When it comes to deciding how and where to spend your marketing budget, you may be torn between digital vs. traditional marketing. Which is best? Which will give you the greatest return on your investment?
There are no hard and fast rules. There may be times when traditional print marketing and advertising are most effective. However, in our experience, digital marketing has a number of key benefits when compared to traditional marketing:
1. Compete with any competitor, regardless of their size
In the past, potential patients may have judged your clinic solely by its physical presence on the High Street. In a side-by-side physical comparison, it can be hard for small businesses to stand out from their larger competitors.
Digital marketing methods such as a slick website, social media presence, email marketing or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising all enable you to hold your own against any competitor, regardless of their size. You can wow potential patients with a targeted, easy to navigate, mobile-friendly website or a stress-free customer journey, setting your clinic apart from your competitors before your physical location or number of treatment rooms is even a consideration.
2. Reduce your marketing spend on Yellow Pages, TV and Radio
In the drive to attract local footfall, most clinics have historically spent their marketing budgets on advertising in the Yellow Pages, on TV or radio, or by taking out press ads or distributing flyers door-to-door. However, this may not be the best use of your marketing spend.
With digital marketing methods, you can create highly targeted advertising for a fraction of the budget required for traditional marketing, whether you choose to run Facebook ads, a PPC campaign, or send out emails to your mailing list.
3. Simple to measure
One way that digital marketing trumps traditional marketing is that the results are simple to measure. With traditional marketing, it can be hard to pinpoint what marketing activity has prompted an enquiry – you only know people have seen your press ad or found your listing in the Yellow Pages if the patient tells you when they call. With digital marketing, on the other hand, you can see exactly how many people have opened your emails or clicked on your PPC ad in Google, and what action they took from there.
4. Real-time data
Much of the data you have at your fingertips with digital marketing is available in real time. For example, you will be able to see when people open your latest email or the busiest times on your Facebook page.
This is fantastic for building up a picture of your patients’ behaviour, such as when they’re online, what email subject lines they respond to, what topics interest them, and much, much more.
5. Adapt quickly to improve your results
Following on from the points above, having real-time detailed data to work from means that you can adapt quickly mid-campaign to improve your results.
This is hugely beneficial when compared to traditional marketing avenues which, once set in print, are difficult – if not impossible – to change until the next advertising cycle or print run.
6. Reach a larger audience
Digital marketing gives you the potential to reach a larger audience for greater exposure than through traditional marketing.
In the past, to reach a national audience, for example, you would have to have taken out a print ad in a national publication or advertised on a national TV station, the costs of which would often be prohibitive for small businesses.
Digital marketing enables you to reach international audiences via Google, social media, and various directories for a fraction of the costs.
7. Targeted, more accurate
On the flipside, digital marketing enables you to get really specific about who you want to target, why, when and how. You can email existing patients or just those who have expressed an interest in a specific treatment, for example, or create a Facebook ad for people with specific interests or who are ‘lookalikes’ of your most profitable patients. Ultimately, the more targeted your marketing is, the better your conversion rates, sales and return on investment should be.
8. Not as intrusive
Many people find digital marketing less intrusive than traditional marketing. Most of us expect to receive emails or see targeted Facebook ads that reflect our interests in our timeline, but find an unsolicited flyer or telemarketing call irritating at best.