Hospital Traditional Advertising

Are Yellow Page Directories Still Relevant for Healthcare Marketers?


When was the last time you saw a phone book lying around that actually gets used?

Some marketing experts may recall the time when the good and faithful printed Yellow Pages were a fundamental part of every doctor’s advertising effort. Sometimes it was the entire marketing plan. Everyone in the service area had at least one directory at hand and would use it when locating a needed resource.

But despite the relentless digital march of progress—the Internet, iPhones, Facebook and countless online look-up resources—some phone books and printed directories still survive.

Printed directories have been losing ground, and largely disappearing, for years. But if you’re still considering using Yellow Pages, consumer research says to use it if your audience falls into one of these categories:

  • Reside in smaller, rural areas
  • Have a high school education or less
  • Have an annual income of less than $40,000
  • Have limited access to a computer, the Internet or broadband
  • Be among the Baby Boomer demographic group

These consumer categories may be more likely to still use Yellow Pages for various reasons, including lack of internet access or understanding of how performing a search for a healthcare provider works. If your target audience meets one of these profiles, it may be appropriate to continue Yellow Page advertising.

What can be useful to healthcare marketers is shifting your focus to adding locations in the Google My Business tool. In a nutshell, this free resource allows people to manage their online presence across Google’s search capabilities.

To go one step further, consider Moz. Moz will assist you with the finding and submitting locations to local directories. Moz’s software greatly helps with the search engine optimization efforts of a huge number of sites around the world. It’s even connected to Google My Business, giving users even more control over their locations.

Interested in taking your healthcare facility to the digital side? Contact TotalCom today!

Healthcare Marketing: Steve Jobs a Traditionalist?

 Jobs was an innovator but when it came to advertising he was extremely traditional.

As we mourn the death of Steve Jobs, there is much being written about him.  He was a visionary.  He was brilliant.  He was a genius.  He understood people.  And he had a keen understanding and sense of marketing.

Steve Jobs taught us about digital and how it can effect, impact and change our lives.  Jobs was on the forefront of technology.  He was always one step ahead.  Maybe more.

So isn’t it ironic that this visionary who understood how to communicate and connect with people was a huge traditionalist when it came to his approach to advertising?  Look at Apple’s media buying.  With a budget of $420 million in 2010, over 90% was spent in traditional advertising. Television, newspaper, magazines, circulars and outdoor made up the majority of Apple’s media expenditures.   Apple in fact, was in the top 10 in the nation for expenditures in outdoor.  Less than 10% of their advertising was digital.  And what little digital advertising Apple utilized, the majority of it was an extension of their television campaigns.

And equally as ironic, is the man who understood and connected with the consumer had almost no presence on Twitter and Facebook.  Apple only recently established a YouTube channel but has comments turned off.

So what does this say to healthcare marketers?  The principle thing is obvious, traditional media is not dead.  In fact, to build a strong brand traditional can be extremely effective.  This is not to say digital advertising or social media efforts are useless.  But it is to say traditional advertising methods are still workhorses.

Steve Jobs taught us that success consists of simplicity, clarity and a big idea.  Sounds old school doesn’t it?  But the genius of our generation used old school to change our lives and our culture.    When it came to advertising, the man who taught is to go digital went very traditional.