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It’s the fear of every mom-and-pop shop, small business, and boutique law firm: a major player with national name recognition enters your area and begins offering exactly the same thing your business does, investing more money and resources in advertising than you could ever dream of.
In fact, earlier this year, we identified national power players entering your market as one of the biggest challenges in the legal advertising space in 2017 and beyond.
Multistate practice is a hot trend in the Big Law world, and these firms are able to pour much more into advertising than their local competitors.
The internet has become something of a national power player itself, too. From LegalZoom to new services like Dentons’ Nextlaw Global Referral Network, it’s becoming more challenging to stake your claim as “the local lawyer.”
So what do you do if a national power player enters your market and you can’t match their marketing budget? For some of you, that’s a terrifying hypothetical. For others, it’s already reality. But either way, it’s important to realize that not all hope is lost.
In fact, there’s a lot you can to do to effectively market yourself regardless of how big the competition’s budgets are, and it all comes down to messaging and strategy. Below, we present the first prongs in a strategic playbook.
Big Bucks vs. Brain Power: How to Play It Smart When Your Competitor Has Cash to Burn
When you can’t outspend, outsmart!
Big national law firms aren’t inherently better, smarter, or more marketing-minded than yours. In fact, in today’s age, when affordable media production is more accessible than ever, you have the power to craft creative messages that will outshine theirs.
Remember: the average personal injury client doesn’t know the first thing about the world of law schools and law firms.
They don’t know which law firms are big or small, new or old, good or bad, or whose J.D. is the most impressive. Nor do they really care. That isn’t their language.
Their language looks more like this: “I’m hurt. I’ve been wronged. My financial situation is a mess. This isn’t right. I can’t afford a lawyer. What am I supposed to do?”
The specifics of their language will depend on which practice area they fall within, but the point is this: the only effective legal advertisements are the ones that directly speak to the client’s needs and concerns. You need to speak to those issues in a way that stands out.
That’s where creative, outside-the-box ads come in.
You don’t need an enormous budget to make a law firm commercial campaign that stands out from the crowd. You need creative vision and a distinctive message.
The most effective, appealing campaign is the one people will respond to, regardless of whether the firm behind it is a small-town boutique firm or a national player.
Knowledge (Read: Data) Is Power
There’s no substitute for an in-depth understanding of your market. Fortunately, that’s information you can actually get your hands on.
By referring to a market analysis or media audit for your area, you can identify key areas of opportunity in your market.
Are there dayparts with ideal audiences that your competitors haven’t tapped yet, for example? A practice area no one’s targeting? A rival’s campaign that doesn’t seem to be working?
The more intel you have, the better equipped you are to make strategic, data-driven decisions that can deliver results.
Incidentally, we’re going to take a closer look at market analyses and media audits later this month, so be sure to check back for a deeper dive into how these resources can make a difference for your firm.
Let Us Help You Make Better, Smarter Law Firm Television Commercial Campaigns
If a national firm has dipped its imposing toe in your local market, now is the time to prepare your plan of attack. Don’t sit idle.
With creative advertising that gets to the core of what clients really need, you can run highly effective ads on a targeted budget and remain competitive.
Those are exactly the kinds of ads we help to make. Network Affiliates is a team of legal marketing professionals, and we’ve been creating innovative law firm commercial campaigns since day one (literally — ours were among the very first when the U.S. Supreme Court first allowed them!). We know what works and what doesn’t, and we can put that insight to work for you.