Seven places to put your advertising dollar in 2008

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

LA chiropractorFirst things first, if you noticed some posts made on the weekend that are not appearing today, it’s because I’m a dumbass that didn’t backup my WordPress database (or other web server files) and the server had a fairly serious crash late Sunday night, losing everything on the server created after Thursday. Teaches me to spend the weekend updating information on the web site, and posting silly photos of me and my dogs.

OK, my friend and Orange County SEO guru, CK Chung, had a post on this site last week about online ad spending and how the Internet is kicking ass on other forms of advertisement. He has a nifty chart with data from Nielsen analytics, so I won’t be copying it over here. I do want to address some of the top places people are investing in marketing and see if we could niche that out a bit. As some of you know, last year my Los Angeles Chiropractic office purposely placed ads in every local print Yellow Pages directory we could, just so we could have some marketing data to measure and share with others, yeah and hopefully get some new clients.

We got clients, but those numbers were nothing compared to what was coming in from referrals and from what we were doing online. You may not be a chiropractor, but if you own a small business, this marketing info will likely apply to your industry as well. Hopefully there is something here that will help you prosper.

  1. Internet: I’m not going to define that for you, that’s going to be up to you. Right now, PPC (pay per click) advertising is red-hot, so you may want to be looking into that.
  2. National Magazines: According to the data, advertising in national magazines is up, and it’s looking like a good place to be in. It may not make sense for a single office to be in a national magazine, but that’s where creativity comes in. I recently saw about a half-dozen cosmetic surgery centers sprinkled across the United States, chip in for a full-page ad in a national magazine. Excellent strategy of pulling together ad dollars.
  3. National Sunday Supplements: These are those sections that go out with papers like the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News on Sundays. Again, borrow from the strategy above if you are a small business planning to do this on a national level.
  4. Outdoor Advertising: For a chiropractor, a billboard in the Southern California area is almost out of the question, as costs can be fairly significant. Much more affordable are outdoor advertising opportunities such as bus benches. In the Santa Monica area, bus benches are very popular with dentists, local realtors, mortgage brokers, and chiropractors. In states like Illinois and Michigan, massive (in size, not quantity) billboard advertising can be far more affordable. Chiropractors I know that have done so in the past include Kathy McAuliffe and Thomas Bossart.
  5. Spot TV Markets & Cable-Television: Dr. Steve Visentin in Denver, Colorado has been doing television for several years. Again, this may be more affordable in markets other than Los Angeles, but even in Southern Cal, the rates are not too bad. Several chiropractic offices in the West Los Angeles area advertising on TV.
  6. Spanish-Language Television: Obviously, it helps if you speak Spanish in your business. I can tell you from experience, you don’t need to be an expert. My staff speaks fluent Spanish, and I know all the basics that I need to so I can effectively care for Spanish-speaking people in my community. Check out what opportunities may be available in your area and see if you can reach this market.
  7. Spot Radio: You can do half-hour radio broadcasts like a chiropractor I know in Bolingbrook, Illinois. He has reported great success with his radio program, and he gets a lot of really great health information out to his community, on a regular basis. It’s a total win-win situation. If you’re looking to do radio advertising, the best radio ads I’ve ever heard in the chiropractic industry, come from the office of Dr. Suzanne Frye in Lancaster, California. I’m going to see if I can talk her into letting me post some chiropractic commercials to this blog, they are awesome.

That’s the top seven. Notice that yellow page advertising is nowhere on the list. Obviously you don’t want to miss out on Internet opportunities, but don’t miss the biggest opportunity you already have for building new business. Continue providing great service to those people that are already clients, and ask for their referrals, the results may amaze you.

Best of health to you!