Mass tort cases hold a lot of appeal for attorneys. You get to take on multiple versions of similar cases, allowing you to narrow down on one type of client. But mass tort marketing isn’t so cut and dry.
You have to go up against some of the biggest names in the industry if you want to build your firm around these kinds of cases.
What makes matters worse is that many lawyers and their marketing teams focus on the tactical side of marketing rather than the strategic. They do random acts of marketing like signing up for lead generation services or throwing up mass tort advertising without any clarity behind why. And that leads to subpar results.
It doesn’t need to be that way for you.
Taking a strategic approach to marketing lets you build stronger campaigns. Your firm will win more business and outpace the competition. It just takes more planning than tactical marketers are used to.
Here's how to make marketing work for your mass tort firm.
Orient Yourself to the Market with a Winning Aspiration
The first step of any mass tort marketing strategy is to define your winning aspiration. This statement is your definition of what winning looks like for your law firm. It also gives you a clear guideline to measure your efforts against.
Your winning aspiration must make two things clear:
- The specific market you intend to win in
- The unique way in which you'll win that market
Putting together your firm’s winning aspiration involves orienting yourself to the market.
This means thinking about your firm from the client’s perspective rather than focusing your thinking on the services you provide. Think about the problems they face, then about the solutions you provide that solve those problems.
This kind of thinking allows you to build a strong base for the rest of your marketing strategy.
An example of a winning aspiration for a mass tort law firm would be "to be the obvious choice for any person nationwide who wants to fight back against a defective drug manufacturer." This law firm could market itself on the fact that they have attorneys on staff who used to work on the defendant’s side, leveling the playing field for injured people.
Understand the People You Want to Reach with Market Research
Setting a winning aspiration shows you what winning looks like for you. But it doesn’t tell you everything about the people you need to reach. You get that information by conducting market research.
Real market research provides you with a wealth of data on your ideal clients.
The goal is to get a good idea of their demographic, psychographic, and geographic makeup. That means you’ll discover who they are, how they think and feel, and where they are. You’ll also discover how aware your market is of your firm. All of this makes targeting people and broadcasting your message to them easier.
Market research comes in two forms:
- Quantitative research
- Qualitative research
Both forms have their uses for a mass tort firm.
Quantitative research involves gathering data about your market using things like online surveys.
The advantage is that qualitative research will show you trends from hundreds or thousands of people. But it's expensive and difficult to conduct quantitative research because these research tools target so many people at once.
Qualitative research involves more one-on-one or small focus group interviews.
This type of research lets you dig into the way people think and feel. In-depth interviews provide rich insights into the problems your audience faces and how they describe them. Qualitative research is cheaper than quantitative research but doesn’t provide the numbers to make statistical inferences.
Most law firms start with qualitative research and then add in quantitative research later.
But attorneys who focus on mass torts have an opportunity that most other practice areas don’t. Your clients all have clear commonalities. They’ve all used the same defective product, or they were all in a specific geographic area when a tragedy happened, for example.
That means you’ll have an easier time identifying and reaching people for quantitative research.
You’ll be able to reach out to these people for focus groups or mass surveys more easily than other in practice areas because you already have some idea of who they are.
Choose How You Will Target Your Audience
Knowing who your audience is allows you to start considering the ways you need to reach them.
The first step involves deciding on the right mix of classical and mass targeting. This isn’t about choosing the tactics or marketing channels you want to use. This is just about balancing two types of targeting:
- Classical targeting
- Mass targeting
Classical targeting involves getting your message in front of a narrow audience of your potential clients.
This involves using the data points from your market research, such as geographics, to zero in on a part of your total addressable market. New firms that are just starting out against national mass tort practices need classical targeting. It lets you choose a subset of people you can help and then focus on getting your message in front of them alone.
Mass targeting is a misnomer since it doesn’t involve targeting at all.
The mass targeting approach is all about brand awareness. You cast a wide net to as many people as possible with the hopes that they remember your name when they need your help.
Mass tort firms will get mileage out of both forms of targeting, but the trick is in balancing them.
Start with a classical targeting approach to gain a foothold with a segment of your market. An example of this is running digital ads to people in a particular geographic area. Add in mass targeting ads outside of this area so that you have some name recognition when you start to expand.
Determine How You’ll Position Your Firm
There are over 421,000 law firms in the USA. That's a lot of competition, and you have to stand out to win. What makes things even more difficult is that mass tort lawyers compete for cases against national firms with multimillion-dollar budgets.
You need clear positioning for your firm to do that.
There are two ways to position your law firm
- Operational efficiency.
The vast majority of law firms position through differentiation. They choose a unique selling proposition and use that as a way to market themselves.
For example, a law firm that only serves mass tort clients has an opportunity for differentiation. That firm could market on the fact that they are mass tort experts. Their marketing could revolve around talking about the depth of knowledge their lawyers have when it comes to fighting big corporations responsible for someone's injury.
Most law firms avoid positioning themselves on operational efficiency, but it’s not impossible.
Morgan & Morgan is a great example of this in action. Their huge law firm has substantial resources and a systematic/streamlined approach to handling cases, making them appealing to potential clients. Their entire “Size Matters” campaign hinges on the fact that their place in the market as a huge operation is what makes a difference for clients.
Think Through the 4Ps of Marketing
Knowing your audience and how you’ll position yourself for them sets you up to think through the 4Ps of marketing. These 4Ps are:
This is a proven and classic marketing concept that will allow you to finish defining how marketing will help your firm win. This step lets you dial in your messaging, select the optimal promotion tactics, price your services accordingly, and create the best possible experience for your clients.
