Seven Things to Consider When You Run Your Next Ad

your-ad-goes-hereWhile it is true that advertisements don’t drive as much traffic as they once did, they are still effective!

In Consult YHN’s most recent ROI report (compiled from Associates’ marketing data), ads brought in a slightly negative ROI (-4 percent) and brought in few opportunities, BUT 72 percent of those completed appointments were converted to sales!

We also noticed that few Associates are running inserts, but those that do generate a positive ROI. In fact, of all the marketing initiatives, inserts delivered the highest conversion from appointments to sales (75 percent)!

The next time you weigh the options of advertising in your local publication, ask yourself these seven questions:

  • 1. Is the ad at least a quarter-page?

WHY: If you want traction, your ad needs to be at least a quarter-page in size. Frequency in the newspaper is a tale of the past — if you want your ad strategy to be successful, run one larger ad once a month instead of smaller, weekly ads. In the hyper-competitive world of advertising we live in, frequency can become white noise. Allocate your budget to a larger ad or an insert that doesn’t run as often in order to make it stand out.

  • 2. Is your logo and contact information prominent?

WHY: You would be surprised how many ads we review that neglect to list a practice’s name or their phone number! Beyond your contact information:

  • Utilize your logo prominently to establish some brand recognition in your community.
  • Calling out a landmark close to your office under your address can help provide easy reference.
  • List your website URL under your address — it helps build your credibility as an expert in your field and your website is typically the place that individuals will go to after they see your ad and before they pick up the phone.
  • 3. Do you have a call-to-action that encourages people to call the practice?

WHY: You need to tell people what to do with the information you give them. As simplistic as “Call today” or “Schedule an appointment” are, you would be surprised how effective these messages can be.

  • 4. Do you highlight what makes your practice unique?

WHY: From a branding perspective, it is important to utilize your messaging to highlight what sets you apart from your competition. With the big box stores and OTC coming into play, you need to tell your audience why they should come to you instead of going to your competitors. Ask yourself if there are any services that you provide that no one else in the area offers. Have you been around longer or have more experience? Are you doing things in the community that no one else is doing? Your audience wants to know!

  • 5. Is there an incentive that will entice them to call?

WHY: Incentives provide an added value to the services you provide. While everyone loves a deal (e.g., money or percentage off a hearing aid device or a free hearing screening), this doesn’t always have to be the offer. For instance, Consult YHN’s wellness initiative encourages practices to have “Lunch & Learn” events or educational seminars within the community, which could be your promotion. Ads receive a greater response rate when tied to an event where there is no commitment to buy vs. advertising an offer for a hearing device.

  • 6. Is there an image that relates to the message?

WHY: It is important to feature an image in your ad that grabs your audience’s attention and visually communicates your message. We prefer imagery with multi-generational families or active seniors that the audience can relate to. If your message is focused on technology, include imagery of up-to-date hearing devices that showcase their sleek design and advanced features.

  • 7. Are you optimizing your ad results?

WHY: Based on industry benchmarks, the average response rate for an ad is 1-2 calls per run. If you run an insert, then it is 10 calls per run (est. 30,000 distribution). The calls may convert to appointments and sales, but that is not always the outcome. While ads are typically seen as a branding awareness initiative, you can promote them through digital marketing or utilize your community network to gain more traction.

You should be allocating about 15 percent of your marketing budget towards print ads. While there has been a decline in response rates, it is still an important touch point that should be integrated into your multi-media marketing plan. If you have questions or need marketing help, the Consult YHN marketing team can review your existing ads and provide feedback, develop and release ads, and assist you with your overall marketing strategy.

About the Author

Lindsey Pierangeli joined Consult YHN in 2012 and serves as the Marketing Manager. Previously, she held marketing positions with advertising agencies and worked on accounts such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. Lindsey graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University.

Three Trends & Tips to Successful Marketing

The Consult YHN marketing department is here to assist Associates with their marketing efforts and provide recommendations on how to maximize their investment. In addition to the ROI reports that we develop for individual Associates, we compile of a range of hearing industry data to identify marketing trends.

Here are three interesting trends that we recognized in our most recent ROI analysis along with suggestions on what you can do to address the challenges they present.

TREND 1: Your website drives a volume of calls, but very few convert to sales.

WHY: When someone is looking to learn more about a business, the majority of people go online to do their research. If the practice has a call tracking number on their website (we highly recommend this), it will capture all calls that come from that source. The challenge is not everyone is considered a new lead.

WHAT TO DO: If you want to change the ratio of calls and help your website generate more leads, there are two digital marketing tactics that you can implement.

