Two brand new studies, one for a personal injury law firm and one for a family law firm, shed new light on the importance of advertising to build awareness and consideration for local law firms.
CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One commissioned MARU/Matchbox to conduct both brand studies. The personal injury law firm study was conducted in May 2021 among 505 total respondents in a local market. The family law firm study was conducted in June and July 2021 across 66 DMAs with 932 respondents.
The 95:5 rule: “Be known before you’re needed”
At any point in time, few people need a law firm. When the need for a law firm arises, people will search for firms they have heard of.
Recently, Marketing Week highlighted the “95:5 rule.” Developed by Professor John Dawes of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, “Only 5% of … buyers are in-market to buy right now. That means 95% of the buyers that you reach are out-of-market and won’t buy for months or even years.”
What’s a marketer to do? According to Marketing Week, “Invest in making every buyer remember their brand next time they need its product.” Radio executive and advertising guru Spike Santee famously advises, “Be known before you’re needed.”
In the best-selling marketing book, How Not to Plan: 66 Ways to Screw It Up, authors Les Binet and Sarah Carter conclude, “The single most important factor driving brand preference is ‘mental availability’: how well known a brand is, and how easily it comes to mind. Brands with low mental availability tend to struggle, rejected in favour of more familiar rivals. Or not considered in the first place. Brands with high mental availability don’t have to push so hard to sell, so tend to have higher market shares and better margins.”
What does this mean for law firms?
Most consumers cannot associate a law firm with key brand perceptions
Law firms need to work on their ‘mental availability’ – how well known their brand is and how easily it comes to mind.
In the local market study of personal injury law firms, 15 different brand perception statements were measured among consumers. Respondents had to indicate the law firm that came to mind for statements such as, “No cost until they win your case,” “Got your back,” and “Has extensive experiences with personal injury cases.”
The number one response for all fifteen statements was, “Don’t know.” It is hard to build brand perceptions. This is why law firms need to continually create awareness and knowledge through advertising.
Half of those surveyed nationally were unable to name one family law firm when asked, “When you think of family law firms, what law firms come to mind?”
Unaided awareness is the most important brand equity measure to build. It is also the most expensive and time consuming to achieve. However, it is crucial in order to “be known before you’re needed.”
The age profile of those in the market for legal services aligns well with AM/FM radio and skews much younger than TV
Consumers were asked if they were injured in a car accident, how likely they would be to hire a personal injury law firm. Those who said they would “definitely likely” hire a personal injury law firm skewed 18-49.
In the national study for the family law firm, married men 35-64 were asked, “In the next 12 months, how likely do you think you will need legal services from a family law firm/attorney?” Of those who responded they were likely to need legal services from a family law firm/attorney in the next 12 months, over half were 35-44.
Nielsen: AM/FM radio outreaches TV among younger demographics likely to hire an attorney
Since those who are in the market for legal services lean younger, it is not surprising that older skewing TV viewers are less likely to be in the market.
Versus TV viewers, AM/FM radio listeners are two and half times more likely to be in the market for family law services. Similarly, AM/FM radio listeners are +33% more likely to have hired a personal injury law firm compared to TV viewers.
Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are also +20% more likely than heavy TV viewers to hire a personal injury law firm in the future.
AM/FM radio works: The personal injury law firm campaign drove significant brand equity
The personal injury law firm utilized AM/FM radio to effectively build their business. As their MARU/Matchbox brand scorecard reveals, every measure of brand equity was significantly stronger among heavy AM/FM radio listeners versus the overall marketplace.
Heavy AM/FM radio listeners have a much greater opportunity to hear the personal injury law firm’s AM/FM radio campaign. As such, the firm’s awareness, consideration, brand perceptions, and advertising recall are stronger among heavy AM/FM radio listeners.
AM/FM radio works: The family law firm campaign drove strong brand equity
The family law firm also effectively used AM/FM radio to build their business. As their MARU/Matchbox brand scorecard reveals, every measure of brand equity was significantly stronger among heavy AM/FM radio listeners versus the overall marketplace.
- Most consumers cannot associate a law firm with key brand perceptions
- The age profile of those in the market for legal services aligns well with AM/FM radio and skews much younger than TV
- Nielsen: AM/FM radio outreaches TV among younger demographics likely to hire an attorney
- AM/FM radio works: The personal injury law firm campaign and the family law firm campaign drove significant brand equity
Pierre Bouvard is Chief Insights Officer at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One and President of the CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.