Program Zeroes in on Tech-Based Marketing

As law firms continue to embrace new technologies to streamline everything from client service to back-office operations, LMA Bay Area recently hosted a program highlighting the benefits of a tech-based strategic approach to marketing and business development.

The method is known as Account-Based Marketing (ABM). In use for decades in B2B circles, ABM is gaining traction in the legal marketing space, according to presenter Dan Stokes, co-founder of JStokes Agency.

One reason is that ABM allows firms to leverages data to target only those audiences that are important to the firm’s business goals, he said.

Law firm marketers may have trouble showing how their work furthers the firm’s business goals. Or perhaps the communications strategy is fragmented between webinars, events, PR campaigns, social media, etc. “Wouldn’t it be great to bring a little more strategic alignment,” he said.


JStokes client Krista Hosseinzadeh, director of business development at Knobbe Martens, joined the panel to illustrate how the method works in practice.

Hosseinzadeh tested ABM at the Irvine-based firm last year. She started with a modest goal – driving awareness of Knobbe’s litigation practice among CEOs. In the current environment, with declining trade publication reach and the fragmented nature of media, marketers have a difficult time reaching that target audience.

“Trying to talk to a lot of people in one place just doesn’t work anymore,” she said.

So she worked with the firm’s litigators to identify 100 companies that are potential clients. Using a database of IP addresses from ABM provider Demandbase, the firm was able to deliver web advertisements targeted to C-level decision makers at those companies.

After the campaign, the firm received dozens of new visitors to its website and its page views increased by 232% in the 30 days following the campaign when compared to the 30 days prior. The firm did not place follow-up calls to the website visitors, thinking that would be too intrusive, Hosseinzadeh said. However, they plan to use the data for future event invitations.

The firm was sensitive to privacy concerns, she said. However, she reported it was in full compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations, which went into effect in the middle of the campaign.

The effort was such a success that she received a larger budget for additional ABM this year. Once the firm has identified its strategy, she may roll it out to more practice areas, she said.

The Stokes Agency presented a second case study that returned a whopping 1016% ROI for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. The U.K.-based firm wanted to capitalize on growing demand for in the rental market and position itself as the go-to law firm advising companies in the build-to-rent sector.

Using a fun and creative “Elephant in the Room” advertising campaign, the firm gained visibility in the sector and advanced to #1 in Google search rankings for the term “build to rent law firm.”

For more information on ABM online, check out Marketo’s account-based marketing web page or HubSpot’s online guide

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Coming Up - Annual Conference Recap

Join us on April 18th for the Annual Conference Recap, where we’ll hear from our colleagues about the key takeaways from the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference in Atlanta April 8-10. Register today!


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Laura Ernde is a San Francisco-based communications consultant. A former legal affairs journalist and State Bar of California communications director, she helps law firms and legal marketing agencies with content strategy and content creation. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter. Email:

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