Whilst undertaking research for a recent project, I came across an App for an international law firm based in the US. The App includes a Lawyer directory and Country directory so that wherever you are in the world you can search by name, bio, send an email or locate an office on a map. More importantly, the App is compatible with an Android device which you can then download from the itunes App store.
Perhaps this is a marketing savvy initiative that clearly shows that this firm has no intention of losing business to the firm down the road. Is this forward thinking, progressive and does it prove that they understand their prospects’ persona's?. It clearly puts them on the map – literally - but does it brand them as offering an excellent client service experience?.
This law firm certainly understands that they’re target audience use tablet's and mobile devices etc to keep in constant contact.
According to Internet World Stats there are 3 billion internet users in the world and The Guardian states more than half of the world’s population in the year 2008 use mobile phones. It is also said that the average person takes 2.5 seconds approximately on a website to decide whether or not they wish to proceed with browsing any further.
Now I’m not saying every law firm should have an app, but what I am saying is that one of the key benefits of having an App for a law firm is to reach employees and partners, as well as existing and potential customers on the move. What we are experiencing now is a revolutionary way to maximise online opportunities to make things easier, and to solve your prospects’ problems from the moment they search for your firm’s services on the internet either by an organic Google search or downloading from the itunes app store.
If your law firm has multi-offices then why not design an app so that people can find any one of your locations? Could you see your law firm using an App for resource information even?
Where do you see the benefits and why?
Altghough we have had for several years many firms achieving good results using our newsletters and e-newsletters, we believe that the battleground of the future will be the mobile device.
To that end, LegalRSS offers a mobile site (probably a better solution for many firms) generator and it also allows very easy app creation.
It works with all major platforms, is run from a simple user control panel (integrated with the legalrss control panel), allows the creation of multiple mobile sites 'on the fly' (so you can have sites specific to client type and /or co-brand sites with others to trade off their brand values and leverage their contact bases), allows content to be set up and managed very easily and so on.
The best thing is that the cost of all of this is less than you are probably being asked for for a single-platform app.
Want to see an example?
Browse on your mobile device (not your PC unless oyu use Safari) to http://legalrssdemo.legalrss.co.uk or sto see what firms are doing with it, ring us on 01392 423607t
Joe, Thanks for your comment. Whilst appearing to disregard the main thrust of this post "Apps for law firms". I'm sure your mobile sites and newsletters are great, but because your comment leads straight into what appears to be a sales pitch, it doesn't really answer my original question, I'm still uncertain as to what you see the benefits of having an App for a law firm are?
Perhaps you could answer the following questions?
Thanks in advance.
Sales pitches aside (which we don't mind if done with a cheeky grin), a decent mobile site would be a better bet for law firms than an app. Unless there is a specific hook to the app (for example Ralli's Drink Drive App) then law firms shouldn't waste their time developing a directory style app when they can cover all bases with a decent mobile site. Not sure who I have backed there ....
You have answered my question loud and clear! Great App btw thanks for sharing.
Sorry about that.
I am not sure most firms will benefit much more from an app (which are more 'doing' things than information things) rather than mobile websites, which are pretty much a necessity. Where there's something that does something, an app is superior. For example, a PI firm with a claims calculator, or similar. Otherwise, the functionality is about the same. A mobile app preserves the functionality of the website anyway.Apps linked to document stores should work, but then, so will mobile sites.
The other advantage of an app is that it is downloadable from the relevant app store, where searchers will find it. The obvious way to distribute mobile sites is to offer them via your existing web presence/contacts/ or via co-branding...this will mean you may miss a few potential users.You have to give them rather than people finding them: you can obviate that a bit by making them available from your website, of course.
We only got the system finalised very recently, but there are already about 10 in use - mainly as information portals, but also as ways to distribute documents (securely) 'on the fly' and as updaters. The difference is that something delivered direct to phone has a much greater 'open rate' than a newsletter (and they are very good indeed if done well).
It's way too early to talk about ROI, but I would be astonished if it wasn't erxcellent.
I was going to put a whole list of the benefits next, but it just seemed too OTT. Happy to discuss with anyone. Our number is 01392 423607. Basically, it is about gluing those you know to you, getting some of those you know to be introducers (brand sharing) and doing things a lot faster/more efficiently and more effectively than other ways fo doing them... and, for the next year or so, being seen to be 'tech savvy' I guess.
