The News Chair
  1. Advertising Healthcare in the Digital Age

    March 7, 2018 by Sam Watermeier

    What is the first thing you do when you’re feeling under the weather? You probably hop on the internet to research your symptoms, right?

    These days, people do their homework before scheduling any kind of medical appointment. When they have a medical issue, they tend to start combating it online. In fact, one in every 20 searches on Google is healthcare-related, and those who are in-market for services tend to gather information on Google before taking any action.

    Cyberspace is the place to be when it comes to connecting with potential patients. Although you can certainly catch consumers’ eyes with billboards on the highway and ads in the local newspaper, you have an even better chance of grabbing their attention online.

    When we steer new healthcare clients toward digital advertising, they often worry about their companies getting lost in the clutter of online information. Are you hesitant to make the leap into the digital world? Let’s dive in together and look at the benefits of digital advertising. 

    The Measurability of Digital Advertising

    Traditional marketing methods, such as billboards or television commercials, don’t always produce tangible results.

    With digital advertising, you can access analytics that show you how ads are performing and what kind of progress you’re making. You can see …

    • The demographics you’re reaching
    • What time of day the ads are reaching the most people
    • How many users are clicking on the ads
    • The amount of conversions — the number of users taking actions to become patients (filling out contact forms, calling the medical office, scheduling appointments, etc.)
    • The cost per conversion 

    Here’s a sample of a report from our digital advertising strategist Christy Stewart that shows the positive results of the Facebook display ads and Google search ads we created for one of our healthcare clients.

    As you can see, this report shows a significant increase in conversions and website traffic coming directly from our digital advertising efforts.

    The measurability of digital advertising helps our healthcare clients refine their strategies, defend their marketing budgets and determine what is giving them the best return on investment.

    Standing Out in Cyberspace

    One of the main concerns we hear from healthcare companies is the worry that they will fail to stand out online. But with digital advertising, we can …

    • Target specific audiences
    • Zero in on your market by geographic location (a.k.a. “geotargeting”)
    • Reach the top of search listings
    • Turn off the ads that aren’t performing well to save room in the budget for the ads yielding positive results

    “It’s easy to be nimble with digital advertising. You can change your ads with the click of a mouse.” — Christy Stewart, Digital Advertising Strategist

    The bottom line is that when people are scrolling through content on their computers and smart phones, they’re frequently looking for a health organization like yours. All you have to do is put yourself out there for them to find. And after collaborating with several healthcare clients on digital advertising, we can assure you that this is one of the most effective ways to boost your business.

  2. How to Deal with Backlash Starbucks-Style

    November 13, 2015 by Sam Watermeier

    Starbucks Red Cup

    The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply in the business world. When a company changes its look or packaging, people are bound to have opinions about it. The discussion surrounding Starbucks’ new holiday cups is hotter than the drinks inside them.

    This holiday season, Starbucks is doing away with doodles of reindeer and snowflakes, opting for solid red cups.

    Jeffrey Fields — the vice president for design and content at Starbucks — said, “We’re embracing the simplicity and quietness of (the season).”

    The reaction has been anything but quiet, sparking a viral campaign started by a former pastor in Arizona and criticism from a few conservative groups.

    “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus,” former pastor Joshua Feuerstein wrote on his Facebook wall last Thursday. He later posted a video on Facebook petitioning people to give their name as “Merry Christmas” when ordering at Starbucks, thus forcing baristas to write it on the cups. (The video has been viewed more than 12 million times and shared more than 400,000 times.)

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    Ironically, all this did was confirm Starbucks’ initial goal — to inspire customers to bring their own holiday spirit to the cups.

    “Starbucks is inviting our customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way, with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas,” the company said in a statement to TODAY.

    Starbucks took a cue from customers who doodle designs on their cups all year round. “Over the past few years, our customers have been showcasing their work on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, and we even held a contest to support this creativity. This year’s design is another way we are inviting our customers to create their own stories on our cups,” the company said.

    Starbucks reaction to the backlash in the best way possible. The response was fast but not furious. The company seemed to follow Online Reputation Management’s advice — “make your response professional and levelheaded, avoiding defensiveness or pointing fingers.”

    In response to Feuerstein’s angry video and social media campaign, Starbucks issued this calm, positive statement about what the company aims to offer customers: “Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks, and each year during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season. Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”

    Starbucks set a good example for all companies here, taking the high road even when customers hit low blows.