Bringing Digital Closer to Home: A Pet Cause Media Test

AUTHOR: Marshall Akita

When I saw the numbers on digital out of home (DOOH) advertising—numbers like 33% better performance compared to print advertising according to Nielsen—I was understandably skeptical. Despite the fact that my company runs DOOH ads in veterinary practices, and despite having confidence in our system, I wanted to know more about how DOOH functions in the veterinary environment. To get a better sense, our CEO, our veterinary advisors, and I put together a simple 60-day test program in three of our hospitals to see how placing a call-to-action type message on our digital signage systems would affect sales.

The results were, frankly, surprising. Within 60 days, year over year sales of our selected product (a feline heartworm preventive medication—notoriously hard to sell, especially in the winter) had risen from 114% to 142%—triple the lift generated by an ongoing staff awareness campaign being run by the national hospital group that owned the participating hospitals. We could not have hoped for much better out of our first trial with the system.

Though we were pleasantly surprised by our results, perhaps we should not have been. Our results seem to support the findings of top research firms that digital signage is a better medium for marketers to spread their message at the point of purchase than any other—including, as our trial shows, staff awareness campaigns. Informing the clients informed their demand, and the vets followed suit, writing more scripts for this specific feline heartworm medication. In turn, the vets did more business and, more importantly, did better medicine. Who can argue with that?

To learn more about our trial, you can download the study at:

http://petcausemedia.com/documents/PetCauseMedia-FelineHeartwormStudy-2months-2016.pdf


About Pet Cause Media

Pet Cause Media is the national leader in veterinary pre-education and digital out of home marketing in veterinary offices. We work closely with our veterinary and sponsor partners to ensure full compatibility and maximum results. Visit our website (petcausemedia.com) or contact Marshall Akita (marshall@petcausemedia.com) for more details.

 

http://petcausemedia.com/documents/PetCauseMedia-FelineHeartwormStudy-2months-2016.pdf

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My Least Favorite Question (For Now, At Least)

AUTHOR: Peter Alberti

Our Veterinary Pre-Education Technology™ systems are paid for by sponsorships.  We work hard to find companies whose products/services are well-aligned to the needs and preferences of veterinary practices, not just pet owners. Since sponsors are paying to get their message heard, they naturally want to reach as many pet owners as possible. So they often ask my least favorite question:

How big is your network right now?  How many practices are you in?

Ugh! I understand the question perfectly. It’s an age-old concept dating back to TV market sizes and magazine circulation volume.  And it’s a reasonable question to ask – in some circumstances. But instead of asking to determine maximum reach, most people ask it to evaluate our pricing – how many people will I reach for the money I’m spending?

But that question isn’t relevant to our pricing!  Here’s why:

The Flexibility of Digital Out Of Home Marketing 

There are many benefits of digital marketing. A major perk is how fast, easy, cheap and flexible it is to deploy content.  The overall size of a digital network is not the best way to evaluate or plan a campaign’s pricing.  Because content can be deployed anywhere, any time, the “old school” style of evaluating reach is not applicable.  For example:

  • When you purchase air time in a TV or radio market, you can’t choose to divide it up and only show an ad to a subset of the market.  With a digital network – you can!
  • When you place an ad in a magazine or newspaper, you can’t select which copies will run the ad and which ones won’t.  With a digital network – you can choose which screens to run on.
  • When you buy space on a billboard, your audience size, quality and dwell time are relatively unpredictable.  With a digital network, you can get much more accurate demographic targeting and reach estimates.

Apples to Apples

There are some standards for performance and pricing metrics with Digital Out of Home systems, but transparency and consistency across different platforms and industries is still elusive.  The best piece of advice I have for anyone evaluating digital marketing proposals is:  Make sure you’re comparing similar numbers.

  • Terms like “reach” and “impressions” mean different things to different people.
  • CPM (cost per thousand) is also characterized in various ways – be sure you’re clear on exactly how each proposal defines or calculates it
  • The environment in which a digital impression is delivered matters – a lot. An ad viewed for less than 1 second while scrolling through a Facebook stream is very different from a message that’s integrated as part of an educational content segment in a veterinary waiting room.  Even medical office environments can vary. For example in human health waiting rooms audiences tend to keep their smartphones out, whereas in veterinary offices the phone gets put away in favor of keeping attention on the pet(s).

In summary, it’s completely appropriate to ask about the size of our network, as long as you’re evaluating the maximum reach you can acquire.  But since we configure our pricing based on segments of the total available market size, we always come in at very competitive Digital Out of Home rates.  And they are NOT based on the total size of our network.


About Pet Cause Media

Pet Cause Media is the national leader in veterinary pre-education and digital out of home marketing in veterinary offices. We work closely with our veterinary and sponsor partners to ensure full compatibility and maximum results. Visit our website (petcausemedia.com) or contact Marshall Akita (marshall@petcausemedia.com) for more details.

Presenting a Diversified Media Campaign

AUTHOR: Marshall Akita 

In my post from January 2nd, The Truth About the Omnishopper, I mentioned three ways in which you could work to make your product’s messaging feel good to the modern consumer. Here I go deeper into the last—presenting a diversified media campaign.

Diversity can be an ally or an enemy in the effort to win over customers. At its best, a diversified campaign allows a marketer to familiarize the audience with the product, to make multiple touches, and to become an accepted part of their accepted daily experience. At its worst, a diversified campaign can feel inescapable, with overbearing ads encircling the potential customer at every turn. The differences between these two can be small, but their effects will always be great.

First, a good diversified campaign should always strive to add value to the customer’s experience. Customers don’t want to be subjected to ads, but if they can be engaged by them, all of a sudden the throngs of potential customers become an audience. This is the key to successful marketing in general, but in a diversified, omni-channel campaign, it is of the utmost importance. Failure to create content that a customer would seek out on their own will make any campaign feel like an overwhelming mass of commercialism, not the welcoming reminder that you are hoping for.

When putting together an omni-channel campaign, remember not only to add value, but to add value in different ways. If you see the exact same content everywhere you go, no matter how good it was the first time, it will start to get old. Consistent messaging and aesthetic values are good things—identical is not. Variety and diversity should go hand in hand with your omni-channel marketing efforts. In essence, you are providing the consumer more value by doing so, and they will respond positively.

Finally, it is essential that you know what messaging you are running where. When is the last time that you truly felt that a banner ad on a webpage had added value? Find when and where your consumers make their decisions, and find a way to add value to that decision. Point of purchase signage, especially digital signage, is a great way to do this, as it can help you raise awareness of your message or provide an extra touch right before the customer chooses a product. When used to flesh out an existing campaign, point of purchase signage is an excellent way to reinforce a robust marketing effort and is quickly becoming an indispensable tool in the arsenal of sophisticated marketers.

For more information on digital signage and the surprising effects that it can have in creating sales lift, look for my upcoming blog post Bringing Digital Closer to Home: A Pet Cause Media Test.


About Pet Cause Media

Pet Cause Media is the national leader in veterinary pre-education and digital out of home marketing in veterinary offices. We work closely with our veterinary and sponsor partners to ensure full compatibility and maximum results. Visit our website (petcausemedia.com) or contact Marshall Akita (marshall@petcausemedia.com) for more details.