Unless They're in Immediate Need of a Lawyer, Most People Don't Pay Attention to Lawyer Advertising

These days, people are so inundated with advertising and marketing messages—TV commercials, pop-up ads on the web, billboards, brand names emblazoned on T-shirts and coffee cups—that most of them simply shut out all advertising as a means of preserving their sanity. What this means is that the carefully crafted TV commercials, banner displays, and newspaper advertisements with which you hope to promote your law firm are for the large part being completely ignored. How can you hope to break through the clutter?

Consumers Only Pay Attention to Messages That Are Directly Applicable to Their Situation

This isn't to say that all TV, newspaper, and web advertising is useless—if it was, an industry worth tens of billions of dollars would disappear overnight.

The fact is that a person has to be psychologically prepared to receive your message before he pays any attention to it. Think about it: if you're not planning to buy a new car anytime soon, do you sit up attentively during car commercials? If you don't have raccoons nesting in your attic, are you going to remember the 800 number for that pest-control ad you just saw on TV? Bottom line: the only people who are going to pay attention to your legal marketing efforts are those who:

  • Are in immediate need of hiring a lawyer
  • Are in immediate need of hiring a lawyer with your particularly special (if someone is seeking damages after a car crash, they won't want a medical malpractice lawyer)
  • Don't already have a lawyer they can set on the case, or from whom they can obtain a reference
  • Have already asked all their friends, acquaintances, and coworkers to recommend a lawyer, and have come up empty.

You can see how the potential audience for your 30-second daytime TV spot has just dwindled from the hundreds of thousands who watch the show to the mere handful who meet the above qualifications. It's not your fault; it's just the nature of advertising, whether it's purchased by movie studios, car companies, or law firms.

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.