Averages don’t control
The question was asked: What percentage of revenue is normally spent on marketing? While some studies apppear to provide an answer to this question, I’m not enamored with studies that show averages of costs of operation in a law firm. I think they must be taken with a grain, a large grain, of salt.
First, on a macro level, when looking at averages, we need to consider the definition of terms being used, the parameters of how the survey was taken, what the response rate was and whether everyone interpreting the terms of the survey used the terms in the same way.
Then, on the micro level, each law firm is in a different stage of development. New firms, or newer practice areas, will spend more money that other, more mature practices. The strategic marketing plan will cause the focus of a firm to be in one direction and this may impact the amount of money to be spent, etc.
There are many differences amongst the firms responding and I am always concerned that my efforts must be guided by my best judgment on what’s good for THIS law firm, not for what the average (or mean or median) number suggests should be the correct number.
I refuse to give up my “best judgment” based on my experience and interaction among people whose opinion I respect and with whom I can compare details; I do not believe a computer printout or “study” can provide me the information sufficient to make a rational decision in a given case. It may be interesting, but not dispositive … my own best judgment is dispositive. And so should yours be!
Have a great holiday season to all! And a fabulous, healthy and peaceful 2006!!!!! (Oh and did I forget to say, Profitable!?)
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