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How to Find Bargain Healthcare Advertising Rates

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Purple piggy bank looking at calculator displaying "Budget" textYou may be able to fund your marketing plan without spending another dime, simply by slashing waste.

Your healthcare marketing budget goes further with advertising media that's hungry for your business. Medical advertising dollars can produce better results if you know where to find the media bargains and how to negotiate in an extraordinary buyer's market.

Super-Savers. Value Menu. Two-fer. Rebates. Double Rebate. The present state of the economy leaves a lot to be desired, but you don't have to look far to discover bargains. Highly attractive prices are easy to spot on the consumer front.

In healthcare marketing, you need to know how and where to look. There are serious bargains and unprecedented soft media rates. Hospitals, health care organizations, medical groups and private practices can take advantage of deep and wide cost reductions that are across the media spectrum. Industry pub AdAge tells us, "Thanks to the economy, nearly every type of media can be had for a relative bargain. And media outlets will turn somersaults to keep money flowing through the door."

So—opportunity number one is: if your marketing plan includes print media (newspapers, magazines), broadcast (radio, TV), or direct mail—you can get greater exposure and more results without increasing your budget.

And—opportunity number two is: if you thought you could not afford an effective media buy in your marketing plan, your buying power is up while rates are down. It's time to look again at what you can do with your healthcare advertising budget.

Before you leap unaided into the complicated world of healthcare and medical media planning, media buying and outright bargain hunting, Healthcare Success Account Manager and Media Guru Charles—who knows media inside and out—offers a few words of advice.

  1. Define your goals. Quantify your objectives and expectations; be realistic.
  2. Profile your target audience. Be precise about exactly who you want to reach.
  3. Know your media options. What media reaches your target audience in the most cost effective way? What does this audience read, watch and respect?
  4. Measure the value. Understand how to compare effectiveness in media selection and mix...and how to measure results.
  5. Media reps work for the media. A good sales rep has a lot of knowledge and experience. They can provide good information, and they can be persuasive. But keep in mind that they represent the media, not the client. A strong media buyer-sales rep relationship can go a long and efficient way benefiting you the client.
  6. Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate. The bargains to be found in medical and healthcare media rates are not on the printed rate card. Negotiations are a two-way street so stay flexible. But it's a buyer's market, so "bargain hard" for the strongest value.
  7. Cheap doesn't always mean effective. Low rates alone are not the best bargain. You don't want ineffective media at any price; it's only throwing away your money more slowly. Measure results and Return-on-Investment. You still want "quality" not just "quantity."

And here's one more tip: Independent advice has advantages. Consider getting professional and independent help. Media research, planning, budgeting and buying involves a lot of moving parts and someone who's watching out for your best interests. Best of all, the media typically pay the commissions, so you'll save money and get help for free.

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