Are you concerned that your law firm’s advertising agency might not be pulling its weight? Maybe you’re suspicious about how they’re spending your budget, or they can’t explain the decisions they’re making. Watch out for these three red flags that could indicate your ad agency is more interested in your money than your success.
Red Flag #1: They try to sell you prime-time TV spots
High-viewership shows may seem like great places to advertise your local law firm…at first glance. The truth is that there are several problems for law firms who want to advertise during prime time, including:
- Cost. Prime-time commercials mean prime-time prices. TV stations can get away with charging a huge amount for advertising during America’s most popular shows because of the massive amount of viewers they attract. For national household brands, these spots are sensible investments—but for small, local law firms, they’re better left alone.
- Broad viewership. The most effective advertising is specifically targeted to those who are already inclined to listen to you and consider your offer. That’s why a local law firm shouldn’t advertise during prime-time TV: those wildly popular shows attract viewers from all over the country, so you’d be spending thousands to broadcast your message to people who will never call you.
- Inattentive audiences. Just because America loyally tunes in to their favorite show every Wednesday at 7:00 PM doesn’t mean they’re paying attention to the commercials. To them, that time is better spent eating, doing dishes, running to the bathroom, folding laundry…anything but catching your name and phone number on the TV.
If your law firm’s advertising agency is pressuring you to advertise during extremely high-viewership shows, you need to ask them to clarify their strategy. Which leads us to our next red flag…
Red Flag #2: They don’t answer your questions
You know the value of an informed client. Your advertising agency should feel the same way.
When you pay an agency to advertise your law firm, they should be able to answer your questions about how your campaigns are performing. For example:
“What’s working? How well?”
Knowing what is performing well for your law firm is essential for understanding how your audience behaves and thinks—and reaping the benefits. That knowledge helps you and your agency make better decisions about where to spend your advertising budget.
Knowing what’s working is easy, but understanding how well it’s working is another matter. This question requires your advertising team to explain their thinking, including the potential they saw in their decision: is it working as well as they expected…or is it not performing on par with their goals?
“What’s not working? Why not?”
Your advertising agency should have no problem discussing the strategies that aren’t working out for your firm. Furthermore, they should be open to explaining (or even just theorizing) why something’s not working so you can work together to take the next steps forward. Like in any relationship, transparency and communication go a long way—so if your firm’s ad agency isn’t willing to open up, it may be time to move on.
If they can’t answer these simple questions, chances are it’s because of our next red flag…
Red Flag #3: They don’t have concrete data
A company’s return on investment (ROI) is an essential statistic. It’s practically doubled in importance when it comes to your advertising—that’s an investment that you can’t get back, and it becomes very obvious when it isn’t working.
Depending on the medium, the ways your advertising can be measured vary. Here are some quick examples:
- Television advertising can be measured using a unique 1-800 number: the number of calls you get is a reliable indicator of how many people your TV spot reached and convinced. (This works for other traditional messaging too, like the Yellow Pages or billboards.)
- Email advertising can be measured by click-through rates (CTR)—that is, how many people click on the links in your email and look at your website. This tells you what percentage of your audience is engaging with your law firm’s email marketing content.
- Social media advertising can be measured through reach (the number of users who saw your posts or ads) and engagement (interactions with your content). This is a great way to determine how interested your existing audience is in your updates and how receptive potential clients browsing social media are to your ads.
- Digital advertising can be measured using A/B testing—running two different versions of the same ad—to find out which phrases and images your target audience is more likely to interact with.
This list is by no means exhaustive: there are far, far more ways that advertising agencies measure their work. By measuring your advertising, your agency has access to invaluable insights into how your audience behaves and what content is most compelling to them. That information is essential when it comes to building a comprehensive, effective advertising plan that’s efficient as possible.
Does your firm’s ad agency share this data with you? If not, how can you be sure that your advertising budget is being spent as productively as possible?
Seeing red? Call us.
If your law firm’s advertising agency is displaying any of these warning signs, it may be time to let them go. The only way to be sure that your law firm’s advertising budget is pulling its weight is to obsessively track its performance and base every decision on extensive data. That’s what we at Kirkpatrick Creative call advertising engineered to work.
Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today to start a relationship with an agency that has decades of experience successfully advertising for law firms.