Latin american study

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The State of Legal Marketing in Latin America
Study by Marco Antonio P. Gonçalves
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

& Silvia Hodges
Boston, MA

Legal marketing has unquestionably become an international phenomenon. While some argue that ‘marketing’ has always existed, defining it as a combination of actions which have to be executed prior to the undertaking of selling activities, the last30 years have seen the purposive and organized advent of deliberate legal marketing activity. Distinct changes in the global political, economic, social, and technological environment, such as deregulation, increasing client expectations, and new information technology have resulted in a significantly changed, increasingly competitive marketplace that forces law firms to compete in new ways.Traditional conduct and approach no longer guarantees success and survival. Adopting a strong client orientation and being aware of the competition becomes fundamental to the success of the firm. Hence the idea of actively marketing a law firm’s practice has started to spread widely throughout the world despite many attorneys’ acknowledged aversion towards marketing. A lot has been written about theadoption of marketing in law firms in the US and the UK, but little is known about the state of legal marketing in other regions, such as Latin America. To shed light on this region, the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) has commissioned research among law firms in the seven largest Latin American economies: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. The findings of the studyare intended to give both Latin American and foreign firms an in-depth view of the status quo of legal marketing in this region that, often in the shadow of economic development in China and India, has reached a regional gross domestic product (GDP) of US$ 2.95 trillion* (over 10 percent more than China) and a population of 546 million according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

*Include countries not researched in the survey.

The State of Legal Marketing in Latin America


General observations Methodology Survey results Perception Department size Planning Budgeting Decision making Tracking time Appraisal and compensation Measuring effectiveness Popular and not-so-popular tools Effectiveness of marketing activities Outsourcing Education and informationCountry overview Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Venezuela Statistics Legal systems and bar association rules Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Venezuela About the researchers About the Legal Marketing Association 4 5 7 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 18 19 20 22 22 24 27 29 31 33 35 37 38 38 38 39 39 40 40 40 41 42

The State of Legal Marketing in Latin America


Legal marketing in the largest economies in Latin America ranges from just emerging to relatively sophisticated. Due to each country’s unique cultural and ethnic background, stage of economic development, regulatory restrictions, and competitive situation, law firms approach marketing with different urgencies and apply different instruments. Rolling out legal marketing in offices throughoutthe region in a cookie-cutter “Latin American-style” is likely to be a mistake. Despite findings that might appear relatively similar at first glance, the foreign lawyer and marketer should be aware that effective instruments in one country might be detrimental – or forbidden – in another one, instruments deemed acceptable and effective in one may face rejection by lawyers and clients in another.Due to the relative newness of legal marketing, formal, coordinated strategic marketing activity is generally at an early stage and will likely change as the interest for legal marketing grows in the region. Almost a third of the largest firms in the respective markets do not yet employ a full-time marketer. Where they exist, marketing departments tend to be very small with tight budgets and...
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