The key to increasing profits in an audiology practice is in not having an occasional great month but having consistently good months. An effective advertising program is an important tool for generating a constant flow of new patients.
Today audiology practices can choose from
many mediums when it comes to advertising. They also have many messages to present to the public. How do you choose your message and your medium?
According to a recent Pew Research study 72% of adults over age 40 follow their local news. And of those 32% say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed. In other words, your demographic is still buying and reading the paper. If purchased properly it can be one of the most inexpensive mediums for getting your message out to the public.
Advantages to Newspaper Advertising
- Inexpensive when compared to other mediums in terms of readership
- Short lead times for running ads
- Can be adjusted based on patient flow in any given month
- You can recycle effective advertisements
- You do not have to invest your monthly advertising budget in one promotion
- You can use the newspaper to deliver inserts inexpensively to specific zip codes.
Disadvantages to Newspaper Advertising
- It can be more complicated to prepare a newspaper advertising campaign than other advertising mediums
- It can be more complicated to track individual ad results if you are constantly changing the advertising message
- It can be expensive if not purchasedproperly
Keys to Creating Effective Newspaper Ads
The most important step in developing an effective newspaper advertising campaign is to make sure your message is seen. If you have to choose between four small ads or one large ad we would always recommend choosing the large ad. This also comes into play when selecting which section of the Newspaper your ad will run in. If you had to choose between a small ad in a section that appeals to our demographic or a large ad in section that might not be as suitable, again, as a general rule we would recommend the large ad.
If your budget allows, run what is referred to as a “page buster ad”. A page buster ad is one that is large enough so that no other ad can dominate the page. As a rule, page buster ads are slightly larger then ¼ page. In theory the newspaper could run a ¼ page ad and a ½ page on the same page but they very seldom do that for fear of upsetting the advertisers.
Be sure to have a strong call to action. We are not fans of “top of the mind awareness” type advertising. Our patients are for the most part, reluctant participants in the rehabilitation of their hearing. It is unlikely that the average patient wakes up one morning and says, “I think I will go and get my hearing checked today”.
If that were the case then top of the mind awareness, which is essentially running small ads that only list your practice name and services over and over might be effective. What probably happens in the majority of case
s is that a significant other sees an ad with an offer of some kind and says, “You are making an appointment today”.
Effective marketing and advertising promotions are part science, part art. You have any number of methods at your disposable. It’s just as important to embrace the newer methods (online marketing) as it is to recognize that the older methods can still provide a hefty return on investment.