Effective Advertising: What it means to invest in your brand’s growth.


It can seem that in today’s world, advertising is not driving the growth it used to. Massive amounts of money is spent on advertising, but more and more, that advertising is not being noticed and not leaving an impact on the intended audience. A few telling stats:

  • A study by the Advertising Research Foundation found that 69% of all US TV commercials receive no visual attention (putting up to $40 billion of investment at risk in the US alone); 27% air in an empty room.

  • Only 12% of supposedly ‘viewable’ ads are actually noticed by consumers, according to Lumen Research.

  • More than 600 million devices now have ad blocking, in what US journalist Doc Searls called the biggest boycott in history.

WARC outlines 5 constituent parts of effective advertising: 1. Invest in growth, 2. Balance your spend, 3. Be creative, be emotional, be distinctive, 4. Plan for reach, and 5. Plan for recognition

This blog will consider the first constituent: Invest in growth. This does not just mean investing money (although important), but investing time for strategy, research, and internal communication and goal setting.  

Investing in internal communication

Internal communication is crucial to successful marketing. It should be incorporated into a marketing plan at the beginning and throughout the campaign. It is important for your team to feel that their voices are heard, and they are contributing (if possible) or kept up to date with upcoming changes and plans. They must understand what the goals are and what is begin done to reach them. By being involved, they will be more like to be on-board with the general marketing direction and be advocates for your brand. They may also have some insider insight or ideas that would have otherwise gone unreported.

Investing time for research

The price-tag for market research can be hefty, but before beginning a strategic plan, it is important to know, not guess, how your brand is currently seen, who your competitors are, test market variables, understand your audience, and pinpoint opportunities better. Without market research, your dollars and time may be spent on the wrong focus.

Investing time for strategy

Take the time to plan. A strategic plan will define objectives, audience, messaging, challenges, opportunities, geographies, strategy, tactics, media, budget and timelines. Most importantly, a strategic plan will tell you what you should expect at various steps of the plan, which may be used to determine how effective your marketing is. Without taking time for a strategic plan, there will be no guide to determine best tactics, and it will be more difficult to measure success.

Investing money

To grow, you must ensure that your brand’s share of voice exceeds its share of market. To do this will require a budget. Keep in mind your brand size and the market. Does your brand have the space to grow, is it able to? Consider what media channels make the most sense for your brand to best connect with consumers. 

Lastly, focus on long term goals and revaluate your definition of ROI. Do not focus solely on the ROI ratio. Cutting your advertising budget may help the short-term ROI ratio, but it will damage the brand. Evidence from the landmark studies of Les Binet and Peter Field, on behalf of the UK trade body Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), suggests that an ideal split of marketing investment is 60% for long-term brand building and 40% designated for short-term activation. Advertising should be a long-term investment, and must involve strategic planning, research, milestone goals and timelines.



As an Account Manager, Melanie works with a variety of clients including Clearview Federal Credit Union, Community LIFE and Senior LIFE. She also manages public relations efforts for the agency and clients such as Solevo Wellness. 


Three Essential Elements in Healthcare Planning


In marketing, and specifically healthcare marketing, it’s remarkably easy to get caught in the weeds of executing a marketing plan, and eventually lose sight of who you are talking to. In order to establish manageable objectives with clear cut expected results for a campaign, we’ve found it’s helpful in the initial phases of planning to anchor the marketing strategy around three essential elements.


1.  Identify primary and secondary audiences

Most healthcare marketing campaigns target multiple groups of different audiences. This may be because there are numerous groups of end users and they need to cast a wide net (for example: a marketing campaign advertising an urgent care facility may target a lower income urban millennial man at the same time as targeting a high income middle aged suburban woman). Alternatively, there may be various groups of decision makers for the product or service, but with only one end user (a nursing facility may target the aging senior, the aging senior’s adult caregiving children, and referral sources such as hospital case managers and discharge planners).

The primary audience could be quite small (example: individuals with diabetes ages 65-70 in one specific zip code), or it might be quite large (example: all healthcare consumers in Pennsylvania).

Whatever the case, it’s important to define these separate audiences, as well as identify which audiences take priority over others for the campaign. It may be impossible to communicate to everyone you wish to reach, so, by establishing a clear group of top prospects, it will likely be easier and more manageable to create a successful campaign.


2.  Develop messages for each specific audience

It can be difficult to craft overall messaging that works for all audiences, and it’s downright impractical to think that one message can cover all your bases. It’s important to decipher which audiences are looking for which messages, and then create a portion of the campaign centered around that messaging.

In the example of the nursing facility, a hospital case manager (referral source) may be looking for a center that has a quick turnaround with admittance, while the caregiver/adult child is looking for a center that is close to their home. The aging senior may just be looking for a nursing facility that has friendly people, social interaction, and good food. Each of these messages is very distinct, and could stand on its own for a full campaign. If possible, separate creative executions should be developed to communicate these values to the multiple audiences.


3.  Use the appropriate media tactics to communicate each message

It is critical to connect the messaging you have with the people who are looking for it and want to learn more. You can’t communicate everything to everyone. Once the audiences have been identified and proper messaging has been developed, each audience needs to be served the content through a medium they are familiar with and actively use.

With the nursing facility, the caregiver/adult child will be more likely to see brand related material on social media or through Google Adwords while searching for solutions for their aging parent. The hospital case manager may consume messaging while viewing a brand sponsored eblast from a trusted resource. The aging senior might be more likely to see a TV spot during the 5 pm network news or read a print ad in the newspaper.

By mapping out these three elements before planning for a campaign, agency and client are more clearly able to establish specific objectives and expected results. Once the campaign is implemented, the campaign success can be measured by referring back to these components of the plan.


Anna Radder, Vice President

At Elisco, Anna leads the account and media team, in addition to handling key agency operations. She has worked with healthcare companies including Bayer Healthcare, Senior LIFE, Community LIFE, LIFE Pittsburgh, HealPros, Solevo Wellness, Medrad, medSage, Ohio Valley Hospital, Kane Regional Centers, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Lewistown Hospital, and others. Before joining Elisco, she worked at Energy BBDO in Chicago and GO Media Co. in Phoenix. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in Communication Arts.