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Limitations of marketing practices for law firms

why the research is worthwhile/ Purpose of study

When a law firm is commenced there are various limitations which the lawyers have to face in relation to the identification of the best suitable marketing practices. Marketing of a law firm is not the same as any other company or firm as it is limited by various professional, legal and ethical considerations. There is a certain gap in literature regarding marketing of different companies in international markets and marketing of a law firm specially in Maldives as not much if any literature is available regarding the area.

Most lawyers do not have sufficient knowledge in relation to the subject of marketing. This is because they do not have sufficient training on the subject that leads to marketing practices ignorance and underestimating the returns which may be derived from investments in strategic marketing practices. The Law governing societies do not approve any kind of sales strategies which are aggressive in nature and as marketing is assumed to be one such strategy it is often ignored by the lawyers. According to West, Ford and Ibrahim (2015) there are various other factors which makes the lawyers believe that marketing in not necessary such as the history and tradition of legal profession along with the consideration that marketing is not professional.

The purpose of this paper will be to ensure that there is a study supported with evidence which would help the lawyers to successfully market a law firm in Maldives. The purpose of the paper is also to overcome the misunderstandings which lawyers usually have in relation to marketing practices with respect to a law firm.

Background to the problem and/or cases/ research question

The pressure on law firms same as what is faced by any other business because there is fierce competition in order to gain new clients and maintaining the existing client base. Competition with respect to a law firm is not same as any other company as the work available is not as much as the market of any other company. Therefore, the reputation and experience which is possessed by the lawyers cannot be the only basis from competing with other firms in the modern day market. There is little if any concept of law firm marketing in Maldives. According to Proctor (2014) there has been not much development of law firms in Maldives along with the closure of many law firms. The primary reason which can be identified for this is not adopting marketing strategies at all or adopting strategies which are not strong enough for the firms to survive. The profitability of the firms is affected by politics on a micro level. The survival of law firms mostly depends upon the tie ups which the lawyers have with other big companies along with political level connections. Thus this leads to a kind of monopoly where the bigger firms do not let the survival of the smaller firms through anti-competitive activities and industrial subjugation. As effective marketing polices are not implemented by the firms the survival of smaller law firms become more difficult. It has to be realized by the law smaller law firms that the only way through which they can survive such fierce industry and have a profitable business is that they adopt effective and efficient marketing strategies. The expectations which the clients have in the modern day have all the more increased. They not only seek to obtain legal advice but also ways in which the business activities can be enhanced. Thus it is mandatory for law firms to ensure that the lawyers are equipped with business knowledge in order to meet the needs of the clients (Meidan, Moutinho and Chan 2015).

Challenges faced by law firms in Maldives

There are various countries which have provisions related to limiting marketing strategies in relation to firms, however Maldives is not one of them. The lawyers in Maldives are governed by the code of ethics provided by the Supreme Court. The code of ethics although provides various regulations which lawyers should abide by while practicing, the code does not provide any clear provisions relation to marketing practices of legal services along with what is allowed and what is not. In circumstances where there is no law in a particular area the court in Maldives takes into account the best democratic practices in such area. As there is no clear guideline regarding the most suitable marketing practices in relation to a law firm it is a challenged for such firms to carry out their businesses effectively.

What are you trying to achieve
  • To identify the marketing strategies that can be applied by law firms in order to survive in the fierce market
  • To identify a plan for making a law form achieve a competitive edge
  • To identify the importance of strategic marketing and contribute towards development in relation to law firm
  • To identify the restrictions imposed by Maldivian law on law firm marketing strategies
Feasibility and clarity of aims and objectives 

The identification of effective marketing strategies with respect to law firms within Maldives would ensure that market subjugation by big fishes is prevented and significant opportunities are provided to new and small firms to profitably carry on with their business. The lawyers would know what would be required for successfully carrying out the activities of the law firm as most of the firms seek to make profits like any other business. The lawyers who do not engage good practices related to marketing their firms would be able to identify their mistakes. The proposition that law firms are only meant to provide legal services and not do business would be challenged through these objectives. With respect to the achievement of this objectives there would be a exploration related to the competitive dynamics of the industry through the use of Michael Porter’s model of five forces. The position of the existing competitors in the industry will also be identified through the research project. It would not be easy to achieve the objectives are sufficient information may not be accessible.

Introduction

There is little if any literature available in terms of marketing a law firm in Maldives as the concept is relatively new. This section of the research will take into account the various literary works conducted with respect to marketing along with the legal restrictions imposed on lawyers in order to identify the gap between these works and the marketing of a legal firm in Maldives. The chapter would also through light upon the good practices for carrying out law firm marketing.

