Business Article

Marketing Your Collection Law Firm By Mark V. Matz
Collection Industry Consultant

Marketing is a mix of several elements used to increase visibility and profit in the business world.  There are components such as product, price, place, promotion and more recently people.  Within these terms are the areas of expertise under the practice of marketing such as promotion, public relations, advertising.  But the term most often equated with marketing is sales.  When applied to the legal profession, marketing and sales take on a unique aspect.  Mostly, marketing is about client and public relations but the main element is to attract new business in methods acceptable to those governing the practice of law (state courts and bar associations).

Advertising for attorneys can be found in a number of forms such as print, television, radio, phone directories and most recently online advertising.  Legal advertisements are used by professions who specialize in many areas of law, but our focus is on one in particular.  Commercial or retail collections, creditors’ rights law and commercial litigation; the traditional sources of new claims come from collection agencies, other attorneys and directly from the business itself.  Each source must be approached in a different matter to be successful in attracting a solid and consistent flow of new cases.

Before the “Canons of Professional Ethics” were first publishes by the ABA in 1908, advertising within the legal profession was commonplace.  Following  this new outlook, attorneys could be listed in legal directories which encompassed basic information such as  their name and contact information. They were also allowed to print business cards and use letterhead, but that was about it until 1972.  The rationale as stated by the Chicago Bar Association - "The most worthy and effective advertisement the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust."  While that statement remains true to this day, in our Twenty-First Century there are many new mediums and an influx of many new tools from the internet and social networking that bombard those looking for any goods or services.  When looking for qualified, experienced and professional help – cutting through the many to find the select few is best accomplished by relying on the old standards of reputation and capacity. 

How will those seeking the best of the best in commercial and retail litigation find them?  There are many methods such as looking at a law firm’s experience and memberships of its attorneys (mostly when doing online searches such as “NameYourState Collection Attorneys” on Google or Bing).  But in the end, the key is to look at what the individual stands for along with their experience and professionalism.  One of the new organizations where this data can be found is The National Board of Collection Attorneys.   

One of the old tenets of advertising was referred to as “AIDA”.  This means “Attention” from the market followed by “Interest” in the services offered.  After that “Desire” to make a selection is concluded with “Action” when the services of a professional are engaged.  This brief primer on the nature of legal advertising is just the beginning.  As time moves forward, we hope to bring you more information about the effective marketing for the changing field of Creditors’ Rights law.  We will look at how to find those new sources of business which are essential to sustaining a practice in challenging economic times while positioning it for future growth as the economy improves.             

Meet Mark V. Matz

Mark V. Matz - began working in the broadcast media for WGN Radio and Television in Chicago, IL (a part of the Tribune Company) back in the late 1970's as part of the team on the then number one rated radio program. He later worked in the station’s Sports Department working for Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray and Lou Boudreau - before moving into the Finance Department at WGN, reaching the title of Credit Manager in 1986.

Moving beyond broadcasting, he went to work in the credit industry on the association side of the business before branching out to provide marketing services to a number of members of the industry ranging from attorneys, collection agencies and law list publishers. Mark served on staff as Marketing and Membership Director for the CLLA and remains active with the association; including serving as Co-Chair of the National Marketing Committee and on the Midwest Regional Executive Council. He also served on the Creditors’ Rights Executive Council, as Secretary of the Association of Law List Publishers and in various positions on other CLLA and Commercial Collection Agency Association committees. Mark has written numerous articles and spoken at a number of educational programs on marketing, finance, credit and collection issues during his thirty-plus year career.




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