Brand Advertising Done Right
Advertising is expensive but boosts your profile fast. Done right, advertising can be foundational for building your brand even though return on investment can sometimes be tough to measure.
Basically, there are only a few kinds of ads and each is quite different from the other.
Teaser advertising is promissory and designed to provoke an emotional response. These are the seductive come-ons that intimate that your life will be better if you have more hair on your head, less hair on your body, higher libido, lower weight, drink certain beverages, drive specific cars, carry the smartest of phones, and so on.
Response advertising triggers action. These are the types of ads that chime: Order in the next fifteen minutes and you’ll receive a second “whatever” absolutely free! These ads tend to appear in high rotation and drive one-off sales.
Brand advertising creates familiarity by story-telling. Telling the right story the right way while appearing consistently at the right times and in the right places sparks a high level of brand awareness that enables traction. In the legal world, these ads are indicative of how a firm differentiates itself.
To successfully build and embed a firm’s brand, ads must be carefully considered, written and designed to attract a targeted audience – instead of pleasing the firm’s lawyers. They need to be placed with media vehicles that engage current and prospective clients – instead of pleasing the firm’s lawyers. And, they must appear consistently and regularly to become familiar – which may displease the firm’s lawyers who might find repetition tedious.
By their nature, budgets for brand-building advertising are big. This is because messaging must be consistently drummed into the awareness of critical client audiences and therefore, the appearance of these ads tends to be frequent and the lifespans of brand campaigns are designed to be long.
Well-executed brand ads are the only ones worth doing.
Anything else – along with cheaping out on production or appearing in random hit-and-miss style – will get you the same results as doing nothing.
Heather Suttie is a legal marketing and business development consultant. She works with a range of law firms and legal service providers — Global to Solo, BigLaw to NewLaw. Reach her at +1.416.964.9607 or www.heathersuttie.ca.