 Conceptual framework

Source: created by author

The legal industry of any country comprises of lawyers solicitors and attorneys who provide their services to those who are in need of legal help. The legal industry in Maldives also generally comprised of law firms and ranked lawyers which can be categorized into three bands according to chambers and partners. The three bands are known as Band 1 , Band 2 and Band 3 and denote the reputation, goodwill and experience of lawyers and law firms.  For instance firms such as premier chambers and shah, Hussain & Co belong to band 1,  Mazlan & Murad Law Associates belong to band 2 and Praxis Law LLP belong to band 3. According to (Chambersandpartners.com 2017) entrance to the legal industry of Maldives is easy but the survival is very difficult as the level of competition provided by the firms is intense in the limited market. The population of the country is not much and neither is the rte of litigation or criminal activities as compared to countries like Sri Lanka. Thus in order to survive it is essential that appropriate marketing policies are undertaken by the firms in order to ensure their survival.

Gap in literature on marketing a law firm in Maldives

According to Payne and Frow (2014) the proper implementation of strategic marketing can benefits not only the companies but also the consumers who avail their services. Through the process of strategic marketing a firm is aided towards tapping unexplored sectors in the market to achieve profitability. If a efficient and effective strategic marketing plan is not available it would not be possible for a firm to survive in the competitive legal industry.

According to Liebl (2015) strategic marketing means the integrated patters of an organization towards decision making which specifies the crucial choices of the organization relating to market segment targets, marketing activities in order to attain its objectives. According to Kim, Shin and Min (2016) strategic marketing is much more than mere advertisements towards marketing. The process actually includes the overall analysis of the business.

According to Hollensen (2015) the overall strategy of the business is formulated by strategic marketing where as implementation;control and planning relation to strategic marketing is included in the process of marketing management. The management of marketing behavior is conducted by marketing management whereas strategic management takes place in all departments of a organization.

 Marketing Management and Marketing management differences

Source: (Proctor 2014)

According to Chernev (2014) initiating a strategic marketing plan is essential for all firms subjected to competition. A substantial competitive advantage can be achieved through it. The process of strategic marketing development makes an organization to access crucial information on internal firm structure, external forces, legal market and competitors.

 PESTEL analysis 

Source: (Agic et al. 2016)

Political

There have not been much instability with respect to the government in Maldives for many  decades and a status quo is expected to be maintained in the future. In the country both public and private organizations work together in order to provide goods and services to the consumer. The big fishes in the legal industry use such environment in order to gain a competitive edge for themselves by establishing strong political connections.

Economical

The country had been greatly affected by the financial crisis in the year 2007-2008 and has been recovering ever since like the most other countries of the world. The primary income of the country is based on tourism but the industrial sector also contributes to the economy. The big fishes in the legal industry are making significant profits.

Social

In this section of the paper the social position of law firms in Maldives would be analyzed in order to identify its effects on the profitability. The population of the country is growing and so is litigation which is subsequently increasing demands.

Importance of effective marketing strategies for law firms

Technology

The enhancement in technology has not only provided ways to expand firms but also various legal areas like copyright law which is increasing the legal market. The effect of technology on legal industry would be discussed in this section.

Environmental

There is not much significance of environmental factor on a law firm. However environmental regulations enhance the business of law firms and this would be discussed in the section.

Legal

There are various provisions which govern the legal profession in Maldives such as the Supreme Court directives but there are no specific rules prohibiting marketing practices in the country in relation to a law firm. The section discusses the legal environment of the law firms.

 Porter’s five forces

Source: (West, Ford and Ibrahim 2015)

The five forces are provided by Michael Porter are used to analyzes the position of a business in the industry. The five forces which affect a business are threats of substitution, supply power, buyers power and new entrants threats which determine competitive rivalry. This section of the research will analyze the five forces in relation to a law firm in Maldives.

Data collection Method

There are two major ways in which data is collected for the purpose of a research

  • Primary Data Collection
  • Secondary data collection

In case of primary data collection the researcher collects his own data from primary sources such as surveys and interviews whereas in case of secondary data collection method the researcher collects data from secondary sources such as books, journal articles and reports (Matthews and Ross 2014).

In relation to this case study secondary data collection method would be used by the researcher in order conduct the research as the researcher feels that primary data would not be useful in this type of research.

Data analysis

There are two form of data analysis which is undertaken by researchers in order to complete the research.

  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Qualitative data analysis

Quantitative data analysis is conducted when numerical data is collected by the researcher whereas qualitative research is conducted when the theme selected in the literature review are analyzed (Glesne 2015). As there is no numerical data collected the researcher will conduct a qualitative data analysis for this research.

Accessibility issues

Mostly all researchers face limitations in relation to accessibility to the required data for completing the research project. The major concern in the researcher will face with respect to this research is the unavailability of major works conducted in this area.

Research limitation

Some or the other limitations are always faced by the researchers while conducting a research. The limitations which the researcher has identified in relation to the research is related to time and budge required for the research

Impact of political, economic, social, and technological factors on marketing dynamics

In order to ensure that the research is conducted in an appropriate manner ethics for the completion of research has to be considered. Ethical considerations have to be maintained by the researcher till the research process is completed. The privacy of the data published by the researcher has to be maintained according to the data protection laws. There is an obligation on the researcher to note use the data collected in an illegal manner. There would be potential issues in relation to the design of research and the research objective faced by the researcher. The ethical issues may be in relation to sensitive topics such as position of other firms in the market and private political connections. As there are various big fishes involved in the legal industry there is potential for harm in relation to the researcher. As the researcher is not taking any interviews or surveys there would not be question of confidentiality of data and anonymity.

