Are Canadian law firms doing enough to target women entrepreneurs in their marketing?

Doug Jasinski

Marketing Magazine recently had a cover story lamenting the ongoing failure of retail marketing and advertising professionals to capture the hearts, minds and business of female consumers. Arriving in our offices at about the same time was a media kit for Progressive Choices, a Canadian publication focused on women in business. The coincidence prompted us to investigate this segment of the legal services consumer market.
According to the Royal Bank of Canada, there are more than 821,000 women entrepreneurs in Canada, who annually contribute in excess of $18 billion to Canada’s economy and represent approximately 34% of all business in Canada including businesses with external trade ties. Further, the majority of Canadian Internet users are women and 90% of them are online at least every other day gathering information and communicating. There is no doubt that at some point in their business careers these women are going to need legal services of one sort or another.
Identifying and utilizing access points to groups and organizations that cater to female entrepreneurs, business owners and executives either through membership or sponsorship of networking and business development events is one avenue to consider.
Another is establishing a presence in resources frequently consulted by business women.
We reviewed the collection of websites billed as related to women in business listed on the Strategis website to see whether law firms were making their presence known. Business resource websites like Canadian Women in Communication (CWC) and Women Entrepreneurs of Canada are points of contact with women entrepreneurs that deserve consideration. While there were plenty of sponsor brands from other areas of the professional services field, Goodmans LLP was the lone law firm occupying the field on this particular list of websites, appearing as a Friend of the CWC.
Given the growing importance of diversity in law firms to consumers of legal services (more on this coming soon) it appears that these types of access points are one way that law firms can provide recognition and support to an important segment of the legal services market.

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