Showing posts with label law firm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law firm. Show all posts

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Opryland’s 24 MPH speed limit - and your website statistics.

Opry Mills, the mega-mall outside of the Grand Ole Opry, has a curious 24 MPH speed limit.  

It caused us to wonder about it.  Why 24 instead of the typical 25?  We came up with three possible explanations, and ultimately a thought about its relevance to law firm website statistics. 

1. It’s a fun conversation starter. 

Printing "24" instead of "25" cost them no additional money, but generates a lot of conversation.  That's good marketing.

2. It’s eye-catching.

This means you think about it more, and possibly obey it more closely.  

3. Specificity is credible. 

To a driver, “25 MPH” could mean “30” or maybe even “35.”  But “24 MPH” means - “Drive EXACTLY 24!”  It’s like telling someone to meet you for lunch at 11:57 instead of Noon.  

Here’s the connection -

In their websites, a surprising number of law firms use the “more than” or “over” modifiers, as in “Our more than 53 lawyers....” 

I know many of us went to law school because we couldn’t do math, but “more than 53” is 54!  

If you’re going to estimate or round up a figure, it must be a big round number, typically one that ends in a five or zero, or is a multiple of ten or 25.  You can safely have “more than 25” practice areas, or “over 1000” lawyers.  

That is, you can have “more than 250 lawyers,” but you can’t have “more than 251.” 

Make sense?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This is how GOOGLE markets a seminar, baby.

[NOTE - we're moving to soon!]

Many law firms send large numbers of seminar invitations, hoping to fill the seats.  Of course, the goal should be quality rather than quantity – i.e. it’s better to have the right people rather than simply a lot of people.  But quantity is much easier to execute – just send invitations to everyone.

You want to see how to increase the attendance at a conference? How to get the rapt attention of the right people?  Go the extra mile and grab their attention. Intrigue them.  If the targets are important, it’s worth spending more on the materials and taking the time to tailor them to the individual recipients.

Here’s a package that showed up in my mailbox. It caught my attention; it was the first thing I opened.  I dedicated much more attention to it than anything else that arrived that day, and took the time to appreciate the creativity, hard work, and expense that went into it. It implicitly promised a program of real value.

First lesson – all the Hallmark research shows that “dimensional” mailers get opened first, before the letters.  Of course I opened this box before the holiday cards and other flat envelopes.  And the return address from Google made it even more interesting:
Opening the top, you see a black box and an envelope:
Let’s start with the box.  It’s thick and very high quality:
The subtly embossed Google logo shows the elegant design:
Inside the box is a book by Guy Kawasaki, , one of my favorite creative marketers:
A mysterious quote engages the reader:
The enclosure letter sitting on top of the box is a folding card, beautifully printed, personalized with my first name on it.  ”Ross, join us.”
It doesn’t say “Mr. Ross H. Fishman, join us.” or “Fishman, Ross, join us.” or the other misspellings or database errors which would convey that it’s junk mail or a faulty database.  I’m feeling pretty special at this point. 
Opening it, you find an invitation for a seminar hosted by Guy Kawasaki himself:
There’s also a personalized, hand-signed cover letter that is offering to sell me Google Engage for Agencies (“ a program that helps you master the art of online marketing”):
I’m going to take a look at the book over the holidays.   We’ll see.
Either way, great job Google.  I’m intrigued.  I’m probably going to check out Engage as well.


LawFirm Speakers and Retreats is a Speakers Bureau designed for the legal profession. Offering 100 of the most-popular lawyer marketing training, law firm retreat, and CLE and Ethics programs and presentations -- all thoroughly vetted. From Marketing, Social Media, and SEO presentations to the Future of the Legal Profession, you’ll find the best law firm retreat speakers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fostering Good Marketing - Jones Foster

Jones Foster Johnston & Stubbs is a high-quality, old-line West Palm Beach, Florida law firm -- 35 great lawyers and a relatively conservative and wealthy target audience.  As we discussed previously in our "Name-based marketing" post, it can be useful for marketing purposes if your firm has a fortuitous name.

Here, for example, there was a nice, positive verb in the title, "Foster," which led to a client-oriented marketing and branding campaign.  As a smaller firm, it had the typical challenge of inadequate visibility.  Like most firms their size, they hadn't historically invested in external, broadcast-oriented marketing activities. And, like many Florida firms, much of their marketing dollars were spent on charitable contributions and sponsorships - the types of activities that didn't really build the firm's name recognition.

Those who knew the firm respected them, but not enough people within their target audience knew them.  We wanted to spend some effort expanding its reputation. We decided to create a marketing campaign that would establish the firm's culture and leverage the firm's fortuitous name, making it easier for their prospects to remember them.

We began by redesigning the logo, to emphasize the firm's colloquial "street" name, Jones Foster, and highlighting "Foster" in blue.



Then we developed the collateral materials around that, including print ads, a brochure, and the website, 

The name "Foster" gave us an easy opportunity to highlight certain aspects of their practice and approach, like the lawyers' focus on trust, innovation, collaboration, and strong relationships.   

