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3 questions to ask before you throw away your marketing budget.

This was advertising contract cancellation month for many of our law firm clients as we slashed and trashed their under- and non-performing campaigns. The pitch from each of these advertising vendors was eerily similar. As our marketing consultants (commissioned sales reps), they celebrated the success of their advertising campaigns and generally promised better results if the law firms would just spent more money next year.

The real results – measured in cost per prospect and cost per client – didn’t measure up, and I felt like a samurai as I cut these unnecessary costs to improve overall return on investment. Most of these bad legacy decisions could have been avoided if the original purchaser had asked a few key questions:

  1. What results should I expect? While we hope that all commissioned sales reps are honest, request results in writing, including screen shots if they are showing you results from a reporting system. You’re looking for specific and unique (no duplicates) click and/or call volume. That’s what makes the phone ring.
  2. How do you report results? All credible vendors should now have real-time online results reporting. Even traditional advertising like print and radio should have some trackable components, like phone calls.
  3. What happens if it doesn’t work? Many vendors “guarantee” results, but are they guaranteeing the right results – like unique leads from real prospects? In my opinion, the only true guarantee is a money-back guarantee.

Whether your practice is focused on consumer or business clients, there are probably some great advertising opportunities available for your firm. Unfortunately, you need to weed through a lot of junk to find the jewels. Take the extra time to fully evaluate each option, and don’t be afraid to ask for a test or trial period before you commit to a long-term contract.

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.SM

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