In this episode, Barbara and Mary Ann discuss:
- How the COVID-19 Pandemic affected Media Consumption
- How Older and Younger Generations are consuming Media
- What Media Platforms are Rising
- How Media Marketing and Advertising can Help your Medical Practice
“When you’re running a medical practice, the last thing you need on your plate is to also manage the media buys and your advertising.” – Mary Ann Pruitt
Connect with Mary Ann Pruitt
Connect with Barbara Hales:
Business website: www.TheMedicalStrategist.com
Show website: www.MarketingTipsForDoctors.com
Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors. I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Today we have with us, Mary Ann Pruitt. She is the CEO and President of Mosaic Media, a collection of media buying experts and creative strategists who negotiate, purchase and monitor advertising space and airtime.
Mary Ann is here today to share some marketing wisdom, gleaned from her extensive career in media strategy, and how it relates to the ever-evolving climate of media.
You could not have come at a better time Mary Ann because this is such a confusing topic for most of us out there. So welcome to the show.
Mary Ann Pruitt: Thank you for having me on. I’m really looking forward to it.
Is Traditional Media Dead?
Dr. Barbara Hales: Is traditional media dead? How do you do a hybrid of digital and traditional together, or now that newspapers and magazines are kind of going by the wayside? Is it still worth investing, advertising in there?
Mary Ann Pruitt: What we find is a traditional media is not dead. Actually, during the last 18 months, we’ve seen an uptick in local news and local traditional platforms that happened because of the pandemic. And various things that have happened over the last 18 months, people wanted local information. So we’ve actually seen media consumption behaviors increase in our traditional platforms, more on the TV and radio side than on the print side.
What we see on the evolution of print is it’s becoming very trade-specific publications. That’s where we’re finding that traditional media is not dead on the print side. You have your various things for your audience, the smaller the market you are in as a doctor and as a medical provider, the more you should be looking at local radio and local TV news, specifically, during this timeframe.
How are we looking at it with digital, there’s quite a bit we should be doing specifically in the medical field with whichever kind of practice you’re doing to make sure that you have that mix and omnichannel approach so that your traditional and digital are working together.
Advertising on various social media sites
Dr. Barbara Hales: What do you think about advertising on various social media sites?
Mary Ann Pruitt: It’s a really important place. One thing that’s interesting in today’s world and market is that we are able to have that omnichannel approach with a budget-friendly option. But we’re also able to target our target demographics and now getting into layers of behaviors, not just the demographic. So we’re no longer just targeting a woman that’s 25 to 54 years old. We’re actually able to target the woman that’s 42 years old that is looking for a new dentist for her family. Or we’re able to target various behaviors that go along that with that medical decision.
On the social platforms, what we saw in the last 18 months was our older audiences turning to social more than they ever have before. What we should have seen as a 10-year evolution actually took place overnight where all of our older audiences were consuming social media to get their news to get their information. So this is actually a platform now where we can get older generations and older audiences in our ad spend and social platforms.
Explaining Marketing and Budgeting
Dr. Barbara Hales: When a potential client comes to you who’s uninitiated and says, “I have not ever done marketing before. I have no clue as to the budget that I would need to set aside for that”, what would you tell that person?
Mary Ann Pruitt: The first thing we do is we start and we look at a basic model and we go back and try to make this as simple as possible. Start with who you want to target in your audience. Who’s the audience that you want to get ahold of? Are these people looking for a new medical provider? Are these individuals trying to treat a specific pain point that they are trying to treat? Who is it that you’re trying to target? The next step that we go into that are what are the tactics that we want to put behind that. And then what are the budgets that you want to put.
Paid media is confusing, it is very expertise and we try to take the confusion out of it. That’s our goal and plan. To work with clients is to actually make this as simple as possible. Let’s not make it more complicated than it needs to be. We can do the back end, and anybody who does the placement and how they handle things, we can do the bidding, and we can do all those things. But we can help you develop those tactics, and those plans, and strategies for reaching the patients that you’re looking for.
Media Buying 101
Dr. Barbara Hales: You have a program called media buying 101, could you tell us a little bit about that?
Mary Ann Pruitt: I like to go back to basics. So this is something that when people come to us, I talk to them quite a bit. And I’ve been published using this media buying 101 is let’s look at the basics. What are we doing? What are your goals with your media buys? Let’s look at then what omnichannel options do we want to have? How much a traditional do we want to have? How much digital do we want to have?
- Start with who’s your target audience?
- Look and see the behaviors that go within that target audience.
- Where is your audience best reached?
Then we figure out the creative that goes with that. There’s a misnomer that you have to have all your creative figured out first, and then you can figure out where you’re going to place it. And really the two need to go hand in hand. You need to be looking at who your target audience is first, where they’re going to be reached, and then figure out the creative side of how they’re going to be reached and with what message.
When you take that simple approach and take a step back, it really is not that difficult and it’s not that hard. A lot of people in media try to make it a lot harder than it is. But if you just take the simple steps, and you’re able to head into the direction of what you want to head into, and you’re able to identify who your target audience is first, and then figure out where they are, then you go from there. But that’s how we help you. For professionals like us, we try to help you find out exactly where your audience is. And then we develop that plan to reach that audience.
How Helpful is Local TV?
Dr. Barbara Hales: A moment ago, you said that being on local TV is very helpful. How does one get on local TV?