Professional-services firms have a variety of branding challenges, including names that are hard to spell, pronounce, or remember.  Therefore, when we can leverage a good name, we try to use it -- it helps lock the campaign into the minds of the audience, both reinforcing the message and the name.

Consider Best, Best, and Krieger, for example.   Then contrast it with a more-challenging name like "Leboeuf."  Or my old firm "Ungaretti & Harris."  We knew many people couldn't spell "Ungaretti" so in 1995 we opted for initials instead --  (We declined to spend $35 to buy because "Uh" sounded unintelligent.)


Anyway, the Foster campaign lent itself to a clean design, e.g. in the new website (see the old version below):

... which also complemented the print ad campaign, designed with lots of white space:

Old website:
The cluttered design and skyline imagery didn't convey the quality of the firm's practice.  It just looked like every other firm around town.  Nothing memorable.  They deserved better.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Big court victory for law firm consumers re online marketing and Google AdWords

I was a small part of a big court win for legal marketing today that I wanted to share.  A Wisconsin lawsuit involving Google AdWords was filed a couple years ago that could have had a chilling effect upon the freedom of law firms to market online. I thought it was a must-win case for consumers. 
Ric Gass

This case involves two prominent personal injury firms.  One of them, Cannon & Dunphy, used a PPC strategy to bid on the name of the state's largest PI firm, Habush Habush & Rottier. That is, when someone conducts a Google search containing e.g. the word "Habush," a Cannon & Dunphy link shows up in the shaded section as a Sponsored Link.  It's like Avis or Priceline bidding on the search term "Hertz."  It's standard practice in corporate America, but not as much with law firms.

The Habush firm sued Cannon & Dunphy under a Wisconsin Invasion of Privacy law. One of the plaintiffs' experts, a law firm marketing consultant, argued that this was an unreasonable use, calling this "competitive keyword" practice "sleazy," and equating it with "lying, stealing, and misleading."

I was the law firm marketing expert witness, testifying for the defense, in part that this type of AdWords campaign:
1. Offers consumers more choice, which is important,
2. Helps small, skilled firms compete against the big-dollar advertisers, and
3. Is aggressive, but not unreasonably so.

I think this is a big win for consumers looking for lawyers.  Injured victims who conduct Google searches for the large or well-known law firms because they don’t know about any other lawyers, now can get valuable information about additional options and choices.  If the plaintiffs had won, it would have kept valuable information away from the most vulnerable clients and consumers of legal services.

There were a variety of Free Speech and other arguments made but the court decided as a matter of Law that there was nothing "unreasonable" about this specific Sponsored Link conduct.

I think this is also an important win for law firm marketing and freedom of firms to market aggressively on the internet.  Any other decision could have had a chilling effect on creative and effective marketing.

Ric Gass, the outstanding trial lawyer from Milwaukee's Gass Weber Mullins represented the defendants. He phrased it this way to me a few minutes ago: "Bill Cannon and Pat Dunphy just won the right for other attorneys to use Sponsored Links to compete against them!  And they don’t mind, they understand it's good for the consumers and for the legal profession, and are willing to have their credentials compared directly with other firms."
Cannon & Dunphy

I've posted the entire 27-page opinion to the Resources section of our website, under "Featured Articles."  I would recommend reading the court's analysis.  Although I disagree with Judge Kahn's analysis in some areas, I think he absolutely came to the right conclusion.

My lengthy court-filed Expert Report is also under "Resources" then "Web Sites and Internet."

June 14 update:
Thanks to Above the Law and "Valerie Katz" for the nice coverage. Small firms should follow her ATL posts - she always has good information. 

Images (c) 2011 Cannon & Dunphy and Gass Weber Mullins.

Friday, December 17, 2010

5 Law Firm Holiday e-card reviews

Today we're going to take a quick look at Prince Lobel, Baker Donelson, Jackson Walker, Daniel Coker, and Levenfeld Pearlstein's animated holiday cards.

Prince Lobel's "Evidence of the holiday season" holiday card has a clean execution and positive impact is .  A gentle connection to Law (the "evidence" pun), and a positive holiday message makes the whole thing work.

And they're "donating money in my name" but I like how they let you vote on which of three pre-selected organizations to donate to. Overall, a simple but clever

JOY seems to be the preferred theme of the season:

Baker Donelson et al. has JOY turning itself into a happy snowman,who politely tips his hat our way. Simple, cute and effective.

Another straightforward effort comes from Daniel Coker Horton & Bell, whose animated card shows a clear, winter night, and starry sky.

Jackson Walker's cute animated holiday card shows a series of increasingly smaller gift boxes bursting out of larger ones. Finally, Celebration, Laughter, Tradition, and Joy, explode exuberantly out of the tiny Cindy Lou Who box.
Levenfeld Pearlstein's mildly animated e-card has a simple "Peace, Joy" message, and they've selected a single worthwhile charity, Chicago's Community Kitchens.

And, obviously -- be careful!

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