From Yellow Pages to AI – the evolution of law firm marketing

August 22nd, 2023

From Yellow Pages to AI – the evolution of law firm marketing

POSTED IN Uncategorized

This week, we’re bringing you a guest post from one of the ILN’s marketing professionals! Tiffany Mechkaroff, the Business Development and Marketing Manager at Kalus Kenny Intelex, Melbourne, Australia is bringing us a fun post on the evolution of law firm marketing. Take a look at how far we’ve come – and how quickly!


Has law firm marketing changed that much? Reflecting on my 25 years doing what I love, a great deal is different but clearly, the fundamentals remain relevant. They’ve simply evolved.

1990s: “Business Card” Era

Law firm marketing was pretty much about handing out business cards. Physical directories and Yellow Pages were the go-tos, and stuffing newsletters into envelopes was a rite of passage for law students.

Early 2000s: “Brochureware” Boom

Law firms discovered the internet and proudly showcased their achievements on websites that were essentially online brochures. Photos of tie-wearing Partners standing in front of law libraries were all the rage.

Mid-2000s: “SEO Spell” Era

Everyone learned the magic spell of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to conjure their websites onto the first page of search results. Keywords were sprinkled like fairy dust.

Late 2000s: “Social” generation

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn emerged and law firms scrambled to show their hip side by sharing articles and legal tips. The ‘poke’ feature was not legally binding.

Early 2010s: “Content King” Reigns

The kingdom of content was established. Law firms learned that sharing insightful articles, blog posts, and videos was the way to win clients and Google rankings.

Mid-2010s: “Mobile Mania” Mayhem

Responsive websites became crucial, as people accessed information on their phones and tablets. Law firm websites shrank without losing any legal weight.

Early 2020s: “Virtual Voyage” Adventure

The pandemic hit and suddenly every lawyer had to become a Zoom pro. In Melbourne, the most locked-down city in the world, webinars and virtual cocktails replaced coffee catch-ups.

Mid-2020s: “AI” Era

AI chatbots started answering FAQs on law firm websites, leaving lawyers free to ponder the more complex questions.

Law firm marketing has evolved into a hyper-personalised experience. Ads follow potential clients relentlessly and content is so tailored, it practically addresses clients by name.

Relationships though remain core to doing business. Artificial Intelligence doesn’t visit a client’s site or chew the fat with colleagues.

Law firm marketing has evolved over 25 years, with a shift towards more client-focused, technologically-driven, and personalised strategies. Relationships, however, remain the secret sauce.

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