Activity

Months

M Jan

M Feb

M Mar

M April

M May

M June

M July

Topic finalization  

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Data collection  from  secondary sources

ü 

ü 

Layout formation of the research work

ü 

  Literature review formation

ü 

ü 

ü 

research plan formation

ü 

ü 

Appropriate selection of research methodologies

ü 

ü 

Collecting data from  secondary  sources

ü 

ü 

Collected data sets analysis

ü 

ü 

 Collected data sets Interpretation

ü 

Concluding the study

ü 

rough drafting

ü 

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Final Work submission

ü 

ü 

Time Line of Research

Resource intensiveness is the amount of resources which are to be used for the purpose of the research. The researcher will include high level of intensity in relation to the collected resources. There have been at least fifty books and journal articles identified for the purpose of this research by the researcher. These articles would be collected from authentic and trustworthy sources so that the data obtained from them can be trusted.

References

Agic, E., Agic, E., Cinjarevic, M., Cinjarevic, M., Kurtovic, E., Kurtovic, E., Cicic, M. and Cicic, M., 2016. Strategic marketing patterns and performance implications. European Journal of Marketing, 50(12), pp.2216-2248.

Benbunan-Fich, R., 2016. The ethics of online research with unsuspecting users: From A/B testing to C/D experimentation. Research Ethics, p.1747016116680664.

Chambersandpartners.com. (2017). Maldives - General Business Law Lawyers & Law Firms - Global - Chambers and Partners. [online] Available at: https://www.chambersandpartners.com/15775/852/editorial/2/1 [Accessed 28 Jul. 2017].

Chernev, A., 2014. Strategic marketing management. Cerebellum Press.

Glesne, C., 2015. Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction. Pearson.

Hollensen, S., 2015. Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.

Keegan, W.J. and Green, M.C., 2015. Global marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Kim, N., Shin, S. and Min, S., 2016. Strategic marketing capability: Mobilizing technological resources for new product advantage. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), pp.5644-5652.

Kubasek, N.K., Brennan, B.A. and Browne, M.N., 2016. The legal environment of business: A critical thinking approach. Pearson.

Liebl, F., 2015. Knowledge management for strategic marketing. In Assessing the different roles of marketing theory and practice in the jaws of economic uncertainty (pp. 48-57). Springer, Cham.

Matthews, B. and Ross, L., 2014. Research methods. Pearson Higher Ed.

Meidan, A., Moutinho, L. and Chan, R.S., 2015. Marketing Effectiveness Index (MEI)-Tool for Strategic Marketing Planning. In Proceedings of the 1992 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 480-485). Springer, Cham.

Muneeza, A. and Wisham, I., 2016. Legal obstacles in establishing Islamic banking in Maldives. The Indonesian Management & Accounting Research (IMAR), 10(1), pp.40-50.

Najeeb, A. and Barrett, M., 2016. Industrial relations changes in the Maldives: critical events and actors. Industrial Relations Journal, 47(2), pp.181-200.

Payne, A. and Frow, P., 2014. Developing superior value propositions: a strategic marketing imperative. Journal of Service Management, 25(2), pp.213-227.

Proctor, T., 2014. Strategic marketing: an introduction. Routledge.

Savin-Baden, M. and Major, C.H., 2013. Qualitative research: The essential guide to theory and practice. Routledge.

Sullivan-Bolyai, S., Bova, C. and Singh, M.D., 2014. Data-collection methods. Nursing Research in Canada-E-Book: Methods, Critical Appraisal, and Utilization, p.287.

West, D.C., Ford, J. and Ibrahim, E., 2015. Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage. Oxford University Press.

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My Assignment Help. (2022). Marketing A Law Firm In Maldives: Challenges And Strategies. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/managemt7104-marketing-management/marketing-in-law-firm-file-A90FDD.html.

"Marketing A Law Firm In Maldives: Challenges And Strategies." My Assignment Help, 2022, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/managemt7104-marketing-management/marketing-in-law-firm-file-A90FDD.html.

My Assignment Help (2022) Marketing A Law Firm In Maldives: Challenges And Strategies [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/managemt7104-marketing-management/marketing-in-law-firm-file-A90FDD.html
[Accessed 05 March 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Marketing A Law Firm In Maldives: Challenges And Strategies' (My Assignment Help, 2022) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/managemt7104-marketing-management/marketing-in-law-firm-file-A90FDD.html> accessed 05 March 2024.

My Assignment Help. Marketing A Law Firm In Maldives: Challenges And Strategies [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2022 [cited 05 March 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/managemt7104-marketing-management/marketing-in-law-firm-file-A90FDD.html.

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