A new client asked me to attend a meeting with their marketing agency who was advising them on media buys. The client was a medium size business involved in a unique medical practice and had just opened a new office.
They wanted to raise market awareness of their practice and presence as well as “pull” prospects to their practice.
The marketing agency advised the client that they needed to create and buy radio and television advertising and recommended a budget of roughly $30,000 a month for 12 months. The agency highlighted the demographics of the radio and television stations they recommended as well as the time slots for the ads and frequency. The agency also suggested full-page ads in local newspapers and magazines as part of the overall budget proposed.
Interesting to note that no where in the proposal from the agency did they mention or propose any use of social media or related brand awareness opportunities using the internet. Additionally the agency did not offer an assessment of the clients web site and what could or should be done to enhance their presence not only in the local market but nationally.
My Turn to Ask Questions
After the agency made their presentation the client asked me what I thought. Before giving my opinion I had a few questions for the agency. Here are my questions and their response:
My Question: What and how do you measure the effectiveness of the proposed campaign?
Their response: The final measure will be how many calls come into their office seeking information or an appointment. The other measure will be brand recognition over time which we will measure using a sample poll of the audience over time.
My Question: How will you verify that any call that comes into their office was initiated from the proposed media campaign? If so how many calls/visits would it take to get a return on the budget?
Their response: We could add a promotion to the media campaign and give the audience a code to use to get a discount on their first visit or future purchases. That would verify that those calls coming in with the code generated from the proposed media campaign. In terms of how many calls/visits would it take to get a return on the proposed budget, we have no idea.
My Question: So for roughly $360,000 annually what can our client expect in terms of results from your campaign?
Their response: They will get brand awareness within the market they intend on serving and prospective customers calling for appointments.
My Turn to Respond
I can appreciate the need for building awareness of this new practice and building the clients brand. It would seem that for $360,000 annually our client ought to get more than awareness and the hope for results measured in phone calls and physical visits to their office.
Your proposal suggests that traditional media buys in the form of an advertisement is the primary method you think is best for the client. It appears as though you’d left out other forms of media and methods to achieving the goal. Which media and method is more effective in attracting targeted prospects to this practice. Their response was pro traditional media while they ignored certain facts.
According to the Media Info center Proliferating media options mean Americans have more and more choices where to spend their media time. Of all active U.S. Internet households, 75% visited a social networking site in May 2010, according to Nielsen. About one-fifth of U.S. adults online publish or own a blog, and 55% have at least one or more social networking profiles, the report said.
The difference between traditional media and social media is the relationship with the buyer and the methods for building a relationship. Besides that social media is measurable in real-time. What would potential new patients of this medical practice want? An advertisement or a relationship? Medical services are personal.
What is your opinion?