Local Mass Tort vs National

Steve Nober at MTMP 2021

Steve Nober: (00:02)
For those of you that haven’t done a lot of national, or even local, mass tort marketing, you’re here to figure out what you want to do and how to do it. There’s some really big differences that you might not be used to. And one is, even the national versus local. Right. Most of these mass torts we’re talking about, your co-counsel partners can take cases from anywhere in the country. And so, if you say, “Yeah, but I just want to get them from my market.” Maybe you put some ads in your rotation and you get them in your local market, which I’m a big fan of.

Steve Nober: (00:30)
But if you want to go get a hundred cases, or 200, or spend 300 grand or a hundred grand, or you really want to get some cases, there’s nothing better than the efficiencies of national marketing than in a local market. So your costs to get cases are going to be less. I mean, almost just 99 times out of a hundred, it’s very predictable. It’s just going to be a lot less. And so, that’s something to think about when you hear people talking about national versus local, it really depends on what your co-counsel partner wants to do. My guess, is they’re going to say they can come in from just about anywhere in the country. There might be a handful of states that have statutes or laws they don’t want to get them from. I call those no-no states, but those are easy to weed out with marketing as a response comes in.

Steve Nober: (01:08)
And then the brand. So everyone, I’m guessing, as a firm, you work hard at your brand and your local market. Believe it or not, when you do a national ad, the brand, and we’ve tested this a million times, it’s just mind boggling to me, but if your firm is not well-known nationally, and there are some firms that are really known nationally, right, where having the name on the ad national would actually carry a lot of weight, but that’s really the exception. Most, it’s not going to help your results. In fact, it might even not help the results, but raise the cost. Because someone sees an ad with your brand on it, they don’t know who you are. And so, we test both. We really go by whatever the firm wants. If they don’t care, we just keep it fairly generic, but very compliant.

Steve Nober: (01:52)
And so, it’s something to think about. If you’re in your local market, your brand matters. We know that. In national, it’s just funny, people respond to ads that often don’t say what law firm, they just talk about the injury, the litigation, what you should do, and the response. And so, it’s unexplainable to me, because I think people really would connect more with a brand. But there’s not a lot of law firms that are getting mass tort cases that have national brand. And so, that’s just something to think about if you’re going to go out and do a national campaign. You might say, “Hey, I want my brand on there. I want people to search me out, and look me up at Google.” And that branding is going to start, and there’s value to that. So it’s something to think about.

Steve Nober: (02:27)
And then, handling and contracting. You heard me talk earlier. Answering calls and doing the contracting on a national mass tort is different than the intake you’ve built on your local single event business. It just is. And it’s going to come in at odd hours of the day and the night. And so, I would just tell you it’s really not expensive, but it’s worth looking at how can you bring in best practices so those calls get handled the right way. We set up a abuse center, we call it our victim abuse call center, victim intake center. And that is, a couple of years ago. So we do a lot of sex abuse litigation, and we realized the average agent shouldn’t really be answering calls from a sex abuse responder who’s been a victim.

Steve Nober: (03:12)
And so, we have a call center now that has agents with at least five or six years of experience in abuse training, before they ever get on the phone. And firms all over the country, they use that, and they send us those calls just to help do the screening and make it appropriate in answering and helping do that first intake for the law firm. And so, the handling and contracting matters, asbestos and lung cancer, same thing. So, you don’t want to put them on hold, you don’t want to let them go to a voicemail, it just won’t convert. Timing for mass torts is critical on being able to answer and help that person calling, very quickly. At least, vet out, do they seem like they’re qualified? What do you want to do next steps? And try and get some kind of fee agreement in front of them.

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