Healthcare Marketing: Do Consumers Prefer Digital or Traditional?

Digital or traditional media? Consumers prefer one but marketers the other.

New mediums and vehicles show up practically every day.  And as healthcare marketers we are always looking for an edge.  Something to create an advantage over our competitors.  And like other marketers, we are exploring digital options more and more.  And why not?  That’s where consumers are.  On the internet, on social networks, on blog sites and hundreds of other places that are digital.  But is that where are emphasis should be?vintage radio

A recent study by Adobe found that 51% of marketers now believe online advertising as more effective than traditional forms.  And although, the percentage of healthcare marketers may not be that high, we have certainly given it a lot more attention over the past few years.  But the surprising part of the study found that almost 70% of consumers identified TV adverting as the most effective.  Consumers preferred traditional advertising to digital by a large margin.

EMarketer, commenting on the Adobe study, noted that marketers prefer digital because it’s more easily measureable.  But it’s important not to confuse measurability with effectiveness.

But even this creates challenges.  Traditional mediums have become increasingly fragmented.  Just look at television, with the proliferation of cable channels and the option to view TV programming on-demand at later times than the original airing and the use of PCs and mobile devices to consume TV content.  And even those who are watching on a traditional television set, it is estimated that 77% of them are multi-tasking by simultaneously using a PC, a tablet or a smart phone.

So the challenges are enormous.  But the study from Adobe would suggest we should not abandon traditional mediums.  The study found that what consumers really want is to be told a unique story and not just to be sold.

As healthcare marketers, the challenge is to understand consumer preferences and their media habits as well as media and device fragmentation.  And with that information discover how to effectively tell smart and compelling brand stories across multiple channels.  It’s the combination of creatively using multiple media channels to drive home our brand’s story and make it meaningful and memorable that will be most effective.

Healthcare Advertising: Moms Face Up

Moms use social media more than average internet users

Are moms important to healthcare marketers?  If so, then you better get social.  Moms use social media to communicate, stay in touch with family and friends, exchange information, be entertained and a host of other reasons.  eMarketer estimates that 23 million US moms are on Facebook…moms with children under the age of 18 use the site at least once a month.  That’s well over two-thirds of all online moms in the country compared to just over 50% of all online users.

Overall 26.5 million moms use some sort of social media.  That’s almost 20% of all social media users.

Females are the primary decision makers when it comes to healthcare decisions, and moms are usually the chief decision maker for their family’s healthcare needs.  That being true, healthcare marketers need to get social.  Moms are on social media sites interacting and gathering information.  And of course they are extremely interested in health information for themselves and their families.

So we need to be engaging those moms where they are.  On social media sites.  It certainly requires work.  And it requires more than just setting up sites to post ads or promotions for the hospital.  It requires engagement.  It’s not easy.  It requires quality content.  It requires responsiveness.  And it requires the efforts and cooperation of more than just the marketing department.

Moms are definitely social.   They are proving it everyday online.  And it provides great opportunities to connect and build brand loyalty.  Healthcare marketers should take notice.