Traditional advertising

Planning mass media spending strategically with a 50/50 split

Healthcare marketing budgets are being gobbled up by a serious addiction that’s also hindering work performance. Of course, we’re talking about the addiction to mass media. Don’t get us wrong, mass media has its place. It’s great for increasing awareness, brand building and reputation management. However, at Smith & Jones, we have found that the perfect balance of mass media to digital media channels is a 50/50 split.

To be blunt, news consumption in newspapers, radio and television are on the decline. The days of local television news and print newspapers will soon be behind us. The savvy patients of today are searching for health information on their own time, and they’re looking for authoritative and trustworthy sources for their second and third opinions. Because of this, it’s more important than ever for healthcare organizations to plan their paid media strategically.

We understand that the mass media detox is more easily said than done, both for marketers and internal audiences, such as the hospital c-suite and physicians. Here are some ways to buy traditional advertising wisely:


While television news consumption is on the decline, television viewership overall remains strong. Rethink your television buy by focusing on popular, prime time shows, sporting events, and cherry picking cable programming that appeals to the target demo.


Allocate print media dollars to online news sources and native advertising. Talk with your local papers about sponsoring a health column written by your physicians or a wellness education event.


We all joke about the billboards that feature doctors in crisp white coats, with arms crossed and a knowing face that says, “I’m an expert.” This won’t make patients book an appointment with your office, but outdoor can be a great channel depending on the campaign and market. We design billboards with as little words as possible that say a lot more, so people whizzing by at 65 MPH are able to absorb the message and act accordingly.


Over the years, we’ve found that radio works best for a limited time offer or event. We suggest hospitals and health systems only use this medium if they’re promoting a new practice opening, or are having an open house or community event, such as a wellness education program or benefit for the foundation.

If you need help reorganizing your traditional media spend for your new goals and campaigns, contact us. We’ll wean you off your traditional media habits and help you form a solid strategy to demonstrate ROI.