I spent this past Friday on the road, driving from Lafayette to Jackson, Mississippi to watch my son play baseball at Millsaps College. Along the way, I began to notice a multitude of what can only be described as an outdoor buffet of legal advertising. Now, it’s not like I haven’t noticed them before, as they seem to be everywhere these days, but several lawyers seemed to own pretty much every outdoor board along my four-hour drive.
I had only one question as these giant images of well dressed lawyers smiled down at me: are they in fact the best lawyers, or simply the lawyers with the biggest budget?
From a messaging standpoint, I can’t really say I learned much about any of them.
I know they all seem to like the color yellow. I know that most say they will fight to get me what I deserve, and I know that one in particular likes puppies. Yep, one guy actually has a commercial holding up an adorable puppy.
I can’t tell if these guys are marketing geniuses or simply prepared to outspend everyone in their space to gain top of mind awareness.
I guess it would be easy to tell anyone reading this blog that the key to successful branding and marketing is all about having the biggest budget, but that is neither realistic nor sustainable. In the end there will always be someone with more money, and having the biggest ad buy does not always equate to building a successful brand.
Don’t get me wrong, every business should maintain a competitive advertising budget, but you don’t have to try and constantly outspend your competition to win over the hearts and minds of your target audience.
Generally, this approach of buying awareness only leads to transactional clients that end up sucking up resources and time as they force you and your staff to work harder for less.
Relational consumers, on the other hand, will always value YOUR brand because of the promises you have made regarding quality, service, and overall awesomeness. They provide you with both loyalty and advocacy, and in the end are the customers we all want.
More often than not, it comes down to understanding your audience, having a strategic and focused media buy, and creating a messaging system that connects with your audience on an emotional level. But remember, this can only happen when you have a good understanding of who you are, and more importantly, an understanding of who it is you are trying to reach.
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