic for the foreseeable future, it may be time to consider reducing your expenditures on organic SEO programs and redirecting dollars to emerging tactics with the potential for above average returns.

Leveraging new opportunities
How can law firms achieve great marketing performance?

Based on the rules of the digital marketing game, the answer lies in identifying effective, new tactics or in executing known tactics better than the competition. In FindLaw’s recent session at ABA Techshow, we identified three opportunities for law firms to drive above-average returns in today’s environment: social media, local search and a mobile-optimized web presence.

While these tactics are not new to many law firms, effective execution is still rare. For example, surveying attendees in FindLaw’s session, about 75 percent of the room indicated they had tried social media, but only one firm felt they were achieving significant business impact from their efforts. Another FindLaw session identified best practices related to each opportunity that help the best law firm marketers stand out from the crowd.

The digital marketing arena is more dynamic and demanding than ever. While achieving great performance will always remain a challenge, understanding the rules of the “digital marketing game” can help your firm break away from the competition and achieve breakthrough results.