Importance of an online presence
The online ads and paid search elements were the cornerstone of the bariatric campaign, partially because many obese patients have difficulties getting around, Adams says.
"An important factor in this campaign was to have a strong online presence," Stearns says. "Research has showed us that bariatric surgery patients are investigating programs to decide which is best for them, so a strong web presence was crucial."
By utilizing online ads and radio spots, MFSMC reached potential patients where they often spent their free time.
"The radio effort was designed to provide a foundation of broad message reach across the market, and was complimented by print ads in Baltimore Sun and the Aegis, a community newspaper with strong readership in the MFSMC service area," says Bob Cerasoli, president of Cerasoli Stafford Media Management.
"To build further targeted message frequency against our intended audience, web display ads were added to reach our target via their active use of the web for both entertainment and medical-related information pertaining to bariatrics."
The web mix included Pandora, HealthAdNet and Adnetik, which allowed MFSMC to follow the target both behaviorally and contextually across their web use. Combined, the ads produced nearly 20 million targeted impressions for the campaign.
The campaign also garnered 306 class registrations, four physician referrals, 5,401 pages views, and 4456 unique visitors. The campaign resulted in 40 scheduled cases in the first quarter of 2013, versus 27 scheduled cases in first quarter 2012.
"Obesity is a major health issue and many people are seeking solutions," Adams says. "This program is clearly meeting a need to improve people's life and health."