Mary Ann Pruitt: For individuals that are interested in being local TV, local radio, or in any digital space, one of the best ways is to get a hold of a media buying individual. Like what we do, because it’s now media reps, you can go directly to the channels, you’re not going to get the best rate. You need it to be negotiated for you on your behalf and individuals like us negotiate those for you. We negotiate it down to where it needs to be. And then also you don’t have to worry about which channel my on, which channel my not on. We have all the data sets that show us which channels you should be on and which channels you shouldn’t be on. And what is a good cost and what is not a good cost and what is a good schedule and what’s not a good schedule?
The first step is to contact somebody like us. We then put your budget together for you. We work with you on what kind of budget you are looking for, who you are targeting, and then going into that specific market. So we do a placement in all 50 states, and we work with television, radio, and digital platforms all throughout the country. So we have experience in all 50 states and being able to do that placement. We’re able to contact the stations, negotiate on your behalf, put the contracts together, and carry out the contract so you don’t have to do it. That’s the easiest way to do it because when you’re running a medical practice, the last thing you need on your plate is to also manage the media buys and your advertising. That’s a lot on your plate. That’s a lot to do. So it’s best to outsource that.
Is Radio Still Relevant?
Dr. Barbara Hales: Does anybody still listen to the radio?
Mary Ann Pruitt: They do. What’s really interesting, we found during the pandemic that younger audiences started listening to local radio as if it was a new platform. They started listening to it because they wanted to know what is going on in their town. They discovered that the radio gives them information about their town. We saw the older generations jump to social media, and the younger generations went to traditional platforms. And it’s so fascinating to see how this has shifted and changed. And they’ve stayed there because we’ve actually created consumer habits out of this. So it’s very interesting to see.
There are still elements where you have the digital form of radio as well not just over the air. You may be consuming the local radio station, but maybe in a different way than it’s been consumed before in a more digital platform.
And looking at medical practices, your paid search is very important. Make sure that you are doing your paid search in the digital space. Then take it back to the social media side. Your paid ads on social are important as well. But you should be looking at a few tactics and things in the digital space that will work with your traditional space. Look at both, not just one.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Transformed Media Consumption
Dr. Barbara Hales: When you say the media has changed with the pandemic, are you referring to younger audiences discovering radio, or is it something else involved?
Mary Ann Pruitt: We’ve seen consumer habits change. We are seeing more streaming and more podcasts consumption. Older generations are shifting to social media, and getting their news that way. We’re seeing the younger generations rediscovering platforms that have been around for hundreds of years existed.
The most recent study that just came out shows us that the younger demographics are on social and digital platforms to kill time, as opposed to consuming news, where our older generations are there to consume news and to get information on that platform. So we’ve seen the shift, the tactics, also in the digital space that we’re able to use are a little different. And what we’re able to really carry out in the digital space is quite interesting as well.
The Rise of Podcast Consumption
Dr. Barbara Hales: Now in terms of the evolution of media consumer habits, are you discussing podcasts by that? Or is there something else that we’re missing?
Mary Ann Pruitt: Podcasting. We saw podcasting consumption go through the roof, we just saw an uptick in that. We’ve also seen over-the-top television go through the roof. With streaming services, you’re seeing more people consuming TV. That goes into a programmatic way of placements and ad buys of how you’re getting into those videos. To add to that as well, we saw video consumption is now becoming a key thing in our advertising world. How are we doing not just display ads, but how are we delivering a video to individuals. So whether it be pre-roll or mid-roll, and you’re doing your video portion of it is very important as well.
Helping Doctors with Media Marketing and Advertising
Dr. Barbara Hales: Are you helping doctor’s offices create their videos?
Mary Ann Pruitt: We do consult on that side. Usually, we bring in another part. We hang out in the media space, which is our expertise. But we are depending on which market you’re in. We can refer you to somebody or help you with figuring that piece out for sure. What would be the best tactic, but the best message to go with that tactic is what we can help with.
Tips for Marketing and Media Usage
Dr. Barbara Hales: What are two tips that you could give today to help people implement a program of marketing and media usage that they may not have done before?
Mary Ann Pruitt: One thing that is important for medical practices that we can do and it’s a unique tactic to use specifically is called “Conquesting.” It’s in the digital space where you’re targeting your competition. When you are walking in the door of your competitor, we’re tagging them to retarget them with your ad. And you’re able to do that. So that’s a tip in the digital space of something to think about. No matter, which field of medical practice you’re in, you are competitive. You’re will have to find ways to stand out. So there are ways that you can conquest and actually bring forward your ad when someone’s been in your competitors or near your competitor, that’s something that we’ve seen much success with.
Your paid search is really important. Make sure that you are showing up at the top. You need to show up at the top of the page. You need to be showing up at the very beginning and making sure that your paid search is there and that your website is ready to handle that. You can also add conversion tracking to that paid search and track the calls that you’re getting from it. In digital space, we can track it, we can put conversion tracking on that, and we can see and track those calls to see how many calls you’re getting from that.
I cannot emphasize enough that you have to go back to the basics of remembering who your target audience is and build a strategy about reaching that target audience and building a stretch. It seems so basic, but it really is the most important step that’s often skipped.
Reach out to Mary Ann Pruitt
Dr. Barbara Hales: For our listeners out there that are planning to just jump in both feet forward and speak to Marian Pruitt, how can they reach you?
Mary Ann Pruitt: They can reach me directly on the website, if you go to https://mosaic.agency/contact, that comes straight to my email and I’ll be able to reach out to you directly. We’re happy to help and if you want to just pick our brains, we’re here to help.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Thank you so much for coming here today. I’m sure my listeners have learned a lot.
Mary Ann Pruitt: Thank you so much for having me. I’ve really enjoyed it.