Kantar TNS found that globally many consumers and businesses are ignoring online branding messaging. Those could include prospects for your legal services and products. You might be a brick and mortar law firm or digital service dispensing forms and advice for a fee.
In the U.S., it's been the worst for ignoring the commercial branding messaging.
Almost 40% of those on the Internet are downright annoyed by branded content. That should be scaring the dickens out of brands - for all products and services, and in all sizes. After all, branding has been an major American marketing tool since P&G invented brand management back during The Great Depression.
The solutions Kantar TNS suggests will not be easy to implement.
One is to find out what motivates consumers. Too many marketing folks, especially at law firms, are inward -looking. They don't struggle enough to really know the consumers or the businesses first-hand. Instead they tend to exist in a silo, far far away from those who could be clients. They put out there who they are. Not what they can do.
Since marketers track us online all the time, instead of sending a commercial message, why not just ask me what I want in, say, a discount plan for legal services. The other night I hunted for information about such plans online. Within 90 minutes I was receiving ads. And, if they are going to take my time with questions, then provide me with a reward. That could be a $10 Starbuck gift card.
The second recommendation is to partner with influencers. You bet, that can be effective. We trust other humans more than we do disembodied commercial messaging.
The rub is that most brands, of all sizes, are clueless how to approach us influencers. Because of my three syndicated blogs, brands approach me daily. They tell me about how wonderful they are. In their pitch I am invisible. Both research and experience scream: Know what the influencer is all about and pitch to his or her self-interest.
A Washington D.C. public affairs agency was, I perceived, totally ham-handed in contacting me about following on my law blog the appeal of the verdict in "People of California v. ARCO." You bet, the folks there could count me out on that. Lack of respect is what I thought.
The third recommendation is to create content that engages. Too often, the commercial message is about them, not about consumers. There is no user interface. Engage us? Of course not. Marketing departments have to figure out the points of emotional, spiritual, and financial connection. That's as important to influencers as it was to the dons in "The Godfather."
Reflection: Sometimes I wonder if the Great American Marketing Machine is sputtering. That includes in the legal sector. Perhaps it is stuck back in the seller's mindset that was real prior to the Crash of 2007.By 2009, about 6,000 lawyers had lost their jobs. But many left standing didn't get it that the game had shifted to a buyer's market.