I have a lot of friends in the TV, magazine, and newspaper business, and they’re probably not going to like this… but luckily for them, we’re all irrational decision makers.

We See One Thing, Do Another

  • We see people walking down the street, in their car, in the back of an Uber on their phones, but medical practices still buy billboard ads.
  • People get the morning news on their phones, but medical practices still buy newspaper ads.
  • Doctors’ waiting rooms are full of people on their phones, but medical practices still buy magazine ads.
  • We see people pick up their phones as soon as TV commercials come on, but companies still buy TV ads.

Where the attention really is

We can see where all the attention really is: mobile devices. But we’re still spending money where there’s less and less attention. It’s not that these types of advertising don’t work, it’s that the cost is high and the return is low, compared to digital ads.


Local Magazine Ad: $1,500 to $2,000 – difficult to measure results, but probably not getting 500+ people to the website, looking at your locations, doctors, and scheduling appointments.

Medical Practice Magazine Ad

Facebook Ad: $500 investment getting over 500 people to the website.  Many of them booked appointments, and a lot of them looked around the site and are in the consideration phase.  Even more powerful – we can then deliver ads just to these people who visited the website and expressed an interest in these services.  That helps reduce ad costs and tailor the offer to potential patients.
Facebook Ads Medical Practices Mobile Optimized

The Importance of Mobile-Ready Ads and Landing Pages

The most important takeaway, though, is the mobile and desktop breakdown.  Of all the clicks on the Facebook ad, only 11 were from a desktop and 513 were on mobile. This is a perfect example of why your ads and your landing pages need to be optimized for mobile.  Most people who see them and click on them are going to be on their cellphones.

You’ll never get this level of reporting, impact, or return on investment from a magazine ad.

Why do we keep investing in traditional media?

So, why do people keep investing in TV, magazines, and newspapers? It’s what they know. They’ve done it year after year, and it’s familiar.

Doing the same thing is easy, change is hard. If it wasn’t, we’d all be skinnier and we’d all have more money.