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.

The Importance of Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

Occasionally, we encounter a practice that comments “our marketing isn’t working.” So, the first question we ask is “are you tracking your marketing activities?”

All too often practices forget that there is still more work to be done even after a marketing initiative or event has come and gone. Executing a successful marketing plan requires taking a deeper look at the results to glean insight and direct you on how best to market in the future.

Let’s look at the different ways that tracking your marketing efforts can benefit your practice and set you on course for success.

 

Tracking Your Marketing Mix

tracking-your-marketingPerhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of tracking data is the insight into the number of opportunities your marketing mix is generating. By utilizing your practice management software, you can track which marketing activity precipitated a patient to come through the door.

While this tactic is more of a backend approach that indirectly relates to marketing spend and outputs, it is important to gauge what your current marketing mix consists of and where there may be room for improvement. A healthy marketing mix includes activities that reach new leads from the community, tapping into your patient database, and attaining a continuous flow of referrals from current patients and physicians. Identifying segments that are missing from this mix can help direct your focus towards future forms of marketing that will directly impact your schedule and bottom line.

 

INSIDER TIP

Establish an organized process for how you are labeling your opportunities in your practice management software. Create unique sources to detail exactly which activities your patients are responding to daily. Some practices even add secondary sources to capture a further level of detail; for example,

Primary Source Secondary Source
Physician Referral Pediatrics
Community Outreach Sunrise Nursing Home
Telemarketing Out of Warranty (OOW)

And take this one step further. To ensure accurate tracking, make sure staff members who are responsible for inputting this data are all on the same page regarding what each referral source represents!

Adjusting Your Marketing Strategy

Taking a close look at the results of a marketing campaign can help you course-correct any missteps in current marketing strategies. The primary goal of any marketing effort is to make the phone ring. If your tracking data indicates that you are falling short of industry benchmarks for call response rate, then there may be an issue with the audience you are targeting. Identifying this variable, via the data, alerts you that it’s time to reassess the variables making up your target audience. Often, this fix is as simple as readjusting the profile of the target audience – maybe you aren’t marketing to people in the right demographic, or are reaching out to areas too far from the office location. Tracking can help you identify these types of “red flags” and aid to steer you in the right direction strategically.

 

INSIDER TIP

Capture as much “good” data as you can! The more detailed your tracking data is, the more refined you can make the marketing strategy to yield positive results. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter to look at what you noted months earlier. Keep a spreadsheet handy and equip your front office personnel with the right online tools to capture opportunities as they are coming in!

Empower Your Team

We’ve discussed the ways that tracking can improve your marketing strategy, but capturing this information can also help identify areas where the practice can improve organizational efficiencies. For example, are you seeing calls come through from a direct mailer, but they aren’t converting into appointments? This may be an opportunity to identify any gaps in training and activate education for your team members. Maybe it is time to sit down with your FOP or Office Manager to understand how they are handling incoming calls and discuss the best ways to get the schedule filled.

Are the completed appointments not converting into units sold? It might be time to meet with your providers to discuss best practices for closing sales. It is important to own the patient experience from initial call/touch-point, to pre-and post-appointment, right through to purchase and beyond. Identifying where certain patients are getting trapped in the sales funnel can help your team focus on their individual role in generating more sales!

 

INSIDER TIP

Don’t ignore the patients who jumped ship along the way! Utilizing tracking can provide valuable details on where that patient is in his/her hearing health journey, so you can tailor any future messages directly to their situation. Reach out to your Tested Not Sold audience with personal phone calls asking why they haven’t chosen to purchase and follow up immediately with the Cancel/No Show audience, communicating that it’s important to you that they come in for their appointment with the provider.

Send Your Results to Consult YHN

One of the biggest challenges with amassing marketing data is what it all means and what to do with it! Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing Review provides valuable insight into what your marketing data means in real-time, helping you refine your strategy continuously. The benefits to Consult YHN’s Quarterly Marketing Review include:

  • Knowing where you stack up in comparison to other Consult YHN providers nationally.
  • Identifying areas in the marketing strategy that can be adjusted to bring more qualified leads into the practice.
  • Understanding your patient acquisition cost vs. the Consult YHN network benchmark.

To effectively market in today’s world, activities need to be tracked, measured, and refined.  We encourage you to get connected with Consult YHN Marketing to start tracking your activities today!

About the Author

Julia Shreckengast joined Consult YHN in 2015 and serves as Marketing Account Executive, providing support to Associates by managing creative projects and developing/executing marketing plans. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she helped promote the city of New Orleans as a member of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Julia graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Tulane University.

Omni-Channel Marketing: The Recommended Approach

As the hearing industry gets more competitive, it is essential to have a marketing communication plan that incorporates streamlined messaging via every medium. The path to device purchase can start or end at any time, in any location or any device for that matter — to be a leader in this market, it is imperative for your business to provide a seamless user experience.

That is where the omni-channel marketing approach comes in to play: Delivering the same message on different platforms, which not only optimizes your advertising dollars, but also better engages your audience.

