Market Focus: Lawyers
“Lawyers have the best gatekeepers around, so it’s tough to reach them by direct mail or phone,” explains Johnson Cook, president and CEO of Impact Media Solutions, a Georgia-based company that partners with legal associations to market online, continuing legal education programs. “E-mail is the best avenue we have. It’s cheap, you can track their interaction with it, and it usually goes directly to them.”
Just be cautious about e-mail volume and be sure to honor opt-out requests. Recipients who frequently work outside the office may rely heavily on their mobile devices. You wouldn’t want to clog up their BlackBerries and create a negative experience, advises Martin.
Print advertising also can be effective in reaching lawyers. There is no shortage of legal newspapers, magazines and newsletters that offer print ad space. Because many titles focus on vertical fields, “you can even target by specialty area doing general print ads,” says Bruhl.
In addition, law school alumni organizations, legal publishers, bar associations and other groups provide ample opportunity for brand building or connecting with lawyers face-to-face through conference exhibitions, sponsorships of awards and receptions, or more creative options, such as sponsoring the New York State Bar Association’s “Cyber Café” at its January annual meeting.
However, Cook cautions that event marketing is best suited for companies most directly related to lawyers’ work. “Lawyers, by nature, are intensely focused on one thing at a time, and they’re not likely to ‘browse’ looking for what’s new and exciting,” he says. In other words, to have a successful presence at a work-related event, be all business.
For softer sells and “off the clock” purchases, consider exploring opportunities for relationships with legal associations, reveals Cook. “Most associations have affinity programs and are open to partnerships through which their members get discounts. It helps them deliver more value through their memberships,” he concludes.