To create awareness about the online marketing best practice for IP experts we are regularly interviewing IP experts, who are successfully using LinkedIn and other digital channels to position themselves and gain new clients via those channels. Additionally, we are showing their best practice in the online marketing Newsletter of the 🎯 IP Management Pulse and its Online Marketing Guides. Here you can find the last issues in the archive and also subscribe to never miss any of our online marketing resources. Summary of the key answers by Stefan Müller:

  • More communication happens via LinkedIn
  • Expert positioning becomes crucial for IP experts
  • Smaller lawfirms need a strong online presence
  • LinkedIn becomes more important for client acquisition

Background Question 1:

We are currently seeing a continuously accelerating digital transformation in the IP system. Especially in dealing with the stakeholders of the IP system as well as in the relationship and communication between attorneys and clients. As well as networking and professional exchange between IP experts, for example via social networks such as LinkedIn.

IP business academy: How do you perceive these changes?

Stefan Müller: While attorney-client communication is still mainly based on emails, it is clear to see that the exchange between IP experts via social media has increased significantly since the Corona pandemic. Especially in the international environment, the exchange has intensified considerably, where previously there was almost exclusively an exchange of content at conferences.

Background Question 2:

Expert marketing refers to the targeted presentation and positioning of experts and their expertise. This includes a strong personal brand presence of the expert in the online area, in particular the creation and distribution of high-quality and useful content, and targeted lead generation. This also includes online reputation management, i.e. monitoring and positively influencing your own expert brand.

How important is your expert positioning for you and your business?

The IP business is a very people-oriented business. The client must be convinced that you are the right person with the right expertise for their needs. But first the client needs to know that you have the expertise they are looking for. You can be the best patent attorney in the world… if nobody knows about you, it’s a waste of talent. Expert positioning is therefore extremely important for our business. LinkedIn in particular is the perfect platform for such expert positioning in the legal sector.

Background Question 3:

50% of all decision-makers in business today are millennials and therefore digital natives. These are people who are used to obtaining information digitally and shopping digitally. The search behavior for specialist information has changed fundamentally in recent years. 40% of the 3.5 billion searches per day on Google are shifting to social networks and so more and more content is presented there. More and more customer journeys in the legal sector are taking place completely online.

How important do you consider online marketing to be and how important is a consistent customer journey for potential clients from social media to the website to email?

We firmly believe that online marketing will be the most important acquisition measure in the future, even in the otherwise conservative IP sector. Especially for smaller, young or highly specialized patent law firms, online presence is an important component to significantly increase visibility. An end-to-end customer journey helps to highlight the strengths for potential clients and present them in a comprehensible manner.

Background Question 4:

The search behavior for experts and the initiation of personal contacts has also changed due to social distancing during Corona pandemic and the current “new normal work“. The Google searchability of experts and their reputation is increasingly determined by their online presence. Spending on online marketing increased by 31 % last year. Designed for professional relationships, LinkedIn is growing by 15% annually with over 830 million members and is by far the most important network for legal advisors and IP experts.

Do you also observe these growth rates in client requests from your Online Marketing?

The IP branch continues to be a very conservative branch and we still see the largest increase in new clients through personal recommendations from existing clients. However, the number of requests from our online presence, especially on LinkedIn, has increased significantly over the last year and we are convinced that this effect will continue to increase in the future.

It is also important to remember that online presence is not only gaining in importance for client acquisition, but is also becoming an increasingly important factor for employee acquisition. More and more employees are digital natives and expect their employer to have a corresponding online presence.

About the interviewee:

Stefan Müller is partner at 2SPL PartG mbB since 2012 and an expert for the protection of digital solutions in Europe. Before becoming a patent attorney, he studied physics and gained practical experience in the semiconductor industry.