Three Simple Steps to a Strategic Mix of Traditional and Digital Advertising

By Sarah Fleischer, Strategic Services Director

There is no debate as to whether digital advertising needs to be a part of your total strategic mix. In 2017, digital advertising outspent TV advertising for the first time ever, making up about 41 percent of the market. This figure is anticipated to grow to more than 50 percent by 2020.

Finding a mix of traditional and digital senior living advertising is key to your community's success

But does this mean that your organization should be spending 41 to 50 percent of its advertising dollars on digital senior living advertising? How do you determine the right mix of digital and traditional advertising for your organization?

Start with strategy

When it comes to figuring out your strategic mix of traditional and digital senior living advertising, it’s important to remember that the strategy comes first, then the tactics. A sound strategy starts with understanding the purpose and value of both traditional and digital. Think of traditional and digital as the yin and yang of advertising. Where traditional pulls, digital pushes.

While traditional media (print ads, TV, billboards) focuses on sellers finding buyers, digital media (CPC, squeeze pages, video) is the exact opposite – it’s a strategy where buyers find sellers. Here are some other helpful points of contrast between the two strategies:

  • Traditional media positions products through advertising; digital nurtures prospects through informational and educational content marketing.
  • Traditional media is episodic; digital is continuous.
  • Traditional media puts the advertiser in control; digital media puts the user in control.

Harmonizing traditional and digital senior living advertising

Both are necessary parts of a confluent marketing strategy. So where do you start? Here are three steps to help you get on the right path:

  1. Identify where your leads come from. Ideally, you are already tracking where you advertise and the response to your programs. If not, now is a great time to start. The best way to know how your advertising program is performing is to track the responses to your campaigns. For traditional advertising, you can use distinct call tracking numbers on each ad to see how many leads the ad generates. For digital, there are numerous tools (e.g. Google Analytics) to see exactly how your campaigns perform.
  2. Follow your leads down the sales funnel. Equally important to knowing how many leads each of your lead sources generate is to know how many of those leads turn into actual sales. This is the true measure of success for your advertising.
  3. Identify your cost per lead, per source. Now we’re starting to talk budget numbers. Yes, there is always the unquantifiable value of general awareness and branding, but you should be able to determine a ballpark figure of how much it costs to generate a lead.

Once you have this information, you can project how many leads you will need from each source to achieve your sales goals, and from there, determine how much money you should be spending on each outlet.

Examining these numbers will not only make your advertising mix clearer, but is also key to building the foundation of a strategic marketing plan to identify priorities and inform all tactical decisions.

BONUS: Three keys to maximizing your advertising programs

  • Make Traditional and Digital Best Friends
    • By separating digital from traditional, you miss the opportunity to cross promote and to make the most of both opportunities. Make sure that every traditional ad has a URL on it and every digital ad pushes to a squeeze page, encouraging people to fill out a form and be contacted by a person (or nurtured through an email drip campaign first).
  • Maximize your Mobile

Mobile advertising will be paramount to successful digital senior living advertising

  • Track, Analyze, Adjust, Repeat
    • Use key data points such as form analytics and results of A/B testing to constantly evolve your approach. Track key metrics such as cost per click (CPC), conversions, conversion rate, and cost per conversion to provide benchmarks for KPIs and to refine marketing investments and strategy over time.

If you are still unsure of how (or why) to incorporate a mix of traditional and digital senior living advertising into your strategy, we can help. Let’s chat!


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