Product: Defining Your Service and the Messaging You Use to Describe It
Some lawyers don’t think of themselves as selling a product, but the term “product” here is interchangeable with “service.”
The most important part of defining your product is thinking about the words you use to describe it.
It doesn’t matter if your service offering is clear to you if the language you use isn’t clear to prospective clients. For example, your clients would not call their case a "mass tort lawsuit." But they will recognize terms associated with their case, like “Zantac lawyer” or "Zantac cancer lawsuit."
Knowing what terms your potential clients use lets you set your messaging and describe your product to them.
Promotion: Choosing The Tactics You Use to Reach Your Potential Clients
Promotion is the most tactical part of marketing your mass tort practice.
This is where you choose the law firm marketing channels that you will use to reach your target audience. Too many lawyers start here rather than building up to the right promotion channels and tactics. They start marketing into the void without nailing down who they want to reach and what they should say. Then they get subpar results.
But all of the groundwork you've done in the steps above will allow you to avoid the same mistake.
There are many marketing channels for you to choose from. Here’s the list of the most common ones:
You don't need to invest in every channel and tactic to get more mass tort claims. The best lawyers choose a mix that gives them the best possibility of making an impact on their target clients.
Every channel has its own advantages and disadvantages:
Creating content to rank on search will capture the attention of people actively searching for help, and you don’t have to pay for every click. But it takes a few months to start ranking on Google.
Google PPC has an immediate return since you pay to get your ad in front of your audience.
But you have to pay each time someone clicks, and the ads are expensive for mass tort keywords. Social media advertising has great targeting ability, but you’re still paying to play.
But mixing and matching them lets you get the most out of each channel.
Starting with Google ads lets you get immediate results while you create mass tort SEO content in the background. The SEO content starts to rank, and you can turn down your PPC ad spend. Adding in some social ads lets you build awareness with people who aren’t searching for solutions yet.
Price: Thinking Ahead About the Way You Charge for Services
Most mass tort lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so they tend not to market themselves on price. Many of them don't talk about pricing at all. Pricing doesn’t have to be at the forefront of your, but it shouldn't stop you from having a plan for pricing.
The bigger problem is that most lawyers don't think about pricing at all.
They go with their gut, or they base their fee on follow-the-leader pricing. They limit their own potential profitability by not thinking about what the optimal and ethical price for their services should be.
There is a solution if you're stuck on pricing and don't know how to start
Tools like the Van Westendorp Pricing Meter will allow you to find the optimal price. All you need to do is send out surveys to people in your audience and ask them questions about when prices would be too high or low for them to consider working with you.
Then you plot their answers on a graph to find a range where people are most comfortable with your pricing.
Placement: Building a Client Experience that Gives Back
Placement is something that most service businesses (like lawyers) don't think about much. It's way clearer in the product world—where things go on shelves in stores.
But ignoring this part of the 4Ps is a mistake for mass tort attorneys.
Placement in the legal industry all comes down to the client experience.
Making your client experience the best it can be supports your marketing efforts. And it starts before someone even becomes a client. Nail this step, and you’ll get new leads through word of mouth and social proof from testimonials.
Clients should rave about how easy it is to work with you and how you supported them through the process.
Make it easy for new clients to get to your initial intake consultation. Then continue to offer a stellar experience after they sign your contract, too. Ask the clients that you’ve helped to leave reviews or even sit for a case study video or advertisement.
Create an Enabling Management System to Support Your Marketing
Mass tort lawyers deal with big groups of people, which calls on a certain skill set. You must juggle all of the facts of their specific experience and make them fit into the overarching case, too.
You need an enabling management system behind you if you want your marketing to succeed.
An enabling management system is a tool that reinforces all of your marketing efforts (and some parts of your operations activities, too). Every law firm must rely on its distinctive capabilities and management systems to win in its market. These are unique to you and your law firm, giving you that leading edge in the market.
There are three types of enabling management systems:
- Systems that support asymmetric resource investment
- Systems that enable distributed decision-making or associated responsibilities
- Systems that support distinct methods for gathering and tracking data.
Thinking about optimizations for your intake process is a clear way to consider the three types of enabling management systems.
An example of an asymmetric resource investment in intake would be making investments in people, processes, and automation beyond what anyone else would do. Your goal is to get the shortest possible queue times so that no potential client hangs up.
Delegating the decision-making authority would involve giving more options to intake specialists.
Letting them refer out non-qualified leads as fast as possible would let you build revenue from partner firms in your network. Your intake specialists would also be able to gather data in real time about why and how that non-qualified lead got to them. That data goes straight to marketing, allowing that team to make optimizations to get better at targeting the right leads.
A distinct methods example would be using your intake as a compliment to market research.
Adding a questionnaire to your intake or initial consult allows you to always be on the lookout for new insights from your audience. You’ll learn more about how they think, feel, and act. You’ll also learn what marketing channels brought them to you.
Any one of these management systems reinforces all of the work you did in the previous steps.
Developing Your Mass Tort Marketing Plan
Taking the time to develop a true strategic plan sets you head and shoulders above the competition. A great mass tort marketing campaign needs all of the elements discussed in this guide to win.
Working with a law firm marketing expert will allow you to get the best results.
Rankings.io works exclusively with lawyers. We understand your business and what it takes to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts. We designed our mass tort marketing services to help attorneys like you grow your caseload while taking the stress out of getting your brand in front of ideal clients.
Contact us today to see how we can take your firm’s marketing to the next level.