Healthcare Marketing: Are Your Internet Ads Ignored?

Research shows Americans ignore internet ads more than advertising in any other medium.

The old adage that “half of my advertising budget is wasted, now if I only knew which half” appears to have a lot of merit. Especially with internet ads.  Research produced by Adweek/Harris Poll from an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive indicates that:

  • 63% of Americans ignore or disregard internet ads.
  • 43% say they don’t pay attention to banner ads.
  • 20% ignore search ads.  

For hospital marketers, those are significant numbers.

Wayne Friedman reported the findings in MediaPostNews.  Other media compared to the internet faired much better.  Only 14% ignore television ads, 7% for radio and 6% for newspaper.  Probably not surprising, 91% of consumers ignore some of the ads they see.

Even out of the largest users of the internet, adults 18-34, 40% of them state they ignore internet banner ads.  And of those consumers who have some college education or a college degree, 46% ignore banner ads compared to just 40% of those with a high school diploma or less. There was practically no difference between men and women.

So for healthcare marketers maybe we shouldn’t rush out and totally embrace internet advertising and shift significant amounts of money away from traditional media.  Some voices are constantly telling us that our budgets are out of whack because the percentage we spend on internet advertising is typically far below the percentage of our audience who are regularly on the internet.

Sure, we should have an internet presence and take advantage of opportunities of reaching and engaging our target audience.  But the number of people using the web is not the only factor to consider.  Research is indicating that it’s harder to break through the clutter and gain traction with internet advertising than with traditional mediums. 

Internet advertising is viable and should be in the media mix but it’s certainly not time to abandon traditional mediums for the web.   Internet advertising and social media are the new kids on the block.   But the old standbys aren’t dead yet.  In fact, this research indicates less of our advertising on traditional mediums is not as wasted as much as advertising on the internet.  But of course for each medium, we are still stuck with the question: which part is wasted and which is effective?

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