Does TV Advertising Belong in a Healthcare Media Mix?

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

person holding a television remote pointed at a blurry tv as the backgroundWith all the noise and ballyhoo that surrounds digital media these days, traditional media might seem like an incidental afterthought for healthcare advertisers.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools are often the top-of-mind glamour options in a marketing mix, and broadcast/cable TV seem like media oldsters.

Be careful. While Internet and online advertising is highly effective, don’t dismiss television. It turns out that TV advertising is alive and well. But does TV belong in your healthcare media mix? Surprisingly, it just might.

Telling your story…

The power of television is, among other things, a means to tell a story with movement, sound, color, music and a persuasive pallet of tools. Done well, it is a highly effective way to engage patients/consumers, and to clearly demonstrate benefits to a large audience of prospective patients. What’s more, television advertising has the ability to:

  • Differentiate from the competition
  • Engender trust
  • Build credibility
  • Boost personal and practice awareness
  • Enhance professional reputation

TV ads attract attention, and unlike some other media options, can touch emotions and be a means to personalize a medical practice and/or a healthcare brand.

It’s important to recognize that cable and broadcast television advertising simply doesn’t have a place in every healthcare marketing plan. But for select doctors, medical practices and market situations, creative and effective TV ads can deliver reach and impact.

If you need help evaluating your situation, please give us a call. There are a number of important considerations, such as service offering, service area, competition, and budget for production and media placement. On the other hand, reaching a large local audience—within your immediate service territory—has the ability to attract new patients.

A primary test is not cost alone…

If the cost factors related to advertising were the only consideration, only the low cost or “free stuff” would make it into the media mix. But if free is not effective, that’s not a good test. Quite often, investing little or nothing produces little or no measurable results. Likewise, pouring a big budget into an expensive campaign just might be wasteful and at the risk of needlessly over-spending.

The eye-opener in the television equation is recognizing that, for certain markets and professions, reaching a large local audience and provoking a strong response, can mean a cost-efficient Return-on-Investment (ROI). Although response may be difficult to project, two known factors are the anticipated media costs and your average case size. Surprisingly often, keeping efficient media and production costs in check can produce a remarkably efficient ROI.

Experience is helpful. If you’d like a candid and confidential assessment of television as an option in your market situation, let’s talk. We have some success stories to share and we can guide you further.

And as addition reference, you might enjoy reading:

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Charlie DeNatale, Healthcare Success Media Supervisor – has over 30 years of experience in media planning, buying and research with specific expertise in national, regional and local direct response broadcast strategies and analysis. He previously was media director of Christopher Thomas Associates and Lobo & Petrocine in New York and is currently overseeing and managing all media plans and budgets for more than 30 clients. Charlie attended Upsala College and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting.
Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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