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By Kevin White, CEO and President, Whitehardt, Inc.

There is a pretty good resource available to monitor the moves of local advertising attorneys on broadcast TV – it’s called Kantar. We subscribe to it and provide the info they report to all of our clients. I highly recommend looking at it on a regular basis. If you don’t have access to it, you could record daytime TV on your home DVR – but that can be very time-consuming.

One important use of competition levels is to set a good, reasonable goal for your marketing efforts. If competition is excessive, it’s nice to manage your own expectations. No sense banging your head against a wall wondering why you’re only getting 3% market share once you find out you’re only spending 2% of the dollars in this category. The other side of that coin is that you might find you’re not at all meeting your potential. If you’re spending 18% of the dollars, but only getting 12% market share, you would clearly know that some things have to be fixed!

Another great use of Kantar data is monitoring specific shows being bought by your competition. It is a far more sophisticated buy that takes into consideration “clutter levels”. Wouldn’t you agree that a show is more valuable to you if there are no other attorney advertisers buying that show?

While competition info is most often used for determining buy strategy, it can sometimes point the way to a better message in your ads. For example, we noticed that one of our client’s biggest competitors focused his message on the phrase “We can start helping you within 24 hours”. We immediately modified our ads to say constantly, “We can help you today, right now”. I think that positions us nicely.

As Michael Corleone said in The Godfather Part II, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer!

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