Brian Morrissey

Healthcare Advertising: Consumers Internet Time Now Equals TV Time

Overall, adults spend as much time on the internet as they do watching TV while younger adults spend more time on the web than TV. 

For the first time, the amount of time adults spend on the internet and spend watching TV is equal  –  13 hours each per week.  Forrester recently conducted the survey and published the results.  Brian Morrissey reported in Adweek that research has already indicated younger adults (18-30) already spend more time on the web than watching TV and now it’s true of 31-44 year olds too.

The losers in the survey were radio (down 15%), magazines (down 18%) and newspapers (down 26%). Continuing the trend of the last few years.

So for healthcare marketers, that begs the question if an equal amount of your advertising budget should be allotted to the web as to TV.  Some argue the percentages of ad spend are way out of line and marketers are hanging on to better known traditional media way too much.  And there is a tremendous opportunity for those who align their budgets to actual consumer habits.

Others argue in contrast, that television is still the most effective way to build and sustain a brand and that web advertising does not have the impact of television.

As Morrissey stated, one important factor to remember is that over a third of the hours consumers spend on the web are work related while practically all the time watching TV is for leisure and entertainment.

It is obviously true that adults are spending more time on the web and that time is now equal to the time they spend watching TV.  But I’m not sure it’s time yet to spend as much of our scarce budget on web advertising as television.  Television continues to prove that it is extremely effective building a brand.   And when people watch TV they are truly engaged – and actually watching TV.  But while they are on the internet, they are often at work or may be searching for specific information with restricts their attention to web advertising.  They are more often “on a mission” when they are on the internet than when they are watching TV and thus less likely to notice ads.  Sure, one can rightfully argue that people can leave the room or tune out the TV when there are breaks in programming.  But research indicates that happens much less often than assumed.

For healthcare marketers, it’s important we take advantage of the opportunities available on the web.  And as consumers spend more time on the web, it becomes even more important.  It also seems logical to take some of the budget from mediums that are declining in audience share to accomplish this.  But the time spent watching television has remained stable over the past 5 years and therefore it remains an extremely viable media option.

It’s an argument that will continue and healthcare marketers will continue to experiment to determine the media mix that is most effective.


Healthcare Marketing: 75% of Americans Engage in Social Media – Is Your Hospital?

Research indicates that social media is beginning to rival traditional media in reach.

In a survey of 1700 internet users in the US, Nielsen Online found that 73% engage in social media at least once a week.  That makes the total social media audience consist of 127 million people.   Brian Morrissey reported the findings in a recent article in  AdWeek.

In addition to the total number of Americans engaged in social media, the survey rendered the following results:

  • 47% visit Facebook daily
  • 32.7 million play social games daily
  • Twitter has 105 million registered users but only 11.4 million or 6% use it daily
  • 11% read blogs daily

The number of users of social media is extremely significant.  The numbers rival and even outpace some forms of traditional media.  The 47% of internet users who visit Facebook daily compares to:

  • 55% who watch television daily
  • 37% who listen to radio daily
  • 22% who read newspaper daily
  • 11% who read magazines daily

The use of social media is continuing to increase.  As seen in this study by Nielsen, the percentages that are actively engaged in social media are comparable or greater than most traditional media consumers.

This creates new challenges for healthcare marketers.  How do we effectively reach this growing audience?   The answers are not easy.  And implementation is sometimes even more difficult.  But it is important to develop strategies to engage this burgeoning audience.

Traditional media is not dead.  It can still be very effective.  But social media has become pervasive and we must be creative and increasingly proactive in taking advantage of its growing popularity.