Clearly, if the client has a well differentiated contacts database and is organised about distribution and has the external contacts and motivation to do co-branding, they'll get into the black a lot faster than if they don't. However, since the system costs about 1/3rd of the cost of a native app, it's almost bound to outperform them... clearly what enthuses our clients (so far!) is the ability to generate bespoked ones for client segments very fast.
I am not sure the firms would be happy to go public on this forum now: they are, afte rall, seeking to steal a lead on their competitors! However, do, by all means look at the demo site at http://legalrssdemo.legalrss.co.uk. You can download this on and Iphone/iPad, Android or Blackberry Touch device and the windows phone emulation will be deployed this week, we hope (which will also mean it looks right in your PC, which it won't now, unless you use Safari)
We are not intending to release these widely. When content is delivered by us, only 1 firm per area (we have divided the country into 13 areas) will be allowed to have each category of content we create: we have no desire for a lot of duplication. Besides, at the moment, this is way ahead of the curve in the profession: we're still trying to get clients to understand things like the benefits of content sharing, squeeze pages and being able to tailor and send enewsletters really quickly.
We'll be putting a link to the demo site (soon) and (this'll take a month or so) and explanatory video on our website.
From our perspective, we think in time 50 or so firms (i.e some taking our content and some using the system to distribute their own material etc) will 'get it' and use the mobile site creation tool - that's all we're looking for: I'd guess about half that number at most will actually build apps (although we have one in build now). I would be surprised if in 5 years, more than 10% of UK law firms have an app...but mobile capability on the web is, I think, a must - we already see 12-15% of our site traffic coming from mobile devices.
Hope this helps.
Like SEO, if everyone does it, it won't work!
Thanks Joe, Well done on getting your first 10 btw. Sounds like you have a great MAP for the next 5yrs. Look forward to seeing you on the 6th at Law London, Stand 48.
We think apps have little benefit over mobile sites (indeed, according to stats I have seen, Amazon and several other retailers sell far more off mobile site links than theier apps) ...however, we have bowed to pressure and submitted our demo mobile site into the app store. At this stage it looks like we'll be able to provide a multi-platform mobile site generator and create apps for all the main platforms for about £45k all up with additional mobile sites free and additional apps just the submission fee (peanuts)....so firms can have a series of highly targetd apps and mobile site providing sifted information of interest to specific client groups/clients.
We think in the medium-term, this will effectively supplany newsletters (although we have automated fully our newsletter creation now (only the management information control panel needs a login to the enewsletter engine), because newsletters currently are the most popular emarketign method).
Kerry, thanks for sharing this story. It is good to see firms moving into the 21st century with some of their markteing.
In a similar vein, a fellow marketing associate (not specialising in the legal sector) this week excitedly requested a meeting with me because a web developer associate of his had created an app for a local law firm. I too was excited to see what they had come up with.
What was this 'app'? It was the brochure web site of the firm shoe-horned into a mobile micro-site in the form of a downloadable app. And who is the market for this app I enquired. Silence.
Firms that create apps that offer a genuinely useful resource for users are onto a winner. It does not need to cost a fortune. But imagine your target client prospects passing an app from one to the other that helped them say work through a probate with advice and timely reminders at each stage. Or a divorce app programmed with deadlines and links to useful resources and support groups. All with the firm's brand and the occasional suggestions when 10 minutes of free legal advice might be available. Now that might have a genuine measurable ROI....
Apps need to be more than packaged brochure sites. Apps need to be more than repurposed web content. Modern connected mobile devices render well designed web sites according to the operating system and device screen already.
That said, the web designer had actually sold the 'app' idea to the firm. What a waste of money by that firm. What a wasted opportunity more is the point. Plenty of firms will throw money at trendy modern marketing methods. How many of them assess, review and measure the return on that investment thought?
i think this is a really good idea and am now curious - have any UK firms taken this route?
Totally concur on your comment re the A&O app and intriguing to see that two other firms have genuine value-add apps.
Do any firms actually CHARGE for apps? Or have them on Android market, etc?
Thought I'd drop by and share the link to the original App my client referred to: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ius-laboris/id439867219?mt=8