A Problem of Perception

by Jon Lin on August 11, 2008 · 1 comment

in martindale.com

Last week, I attended my first Legal Marketing Association (LMA) event, their annual Summer Soiree in New York.  During the evening, I spoke with a senior business development professional at a very large global law firm that is not a Martindale subscriber.  While I was describing my role, she asked me a question to the effect of “Do you put the information in the books online?”
I was a little dumbstruck.  Martindale started doing this more than 10 years ago!  I told this story to a few colleagues and it seems they come across this same reaction fairly often when talking to customers.
Despite the tiny and decreasing percentage of the company’s resources that go to print and Martindale’s significant and increasing investments in our online properties, many people obviously still think of those print directories when they think of Martindale-Hubbell, blissfully unaware that martindale.com and lawyers.com exist.
I’ve always wondered why we still produce those directories. I have never met a lawyer or legal marketer who says they like the books. Yet our research concludes that some people still find value in them.  We generate a small amount of revenue directly from print sales, which we are reluctant to just give up, but do the books hinder our ability to tell people about what we are doing online?
So I’m asking you:  How do we get our message out to more of the market about our online story?  Are we better off without the books?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vikram Rajan wrote onAugust 13, 2008 at 9:41 am

I’m not a lawyer – and I don’t play one on TV! I’m a marketing advisor to them, et al. In fact, I was unable to go to the Soiree… but I would say the directories are one of the best ways to share your on-line products: In front, in back, on every page. Of course, the ABA show was probably another great venue for you guys too! But it seems to me it’s actually the smaller Bar law journals that solo’s and small-groups actually read. Often times – even with our own vast marketing experience – we have to go back to the basics. For those who don’t live in the on-line world, the “off-line” marketing channels are what drives traffic. And we have to rinse, and repeat often! For example, since lawyers don’t know that they should “google themselves,” or better yet, “google your peers” (aka, competitors), they don’t realize how high up a lawyers.com listing is displayed. ~ Vik Rajan PracticeMarketingBlog.com

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