Healthcare Marketing: New Research on Effective Advertising


It’s been said that half of the advertising we do is wasted.  Research proves that’s true.  But which half?  

Research conducted by Gerald Tellis and colleagues, and reported in Advertising Age, attempted to discover how advertising works. And its effectiveness.  Their findings are very interesting and provide useful information for healthcare marketers.

  • About half of all ads are simply ineffective.  This means the ads that are effective are twice as effective.
  • Advertising v. Sales. A 10% increase in advertising generally leads to a 1% increase in sales.
  • Short-term vs. long-term. There is no need to start a new campaign until the old one has completely run its course.   It is also true that advertising is ineffective in the short-term it will be ineffective in the long-term also.
  • Advertising is more effective in a recession than in expansions. The likely reason for this is that many advertisers cut back during recessions so therefore there is less noise.
  • TV advertising is more effective than print advertising. Television is more visual and outperforms print.
  • Advertising remains a powerful means for reaching consumers. Advertising has helped launch new products and services, created new markets and built great brands.

As all healthcare marketers know, advertising is effective but it’s always interesting to examine the findings of advertising research.  The strongest testaments to advertising are the times we have effectively used it to accomplish our marketing goals.  It is a very dynamic yet imprecise discipline.  But when used correctly it can render outstanding results.  At least half the time.



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