Media Buying and Marketing For Lawyers

Savvy media buyers know they must market at multiple organizational levels at larger firms and connect with as many influencers of the purchasing decision as possible. “Every partner is, in effect, an owner of the business, investing his or her own money in every product or service purchase,” Vermeulen said.
 
While smaller law firms may not have as many owners of the purchasing decision, the marketing process can be equally or more challenging, Vermeulen said, because the lawyers take on the role of purchasers.
 
But the extra effort involved in engaging smaller firms is definitely worthwhile. “Small firms-those with 10 or fewer lawyers-make up about 90% of the legal market today,” Vermeulen said. “And 50% of all law firms are solo practices. These firms have the same needs that every small business faces. … In the technology area, quality and support are often major issues, since support staff is often minimal or nonexistent.”
 
Lawyers at firms of all sizes are busier than ever, even more so than your average business owner, said Sadie Peterson, president of marketing agency SD MarCom. “Their time is very valuable, so any offerings that require a major investment in their attention span will most often be overlooked.”
 
Other ways to best engage lawyers in the workplace include advertising in legal publications, sponsoring e-mail newsletters and building Web microsites that not only market a product or service but also provide them with useful information for their jobs. “Lawyers continue to get more sophisticated about using the Internet, especially when it comes to research,” Koeppel said.
 
The best media buying approach with lawyers, however, is to make personal contact, said Barry Solomon, VP-general manager for the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Network, a database of lawyers and law firms. “Relationships between vendors and lawyers are built on trust, and firms must trust that their vendors are reliable and committed to the legal marketplace,” Solomon said. “This might require very close hand-holding and relationship-building at the beginning, but putting in this face time with your prospective law firm customers … will go a long way in earning their business.”

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct 

Media Buying and DRTV Marketing to Boomers

Baby boomers are also interested in living longer. A Time article stated they fully expect to live to 100. They also want to live better, so when media buying for boomers it’s important to focus on wellness and understand that healthy foods and supplements are important to this group, according to Business Week. Boomers aren’t obsessed with being young again, so drtv ads targeting them don’t need to feature people in their 20’s. They are comfortable with aging, but they want to look and be healthy, and it’s important to communicate the health benefits of products boldly and precisely and to not to use vague advertising claims, such as fortified with vitamins and minerals or fast pain relief, according to Business Week.
 
DRTV products and services need to be adapted for boomers. For example, Best Buy realized that boomers are interested in learning about the latest technology, but that it may take them longer to adapt to that technology. So they created the Geek Squad, which is a 24 Hour Computer Support Task Force, which sends trained technicians to your home to help with computer and network support related issues. Boomers want to use iPods and the latest electronic gadgets, but they weren’t raised with the same technology as generation Y, so they need help understanding and using the latest high tech devices.
 
Boomers are comfortable with aging and media buyers need to understand this if they plan to effectively target this audience. DRTV marketers who take the time to research this lucrative audience will reap the rewards for many years to come.
 
Peter Koeppel is president of Koeppel Direct, a leading infomercial and direct response media buying firm.

Media Buying Trends

To get a handle on the trends affecting the direct response media buying space and solutions for making the most of this medium, Target Marketing Editor in Chief Hallie Mummert spoke with Peter Koeppel, president of Koeppel Direct, a Dallas-based direct response media buying agency that specializes in short-form and infomercial DRTV.

TM: What is the penetration of personal video recorders (PVRs) doing to how companies buy direct response TV spots?
 
PK: We haven’t yet changed the way we buy DRTV to counteract the penetration of PVRs, since the penetration is still relatively low. It’s estimated there are currently only around 6 million households with PVRs, so the effects aren’t apparent yet. However, by 2010 DVR penetration is expected to reach 40 percent of TV households. This will have a significant impact on the way people watch TV, and could result in a large segment of the viewing audience zapping through commercials.
 
I’ve seen some recent research that viewers of cable news and sports channels have the highest percentage of “live” viewers, so buying more of this type of programming is a way of counteracting higher PVR usage.
 
TM: What strategies should companies employ to find cost-effective time slots for their DRTV campaigns?
 
PK: Employ an experienced direct response TV media buyer. [These professionals] understand the value of inventory, they have leverage with the networks/stations due to the volume of time they buy, they know the networks/stations/dayparts that perform best, and [they] know how to effectively track and optimize their buys by moving money to higher performing media and dropping less responsive media vehicles.
 
TM: Are certain formats more flexible on inventory and cost than others?
 
PK: With short-form DRTV, there’s definitely more 60-second inventory available than 120-second inventory. There’s generally a set amount of inventory available for infomercials, so this limits the available inventory during periods of higher demand during the fourth and first quarters.
 
National cable has traditionally been the primary TV medium for direct response TV advertisers. However, short-form cable rates have increased as a result of more general advertisers moving into the medium. The growth of satellite TV has provided additional inventory for both short-form and infomercial direct response TV advertisers. In addition, we have seen more DRTV advertisers buying syndicated and network TV.
Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Media Buying Blunders to Avoid

For any company, $1 million is a lot to lose. Depending on the size of your company, so is $1,000. Companies with $100 million in revenue may spend as much as $10 million on advertising, so they need to spend it wisely. This is especially important for marketing-driven companies, since media buying can be the biggest expenditure after salaries and benefits, as much as 5% -10% of their overall budget.
 
Even if yours isn’t a $100 million company, you don’t want to waste your hard-earned drtv advertising dollars because you don’t know how to reach your target prospects most efficiently. Nor do you want to put out the wrong message because you’ve failed to craft an ad that most appeals to potential customers.
 
When you watch out for these ten common drtv advertising gaffes, you’ll get the most media buying bang for your buck.
 
Mistake #1: Not understanding your target audience. When determining an advertising plan, consider everyone who might purchase the product, beyond the obvious consumers. Some products and services have broader target audiences than others. A product for kids, for example, might focus on parents and grandparents, as well as children; they all have an influence on the purchase decision.
 
When you’ve decided who you’re targeting, consider how: what will best motivate a consumer to respond to your ads? Research services like Nielsen for television and Arbitron for radio ads can often help you unearth this type of information. Arbitron’s information will be more valuable to you than what individual stations will offer, since station information is designed to sell you on advertising with them. Competitive Media Buying Reports can also allow you to see where your competitors are advertising to enable you to make better decisions. A seasoned media buyer can help ypou analyze this information so that you develop the most efficient media plan.

Peter Koeppel is Founder and President of Koeppel Direct

Technorati Profile