Legal Marketing Strategies – Going from Absolut to GEICO by Diversifying
Featured image courtesy of teamstickergiant licensed under creative commons.
This blog has previously covered many different types of advertising strategies for law firms. We have recommended everything from billboards and newsletters to websites, radio ads, phone books and legal directories. A core principle at DotCO Law Marketing is the belief that using multiple types of advertising simultaneously is the most crucial part of your marketing campaign. This is why we recommend that the advertising space that we sell is used to supplement other advertising strategies such as firm websites and legal directory listings.
The GEICO Model vs. The Absolut Model
For a long time, Absolut Vodka had an excellent advertising campaign. Their iconic ads by TBWA were simple, clever, and pervasive. They became part of pop culture and stayed there for years. For many people, the Absolut bottle was the first image that popped into their head when they thought of vodka. While those advertisements were top notch, they were mostly limited to print, especially magazines. As the internet became more widely used, and social media grew in popularity, Absolut did not adapt. While the brand still enjoys strong sales, today’s market would rather drink Grey Goose because it comes in a better looking bottle.
As Absolut’s marketing campaign was fizzling out, GEICO came out of nowhere, seemingly made of pure magic. Rather than having one solid line of commercials, they had many, often at the same time. GEICO commercials saturated print, billboards, television, radio, the internet, and, briefly, were the basis of a television series. On any one day, a consumer might hear a standard sounding radio commercial about 15 minutes saving them 15% on car insurance, walk past a billboard featuring a pile of money with eyes staring back, see a print ad involving a gecko, watch a television spot involving a caveman, and download a GEICO ringtone. GEICO has done an incredible job of making multiple campaigns and characters more recognizable than even a single campaign from some other insurance companies. Their advertising has paid off, and GEICO is now one of the largest insurers in the United States.
Applying This Lesson to Your Law Firm
Very few law firms are ever going to have multiple television campaigns running at once, and even fewer will ever have apps or ringtones, but there is still plenty to be learned from what GEICO has done. No one type of advertisement will be seen by every potential customer. Furthermore, different types of advertising work on different people. When your law firm is planning advertising strategies, as many methods of advertising as possible should be used. Whether you decide to use one binding theme in all of your ads or to mix things up with a combination of serious and humorous ads, the key is to put them in more than one place. Billboards are great. So are television and radio. Advertising on the internet is essential. However, in this age, it must be remembered that the internet is not just one thing. A great website is essential, but it must be supplemented. Whether you pay a search engine for advertising space, list your firm with a directory, advertise with DotCO, or all three, saturation is key. When someone searches for a lawyer online, they can only choose your firm if they see it. The more searches that return your firm’s name, the more potential clients you will have. If your name is everywhere, it will be seen eventually.
The internet used to be a simpler place. Nearly every web address ended in .com, .net, .org, .edu, .mil, or .gov. Now we are used to seeing a variety of international and new top-level domains. With new domains such as .xxx and .tv constantly being released, it can be a struggle to determine which websites are trustworthy. While savvy internet users may understand the differences, the general public probably does not.
How, then, can we determine which domains the public will trust? The average person is most likely to trust things he or she is used to, including domain endings that are seen every day. Years ago, .tv struggled to gain clout because people weren’t used to seeing it and most major players on the internet were not using it. Names like .xxx have unwholesome connotations. One top-level domain that has avoided these problems is .co.
.CO is different. The suffix .co used to mean that a website was located in Colombia. Today, any commercial enterprise can buy a .co site. Here is a list of advantages of using .co domain names:
- .CO sites are more plentiful than .com sites. They haven’t been around as long, so there are more left to choose from. There are still plenty of exact match domains left.
- .CO sites are often cheaper than other domains because they are not in as much demand.
- .CO is not penalized in Google search results. For SEO purposes, there is almost no difference between .CO and .com.
- .CO looks like .com. An uninformed user may not even notice the difference. It is not as obvious as .xxx or .tv.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about .co domains is that they are quickly gaining recognition because they are being used by major companies. Twitter has purchased t.co to use as a link shortener. Google has purchased g.co for the same purpose. As the average internet user gets more and more used to seeing these domains, they become more trustworthy and more valuable. This makes .co sites a great investment.
At DotCO Law Marketing, we have chosen to get into the .CO game early. Every one of the websites we build for lawyers to advertise on ends in .CO. Our homepage is a .CO site. We trust this domain so much that we even named our company after it.