One route is to increase the social relevancy of your practice through online reviews — by asking your patients to submit an online review. In this manner you will help potential customers evaluate your practice and make the decision to contact your office to be treated in the same way that your satisfied customers have been. Not only is it cost effective, but it is the best form of word-of-mouth marketing. If you are interested in learning more, read this article.

Another option is investing in a Pay-Per-Click (also known as search engine marketing) program. When done correctly, it is a quick way to drive more qualified leads directly to your website.  This initiative can be complex, so we recommend working with an experienced contractor. If you already have a provider in mind Consult YHN can review their proposal and provide unbiased feedback. Or, if you are not sure where to begin, one of our preferred digital marketing vendors can get you started. Are you currently enrolled in a PPC program? We can review the results and provide additional insights and recommendations. Looking for more detail? This article explains the concept more fully.

 

TREND 2: Direct mail is profitable, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

WHY: When analyzing marketing results, Consult YHN looks at direct mail as a group and also by individual vendors. While some may have better response rates or bring in a higher ROI, there isn’t any single vendor that is tailored to all of our Associate’s needs. A good match really depends on the practice’s marketing objectives and their budget. All of the vendors that we recommend specialize in the hearing industry and offer pieces that have been proven to drive opportunities.

WHAT TO DO: Let’s discuss your needs! If your objective is to fill the schedule, then we may recommend one supplier. If your practice is brand new and has a limited budget, then we would likely suggest another vendor.

If you have an existing direct mail strategy, but you aren’t sure if it is the best approach, call the Consult YHN marketing department. Don’t have a direct mail strategy in place? We can develop a distribution strategy for you that is tailored to your budget. We’ll even serve as a liaison between you and the vendor.

Lastly, the Consult YHN marketing team can provide insight on the results you should be receiving — and if you provide your results data, we will prepare an ROI analysis as well.

 

TREND 3: Print ads still bring in qualified leads, but they are much more effective when they are event-driven.

WHY: While print ads consistently carry the highest cost per call and cost per appointment in Consult YHN’s ROI analyses, they deliver the highest conversion from appointments to units sold and still yield a positive ROI.

In the past, many people thought the more frequently they ran their ads, the more opportunities they would generate. While that methodology worked at one time, ads are now more expensive and compete in a more complex advertising environment.

WHAT TO DO: To get the most value out of your print ads, Consult YHN recommends they be tied to an event such as a lunch & learn or an educational seminar.  The event should be a no-strings-attached occasion targeting people who recognize the importance of hearing health. Ideally the ad should be a full-page but if the budget limits that, go with a half-page size. Anything smaller than that isn’t enough real estate to get a strong message across to your community.

Check out the variety of FREE ad templates that Consult YHN has available to our Associates. The marketing staff can also work with your local publications on negotiating rates, reserving placement and releasing the creative on your behalf.

The only thing that remains constant is change, and marketing is no exception. These trends are relevant and actionable right now and the Consult YHN marketing team is prepared to help you successfully plan and implement timely marketing activities.

If you have any other questions or would like a free marketing consultation, call (800) 984-3272, option 8 or email marketing@ConsultYHN.com.

Marketing Trends You Need to Know.

We all know that marketing can be challenging! At Consult YHN we want to make sure our Associates are getting the most value from their marketing investment. To do that we routinely analyze our customers’ marketing program results.  Then, we assess the performance of the individual practice’s efforts against their marketing plan and provide recommendations for investment adjustments to make it a stronger plan.

In creating these comprehensive marketing ROI reports we’ve noticed some trends. We’ve collected those results and summarized the data to reveal what is working, and what is not!

011718-infographicSo… are you getting the most value from your marketing budget?

Contact the Consult YHN Marketing Department today for an objective review of your marketing ROI. Call 800-984-3272, select Option 8 for Marketing or email us at marketing@ConsultYHN.com today!

Would you like to improve your Social Media presence? Click here to download a copy of our latest white paper. 

 

Marketing Trends You Need to Know.

We all know that marketing can be expensive! At Consult YHN we want to make sure that our Associates are getting the most value from their marketing investment. To do that we routinely analyze our customers’ marketing program results.  Then, we assess the performance of the individual practice’s efforts against their marketing plan and provide recommendations for investment adjustments to make it a stronger plan.

In creating these comprehensive marketing ROI reports we’ve noticed some trends. We’ve collected those results and summarized the data to reveal what is working, and what is not!

AHAA-011369 Marketing ROI

So… are you getting the most value
from your marketing budget?

Contact the Consult YHN Marketing Department today for an objective review of your marketing ROI. Call 800-984-3272, select Option 8 for Marketing or email us at marketing@ConsultYHN.com today!

Would you like to improve your Digital Marketing awareness?
Click here to download a copy of our latest white paper.

