26 50

CMO50 2020 #26-50: Anthony Lieu

  • Name Anthony Lieu
  • Title Head of marketing
  • Company LegalVision
  • Commenced role January 2016
  • Reporting Line Chief executive officer
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 8 staff
  • Industry Sector Professional services
  • 2019 ranking 26-50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    The legal sector is not commonly renowned for being a hotbed of innovation, let alone for progressive marketing thinking. But when LegalVision was founded in 2012 it was done so with the objective of turning that perception on its head and disrupting an otherwise staid industry.

    It should come as little surprise then to hear its head of marketing, Anthony Lieu, leads a function responsible for generating 85 per cent of the firm’s revenue. Furthermore, he’s spearheaded the launch of an industry-first in Australia – the launch of a legal subscription service.

    This new innovation addresses some of the most common pain points clients feel with traditional law firms - hefty legal bills, prolonged turnarounds, and generalist advice – with a subscription service that enables clients to book unlimited consultations and receive fixed-fee discounts for a monthly fee. As a result, LegalVision has become the first law firm in Australia to have joined the subscription economy.

    Innovative marketing

    Lieu lists three attributes essential for enabling him to develop a marketing program complementary to LegalVision’s innovative propositions: Cultivating a culture of psychological safety; listening to the feedback from our lawyers and sales team on what our clients want; and set success metrics and testing everything.

    This last of these has been well and truly demonstrated through the launch of the subscription service. Lieu’s goal at launch was to acquire 100 subscribers per month in the first three months, which he exceeded by between 12 per cent to 15 per cent each month. At the same time, he also surpassed the firm’s net promoter score goal of 65, to take an industry-leading position with a score of 77, and smashed LegalVision’s goal of raising brand awareness by 10 per cent month on month, with product brand awareness rising by 74 percent between May and July.

    “I am a firm believer in data-driven decision-making, supported by qualitative user feedback,” Lieu says. “As Australia’s most visited law firm website with 350,000 monthly visitors, I am in the unique position of being able to conduct website surveys and gather feedback immediately every day on all aspects of the business. This data allows us to better understand business behaviours in order to best ensure the platform will be helpful for our clients. I regularly share this data across teams, revealing insights across all aspects of the client journey.”

    Customer-led thinking

    This focus on customer data is a direct reflection of the role the Lieu plays as the ‘voice of the client’ at LegalVision’s leadership table, and is informed by tools he has developed to transform raw qualitative and quantitative client data into actionable advice that aids decision making for the executive team.

    This included a comprehensive review of LegalVision’s Net Promoter Score feedback, where Lieu manually reviewed all-time NPS qualitative feedback to identify and categorise key differentiators. His subsequent report to the executive team included several recommendations.

    “We now have rolled out a partnership program that leverages NPS promoters to be brand ambassadors,” Lieu says. “Ambassadors can receive rewards or choose to donate their referral reward to a nominated charity.”

    Lieu has also updated LegalVision’s brand messaging to reflect the value propositions that clients are most appreciative of, being the responsiveness, professionalism, and friendliness of its lawyers.


    Being the voice of the customer has also meant being their advocate through the tough times induced by the COVID-19 crisis. The subsequent financial difficulties faced by some clients led Lieu to launch new product for budget-conscious clients, as well as the creation of a COVID-19 Resource Hub, while making 15 of the firm’s most common legal document template available for clients to download.

    “As a digital-first marketing function, the team was able to quickly respond to the needs of clients, build resilience and assist clients with navigating the uncertainty,” Lieu says. “Thirty-five resources were developed in the first month, attracting 2200-plus visits during this period.”

    During the first two months of lockdown, LegalVision hosted twice-weekly live Q&A sessions to help business owners understand government initiatives, including JobKeeper eligibility and rent relief options. Thousands of business owners tuned in weekly and over 200 questions were answered live.

    “We invested significant resources into helping clients navigate the crisis with empathy,” Lieu says. “Over 350,000 emails were sent during the first two months and our free resources were downloaded over 3000 times. We offered free consultations as well – people need human connection more than ever.”

    The success of these and other initiatives saw Lieu rewarded with a 30 per cent budget increase, precisely when many other firms have been cutting their marketing spend.

    The COVID-19 crisis also led LegalVision to accelerate the development of a new tech platform to help business owners solve their legal problems online, including the ability to book consultations instantly, access legal resources, and download legal templates.

    Data-driven approach

    Not surprisingly, Lieu has made significant investments in technology to support LegalVision’s processes, including in marketing automation with Marketo, as part of an effort to better understand the client journey and grow returning revenue. The upgraded martech stack now provides a holistic view of each client, including data insight, personalisation and analytics capabilities, which enables him to ensure that content and campaigns are relevant, authentic and client focused.

    The result has been enhanced omnichannel attribution and a 28 per cent decrease in cost per lead in key campaigns. Personalisation of emails has also led to higher engagement, with LegalVision reporting a click-to-open rate of 14 per cent – well above the industry average of 2.8 per cent.

    “I have improved client engagement with segmented, persona-driven and trigger-based email campaigns rather than email blasts, and now working with data enrichment vendors to optimise data quality,” Lieu says.

    He also reports open rates as high as 68 per cent for nurture emails – again well outstripping the industry average of 22 per cent. “Ongoing investment in data analytics means we are better at delivering the right content to the right people at the right time, improving client retention,” he says.

    The investment in marketing automation has also helped attract repeat work from existing clients.

    “We have optimised Marketo to nurture clients and provide free legal resources to help them grow their business,” Lieu says. “We have built persona-specific email nurtures, so clients receive relevant and practical content. Over 950 new work opportunities have been created as a result of Marketo.”

    The content LegalVision feeds to clients comes as the result of a structured program of work that Lieu says is the envy of many professional services firms.

    “Our content strategy is centred around producing free, easy-to-understand and helpful legal content that addresses clients’ wants and needs,” Lieu says. “All content is produced in-house, leveraging 70 subject matter experts (lawyers) publishing 100 articles a month.

    “Our client-led approach to content is immensely successful at not only generating work for the firm, but also improving access to free, high-quality legal information,” Lieu says. “I work with our content team to ensure each piece of content has a clear purpose in delivering value, no matter what stage the client is in the buying cycle.”

    This content is constantly refreshed, with each team member delivering three to five new articles each month. Lieu also works closely with editors to ensure all authors are supported and receive ongoing training on SEO and analytics, and editors have access to reporting dashboards where they can analyse high-performing keywords and suggest titles for authors. Qualitative data from focus groups is used to help better understand purchasing decisions and develop content that addresses every pain points.

    As a result, Lieu says LegalVision now operates the most visited law firm website in Australia, attracting 350,000 monthly visitors to its 5000-plus free, high-quality legal articles. And all of this activity helps to support LegalVision’s commercial performance.

    “Unlike other firms, where partners and business development professionals attract the majority of clients, LegalVision’s marketing team drives 85 per cent of all client revenue,” Lieu says. “At LegalVision, we separate the legal function from the business development function. This allows our lawyers to focus on legal work and build longer-term relationships with clients. In turn, the firm is run more efficiently, and clients receive a better experience.”

    The majority of the firm’s 100 daily leads are received through digital marketing channels, and as a result, Lieu says he has decreased LegalVision’s cost per lead by 51 per cent over three years.

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