The Second Screen and Integrated Legal Marketing Campaigns

law firm advertising user's second screen

Do you know what “second screen viewing” is? You can’t afford not to know, especially if your law firm is using television as an advertising platform.

Television is Still the “First Screen”

The “first screen” is the television – which, for now, is still the most powerful medium for getting a marketing message in front of a large number of people quickly and efficiently.

Effectively, every home in the United States has a television in it – and well over 80% of those households have more than one.

This traditionally has been great news for television advertisers. However, things are rapidly changing because of the adoption of second screens and the consumer behavior associated with them.

Mobile is the “Second Screen”

The “second screen” is a smartphone or a tablet. As of July 2014, approximately 173 million people in the United States own a smartphone – representing 72% of the market. Additionally, nearly half of American adults own a tablet.

Considering the pace at which companies are producing mobile devices, it is safe to assume that all of these numbers will continue to increase over the coming years.

So what, if anything, does mobile adoption have to do with your law firm’s television advertising efforts?

The answer is: Everything.

“Second Screen Viewing” is the New Normal

“Second screen viewing” describes the act of using a smartphone or tablet while watching television. Generally speaking, the second screen is being used to do something while the first screen is on in the background. Common activities associated with second screen viewing include: sending e-mail, online shopping, using social networks, or surfing the Internet.

In July of 2014, 56% of American adults reported engaging in another digital activity on their “second screen” while watching television.

That’s right, over half of American adults are doing something else while watching television. If your advertising and marketing strategy doesn’t take this in to account, you are already falling behind.

Advertising and Marketing in the Second Screen Era

Given the fragmented nature of today’s media landscape, and the phenomenon of “second screen viewing” described above, your legal marketing and advertising efforts must be up to the task of winning attention. It’s no longer enough to simply be present. Here are four ideas to keep in mind if you want to start winning attention right now:

1. Your television creative and messaging must stand out

The competition for attention is fierce in today’s always-on and always-connected world. You are no longer simply competing with other advertisers on television; you are competing with the entire Internet. Your legal advertising must stand out if you expect a to receive a real return on your media investment.

2. Your marketing campaigns must be integrated

Your creative and messaging should be consistent across all platforms to help establish your law firm’s brand and major points of differentiation. In addition, your television creative should tell consumers where they can find out more information about your law firm online.

3. Your target audience expects an enjoyable website experience

The primary reason your website must be responsive is not to please the search engines, it is to deliver a great experience to your prospective clients.

If 56% of American adults are surfing the Internet on a smartphone while watching television, there is a chance they will look your law firm up online while they are watching your commercial. If your website is hard to use on a smartphone, what message are you sending to that potential customer?

4. Speak to Your Target Audience on Multiple Platforms

What other platforms are you using to spread your firm’s message? Research shows it takes a consumer between three and seven impressions of a brand before they are willing to make a purchasing decision. If you are not leveraging other platforms (such as social media, e-mail marketing, or paid search) then you are missing opportunities to get in front of your target audience.

You Need an Integrated Approach

Hopefully it’s clear by now that you need to be looking at the legal marketing and advertising landscape from an integrated perspective. Your TV advertisements must reinforce your digital efforts. Your digital efforts must complement the in-person experience at your firm.

The mobile device is not going away any time soon. In fact, mobile devices will continue grow in market share and penetrate into more and more households as time goes on. It’s time to take mobile and the second screen seriously, and the best time to start an integrated approach was yesterday. The second best time is right now.

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