 

 

A Decade of Marketing: a journey through change and transformation

When I began my career in marketing over a decade ago, my world was very different. Reflecting upon this time with what I now know, I admit that there was a lot of guesswork, trial and error was often a “strategy,” and the concept of tracking was a “nice to have.” It wasn’t just because it was early in my own career; it’s just how things were done. At the time, most of my clients were focused on their newspaper and direct mail efforts and were obsessed with the creative side of things. They reluctantly dabbled in digital media [which was barely a “thing”] with a “state-of-the-art” HTML website – and this was only when they had a few dollars left in the budget and were told ad nauseam it was a good idea. These approaches were acceptable for the time, but there’s been a LOT of evolution at a breakneck pace over the past decade. As a marketer, I’ve continued to run to keep up [and have enjoyed every minute of it]!

Truth be told, during the early 2000’s it was a bit of a “churn and burn” approach to marketing – which campaign can we implement now to obtain a few new customers, never to think about them again after purchase? Since there wasn’t much data analysis, when a client “felt” like something didn’t work, they’d pull the plug and often prematurely abort an otherwise successful program. Plus, social media was in its infancy and you were lucky if you carried the latest flip phone…

Fast forward to [almost] 2015 and it’s truly a different world. There are many things I’m grateful for – the focus on segmented, targeted messaging, a high level of importance placed on tracking and analytics and the power of the consumer. The last point might be the most significant switch – as marketers we need to constantly focus on customer experience, retention and communication preference. 10yrsThis concept is a wonderful touchstone to consider when planning and implementing marketing strategies. We now find ourselves continuously asking: What resonates with the customer? How do they like to be reached [via text, email, direct mail, etc.]? What does “great” look like to them? How can we better reach, speak with and connect with our customer?

Successful communication with the customer is hinged upon targeted messaging via the appropriate medium, not just about the creative campaign – this is a significant cultural shift in the world of marketing. The mass messaging approach of yester year is a waste of time, energy and resources. Today’s consumer is highly educated and motivated to purchase based on their needs and preferred buying habits. Understanding these preferences – and communicating to each consumer in a relevant way – is the key to capturing their business, making them a repeat buyer and [hopefully] obtaining referrals for your business and/or product.

The main way today’s consumers become so informed and savvy is through online research, including price  shopping, product reviews, and referrals from peer-to-peer interactions [social media]. These are the main reasons that today’s marketing strategies and tactics are so digitally focused. It’s important for potential clients to be able to find your business via online mediums. You’ll want to ensure that you’re online reputation is stellar; this is accomplished through online reviews, social media exposure and ongoing content [regular blog postings].

Regardless of the industry, times change and marketing is often a significant driving force. I know that both my professional and personal experiences have changed because of marketing. Those who pay attention to the changes, embrace the journey and transform along the way are the ones who’ll have the most success!

Seasonal Advertising

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Most of us live our lives on a fairly regimented schedule – waking up at a certain time each weekday for work, getting the family together for dinner around the same time in the evening, trying to attend a workout class at a certain time on the weekends and preparing for upcoming holidays with planning travel, organizing gatherings and decorating with seasonal flair.  Sometimes the same schedule we follow in our personal lives can translate into good business practices.  Believe it or not, your personal event schedule can be applied to your cyclical marketing plan.

Most marketing plans are developed on a 12-month schedule.  Having an organized plan deters last minute scrambling and panicking and promotes consistent traffic and opportunities.  However, once that plan is in place, the individual tactics [including messaging and design] like ads, inserts, direct mailers and promotions need to be developed.  Think about planning the themes for these initiatives around the usual calendar events – seasons, holidays, etc.

It’s easy to tie the theme of your ad, insert or direct mailer into an upcoming holiday.  Let’s use Thanksgiving as an example.  You might consider showing an image of a family around the dinner table and including a headline that touches on both the holiday and what the prospective patient might be  missing; e.g. “What’s more memorable…the meal or time with the family?”

Bicycle for blog post

Sample seasonal themed ad from MarketSource.

What’s powerful about this approach is that your audience is already in that ‘holiday’ mindset so your promotion will be relevant to their needs in that moment.  And coupling that with the pain point of ‘missing out’ on family and friend interactions around the holidays is a poignant message.

This same approach can be used for patriotic holidays, changing of seasons and much more!  Think about what your prospects will be focused on at a certain time of year.  Then, tie your message into their organic thought process at that point in time.

Also, take your 12-month marketing plan one step further by developing a calendar of tactics and messaging focused on upcoming holidays and seasons.  This will be the perfect combination of organization and subject matter for successful communication with your prospective patients!

Interested in seeing some seasonal and holiday-themed options with targeted messaging?  Visit MarketSource – marketsource.consultyhn.com – and sign up to peruse seasonal marketing samples that you can order with just a few clicks!