Traditional vs. Digital Marketing in the Hearing Industry

The terms “traditional marketing” and “digital marketing” are thrown around a lot in marketing conversations these days. Many agencies tend to be exclusive to servicing one form or the other and oftentimes this results in competition between the two and disparate marketing efforts that aren’t cohesive. This can often be a challenge for hearing industry professionals to navigate, leaving them to wonder, where should they be investing their marketing dollars?

First, it’s important to define the difference between the two forms of marketing. The term “traditional marketing” often has a negative connotation. People tend to assume that “traditional” means “dated” or “old fashioned” and thus they assume that the mediums are not as relevant in today’s market. Surely, that could be the case for some industries, but it is most certainly not the case within the hearing industry. The marketing channels that tend to fall under “Traditional Marketing” include tv commercials, radio ads, billboards, newspaper ads, and direct mail. Generally, anything that tends to be printed or has physical tangibility is classified as traditional marketing.

Of course, we all know that we are now living in the “digital age”. This does not mean that the traditional mediums are irrelevant but that we now have additional marketing mediums that exist as ways for businesses to reach their consumers. The channels of “digital marketing” include; Social Media, Websites, Online Content, Email, Pay Per Click, Online Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization, and Search Engine Marketing. These mediums tend to be less physically tangible but allow for even more reach and viewer impressions than ever previously imagined possible for small and medium-sized businesses. 

For some industries, they find that their target audience is younger and may not be spending as much time watching tv or reading the newspaper as they are spending it online browsing social media feeds or watching youtube videos, and so those industries opt for an entirely digital focus. Within the hearing industry, we know that our audiences are a bit broader when it comes to their ages and how they spend their time. Hearing healthcare practices are often seeing a wide variety of patients from multiple generations and age ranges. This means hearing healthcare providers must consider which marketing mediums would offer the highest quality of patient engagement and leads in exchange for their limited marketing budgets.

As marketing experts within the hearing industry, we can confirm that the best way for hearing practices to spend their marketing dollars is actually to spread the budgets across the entire patient journey – both traditional and digital marketing channels. In fact, we know that businesses that pair direct mail with digital marketing see a 52% increase in conversion rates compared to those who don’t utilize both. Using consistent branding and designs throughout multiple channels in both traditional and digital genres will not only improve your brand recognition when it comes to new bookable appointments but it will also help you to create a lasting impression that fosters a supportive and engaging relationship with your patients.

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