For example, take a direct mail campaign that you tie to an open house event or, better yet, a community event like a lunch and learn or educational seminar. Instead of relying solely on that direct mail piece, here are a number of other avenues that you can utilize to promote that event:

Follow up phone calls.

Every direct mail vendor that we work with will allow you to obtain a phone list of the individuals you mailed to for a nominal cost — typically about 10 percent of the distribution list. You can also use this as an opportunity to speak to your database as another way to generate event attendance.

When you actively call your OOW, TNS, Cancel/No Show patients, along with your direct mail targets, 1 in 3 will schedule an appointment!

If your practice does not have the staff to make these calls, Your National Call Center can help. They will work as an extension of your practice to bring you quality opportunities and save you time, effort and money.

Promote through digital marketing.

Social Media: Post the event details on any social media page associated with your practice. Upload the PDF of the creative or simply outline the details within the post.
PPC: If you have an existing pay-per-click strategy in place, work with your digital marketing agency to pull the messaging from the direct mail piece, convert it to an online ad, and capture leads.
Email: If you currently have an email marketing strategy, use this event as another way to speak to your patients. Even if they recently purchased, they may know someone who may be interested in attending the event.

Consult YHN Associates who are investing in digital marketing doubled their marketing spend in profit! If you need assistance with your digital marketing strategy, Consult YHN’s Marketing Team can help. We can provide insight on your existing digital marketing strategy or provide recommendations on how to get one in place. We also have free white papers that review how to implement digital marketing and social media tactics.

Run an ad in the local newspaper.

Based on our quarterly Associate marketing ROI analysis, ads drive more opportunities when they are tied to a specific event.

Event-driven ads tend to bring in more qualified leads, which yields a positive ROI. We develop ads for Consult YHN Associates, free of charge! Check out the variety of ad templates available via Marketsource. We can easily adjust the messaging to be consistent with your direct mail piece and work on your behalf to negotiate ad rates, reserve placement, and release the creative.

Utilize your network within the community.

Another idea to consider is speaking to your local network of businesses to see if they would be willing to help promote your event.

For instance, if you have a Practice Development Representative (PDR), your event is another opportunity to speak to local physicians. Print out the direct mail piece or let us help you convert it to a flyer for presentation in their waiting rooms. Apply the same approach to any senior center, supermarket or other local business that has an event board you can post to — they represent other great ways to get your practice’s name out in the community without having to spend money.

At Consult YHN, we have Wellness representatives that can help you implement a physician marketing and/or community outreach strategy that is suitable to your practice. Contact them about your own ideas and any questions you may have.

As a marketer, I am a firm believer in the omni-channel approach in order to generate more leads. By adding one or more of these options to your direct mail campaign, you will decrease your dependency on the success of the piece itself and increase your branding/exposure within the community.

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.

What You Didn’t Know About Marketing

Every quarter, we conduct ROI reports for Associates who share their marketing results with us. We then compile those results and look at the data from a broader perspective to determine marketing trends in our industry.

Here are three interesting insights from our most recent ROI analysis that we all can benefit from.

did you know

At 87% digital marketing brings in the highest ROI?

With an average cost per call of $13 and cost per appointment of $99, Digital Marketing has the lowest cost of acquisition and highest ROI.

If you aren’t sure how your digital marketing is performing, contact Consult YHN’s marketing team for a FREE digital marketing analysis and website assessment.

It is important to realize that a strong marketing strategy requires a multi-media approach and a robust digital marketing presence. To drive traffic to your website — and ultimately to your practice — you need to consider other digital marketing strategies above and beyond a static online presence. Consult YHN partners with several digital marketing vendors that offer a variety programs that can boost your digital marketing strategy.

did you know

With $1.4M last year, direct mail brings in the most profit?

Our Associates invested over $1.9 million in marketing and 87% of their profit came from direct mail – $1.4 million over the past year!

If you aren’t making a profit from your direct mail, let Consult YHN’s marketing team help you. We can determine what kind of response you should be getting and do a deep dive on your direct mail strategy to maximize your results.

While direct mail can be costly and response rates have declined, it is still the number one opportunity driver for our Associates. That is why it is important that you have a direct mail strategy in your marketing plan, but one that doesn’t consume your entire budget. We recommend allocating about half of your marketing spend toward direct mail and strongly encourage you to review your results on a consistent basis to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing dollars.

did you know

Your $1 grows to $1.87 when you have a marketing strategy?

For every $1 our Associates invested in marketing, they made $1.87! Do you know how much money you are making from your marketing?

You don’t need an Consult YHN marketing plan for us to develop an ROI analysis. Send your results to Consult YHN’s marketing team and we will provide you with insight and recommendations.

If you didn’t know, Consult YHN’s marketing team offers consultation and design services for FREE to all our Associates. We work as an extension of your practice to determine the most effective ways to reach new leads and keep you in touch with your existing customers.

Call the Consult YHN marketing line at 800-984-3272, option 8, and one of our account executives will answer all your marketing questions!

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.