LexisNexis makes case for its product at annual legal marketing conference

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Historically, trade shows have only been a small piece of the puzzle in marketing products and services to law firms. However, LexisNexis saw the 2005 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference as a crucial part of generating awareness and a deeper understanding of its Client Development platform of products that are designed specifically to help law firms build brand and win new business.

The LMA conference provided LexisNexis with a rare opportunity to reach its target audience of law firm CMOs, directors of business development and marketing partners, said Maia Tihista, VP-marketing, Client Development for LexisNexis.

"Since the show attendees were already customers or prospects, and had a general understanding of the service, the key here was ensuring people were well-versed on LexisNexis Client Development when they left our booth at the LMA show," Tihista said.

But Tihista knew the company couldn't achieve this without generating ample traffic at the booth. So she and her internal team came up with a clever campaign, called "Bringing the Pieces Together."

Instead of handing out the usual trade show giveaways, they came up with the idea of having at the booth a giant jigsaw puzzle with three-inch missing pieces. The puzzle was not just a novel gimmick; it also illustrated tangibly how the LexisNexis Client Development platform puts together all a law firm's marketing efforts.

The pieces were sent out to conference attendees ahead of time in a direct mailer with their registration materials. Each piece had a marketing message on it, such as "increase client referrals" or "develop effective marketing programs," Tihista said. "Attendees were encouraged to come by the LexisNexis booth to see if their pieces fit into the puzzle," she said. "If they did fit, then they won a prize, which included mini computer mice and the grand prize of an iPod."

LexisNexis teased the promotion well in advance of the show to generate buzz. "About four weeks before [registrants] got their registration materials, we e-mailed them to make sure to look for our envelope in their packets," Tihista said. "We sent another reminder at two weeks out, and then they got their envelope complete with instructions and a puzzle piece."

In addition, LexisNexis had expert speakers involved with the LMA Conference seminar agenda, as well as sales representatives at the booth to demonstrate the Client Development software and lead other creative games.

The campaign was a huge success, as show attendees enjoyed putting together the jigsaw puzzle with their pieces, Tihista said. Booth traffic far exceeded expectations, and many visitors stuck around for product demonstrations. "It was so successful that there were almost too many people crowding our booth and the puzzle," Tihista said.

Not only did Tihista and her team learn that they needed more booth space for their next trade show effort, they also learned the importance of rising above the noise with a truly creative idea, she said.

"We found out just how effective an interactive, engaging idea can [be in attracting] people to our booth," Tihista said. "After all, we are marketing to marketers, so an original campaign is of paramount importance."

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