During the past 12 months, according to Nielsen research, 292,000 Delaware Valley households sought the help of an attorney. These consumers needed professional advice on matters including personal injury, bankruptcy, social security, workers' compensation, real estate, divorce, estate planning, criminal defense, and business matters.
All in, legal services in the Philadelphia region cost consumers more than $1.2 billion in fees.
According to the US Labor Department, there are 18,280 lawyers in the Delaware Valley competing for that immense pool of revenue. So, how can a local attorney hope to lay claim to a share of that immense pool of cash?
Like any small business owner, Delaware Valley attorneys and their firms depend on advertising to attract new clients. For many legal professionals, Philadelphia radio has proven to be an indispensable way to reach those in need of advice.
"Most people can't predict when thy will need an attorney," says Ashley Scarpone, Director of Business Development for Martin Law in Philadelphia. Her firm consists of 17 attorneys who have been helping injured employees resolve workers' compensation cases since 1979.
"When someone unexpectedly gets hurt at work and needs legal advice," says Ms. Scarpone, "we want to be the first firm they call. We rely heavily on our advertising on Philadelphia radio to help with that. It really plays well into the brand recognition we need."
Being the first call is critical to any legal practice. According to a survey by FindLaw.com, when consumers realize they need the help of a lawyer, 58% will only consider one. The survey also found that 85% of potential clients who contact an attorney will hire one.
"If we can get the first meaningful interaction with someone, they will become a client," says Ms. Scarpone.
Of all advertising options available to local attorneys, Philadelphia radio reaches the most potential clients.
Last week, for instance, Nielsen reported that Philadelphia radio reaches 92.8% of households who are likely to hire an attorney. This is significantly more than are reached by local TV, local newspapers, social media sites, or streaming audio services like Pandora or Spotify.
Although traditional broadcast media like Philadelphia radio and TV are integral to the marketing success of Martin Law, according to Ms. Scarpone, online advertising accounts for the largest portion of the firm's marketing budget. "We invest heavily in digital because many potential clients start their hunt for an attorney with a Google search," she says.
The FindLaw.com survey affirms Ms. Scarpone's observation. It concludes that 58% of consumers who need attorney search online. The results, though, can be overwhelming to potential clients.
When a Delaware Valley consumer, for instances, does a Google search for a lawyer, their inquiry will generate 6.5 million results in about six-tenths of a second.
"Building our brand by using broadcast really helps us when clients use a search engine," says Ms. Scarpone. "When they see Martin Law in their results, that spark of recognition created by our radio and TV commercials differentiates us from the hundreds of other firms on the list."
A recent study by Analytic Owl, an advertising attribution company, indicates that advertising on Philadelphia radio could be a powerful way to bring potential clients to an attorney's website.
The study shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, radio advertising increases visits to lawyers' websites by 5%. This is a profound advantage, given that the majority of clients will only consider a single attorney.
The Analytic Owl study also reveals that for attorneys whose objective is to drive prospective clients to their website, it is critical to advertise on Philadelphia radio stations during all times of day.
Predictably, radio advertising had the greatest effect on visits to attorneys' websites between 6:00am and 8:00pm. That is, after all, radio's prime time.
The study also concluded, however, that advertising during the evening and overnight hours also created significant traffic lift for attorneys' websites.
According to Ms. Scarpone, the competition for clients becomes more fierce every year. "To stay competitive," she says, "we need to continually increase our investment in advertising.
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