Martindale-Hubbell, Nolo launch legal marketing network
Internet Brands, the company that owns Martindale-Hubbell, Nolo and Ngage Live Chat, unveiled a new legal marketing network that integrates features from all three of those products.
On Wednesday, Internet Brands launched Martindale-Nolo Legal Marketing Network. According to a press release, the network will utilize content from Nolo.com to serve as a lead generator for attorneys while also providing them with professional websites and online profiles. The network will also contain a live 24/7 chat feature that will also deliver highly-targeted leads to members.
In an interview with ABA Journal, Diana Schulz, president of the Martindale division at Internet Brands, says that idea for the network was obvious, given the brand-strength of Martindale-Hubbell and Nolo. According to her, Martindale and Nolo get about 14 million visitors per month, and many of them have urgent legal needs. “We found that when a consumer tires to hire an attorney, very often, they do research and go back and forth between Nolo and Martinale,” says Schulz. “About 43 percent of Nolo readers say they want to hire an attorney and about 45 percent of those say they want to do it within the next week. So this is an opportunity to bring our Lawyers.com profile consumers straight onto those Nolo articles.”
In fact, Schulz says that content will power the Martindale-Nolo legal marketing network. “Our biggest investment is we have lawyers that are writing and publishing up to 500 articles every month,” says Schulz. “This will help customers figure things out.”
Schulz also says that customers who can’t hire an attorney or are looking for more information before they decide whether or not to retain one can utilize the “ask-a-lawyer” forum on Lawyers.com and post a question that for members to answer on a one-off basis. “It’s a good service for customers, as well as a good lead generator for lawyers,” says Schulz.
According to Schulz, Martindale-Nolo will be aimed primarily at small-to-midsize firms. Additionally, the network will target all practice areas, although Schulz says there will be more of a focus on the consumer-facing area, citing greater demand. In the meantime, much of the immediate future will be focused on refreshing existing websites and promoting greater integration among the company’s various products. “We’ve found that up to 50 percent of our users are visiting our sites on their mobile devices; we’re looking at optimizing our attorney websites for mobile,” says Schulz. “A lot of our redesign will be done with mobile in mind.”
Meanwhile, Schulz isn’t concerned that competitors, like Avvo, have similar offerings that are already on the market. She cites Martindale-Hubbell’s and Nolo’s strong brand equity that “goes back decades” and notes that lawyers have “heard of us and trust our content and ratings.”
“While competitors may be marketing services similar to those offered by the Martindale-Nolo Legal Marketing Network, we believe that our combination of brand equity, thoughtful product planning, and industry-leading traffic volume is the best online marketing option available to attorneys, and is the new benchmark by which similar services are evaluated going forward,” she says.