Is it time to apply an “out with the old, in with the new” strategy to declutter more than your closet? The answer may be yes if you’re not seeing the results you had hoped from your outdoor advertising.

Many healthcare providers make the mistake of committing a large part of their marketing budget to billboards that are poorly executed or simply unnecessary. Here are three ways to determine if billboards are right for your hospital or practice:

1.  You’re pointing the way.

If your goal is to let people know where your hospital or practice is located, especially if it’s hard to find, a billboard is a great option. Consider using it as a super-sized sign. And here’s some good news – you may only need to invest in one board.

Be sure to visit or view the location before you commit. Obstacles such as a tree or weather damage affect billboard visibility. Observe whether drivers come upon it slowly or suddenly.

If you choose a billboard on a busy highway or interstate, ask your outdoor company to share the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) for that location. Understand how much exposure you’re paying for.

2.  You’re conveying a simple message.

Remember, you only have about five seconds to grab attention. People don’t notice billboards like they used to because they’re engaged with cell phones, GPS, and other technologies. 

Steer clear of outdoor advertising if you can’t communicate a concise message in seven words or less. Announce a name change by saying, “We’re Now Mercy Eye Center” or drive traffic to your urgent care clinic with a phrase like “Get Your Flu Shot Today”.

Choose high-contrast colors and one strong image. Clever creative can be memorable, but only when the call to action is clear.

3.  You’re not focused on ROI.

An ideal marketing campaign engages directly with a target audience and is measured with analytics. If you need to show your CEO or physician partners how marketing dollars have contributed to patient acquisition or bottom-line revenue, stick with accountable media.

Digital advertising like SEM (search engine marketing) or social offers trackable engagement that can be tied directly to appointments. Outdoor advertising is not easily measured beyond the number of impressions.

Unsure if you have an effective marketing mix for your hospital or practice? Talk to us. We’ll discuss your goals and develop a solution that’s right for you.