I got an urgent request for a phone call from an advisor in the Power Prospecting Program. He wanted to speak with me about whether to invest $2400 in an ad in a magazine that has a high doctor subscription rate.
Here are the questions I generally ask advisors who inquire about marketing investments—and specifically paid advertising.
Why are you placing the ad?
Usually the answer is, “To generate doctor leads.”
Then I ask, “Why do you want to generate doctor leads?”
The answer is usually, “To get more doctor clients!”
Then I ask the question, “Why do you want more doctor clients?”
The answer is usually, “To generate more revenue!”
Voila! Now we can address the real question: Will placing the right ad in this publication lead to more revenue?
This answer is not always immediately obvious.
The magazine employee will tell you a story about how much you’ll benefit from getting your message in front of the eyeballs of this many doctor prospects.
So will the employee selling advertising for medical associations.
They want you to believe that they represent your best interests.
Just to be clear, they are there to sell ads. At the end of the day, that’s what ’s important to them.
They often use urgency and scarcity as persuasion tools because they work!
Here are some questions to help you dig deeper to made an informed choice.
Who is the target reader for this publication?
My client told me that the person selling the magazine ads related that lots of doctors subscribe to this publication.
I went on the publication web site and it looked like the magazine was NOT for the doctors to read—it was for doctors to put in their waiting rooms for their patients to read.
My client said, “The ad salesperson said that doctors flip through the publication to see if they’re listed as a top doctor.” I responded, “That may well be true; however, if the doctor is not reading the publication, what are the chances that that they’ll see your ad?”
Then I asked, “What do you think a patient would think about an ad telling doctors how they can build wealth? If a doctor saw that ad, would the magazine remain in the doctor’s waiting room?”
What kinds of responses have you gotten from similar ad campaigns you placed in the past?
Paid ads can help you achieve your business results faster. You buy speed.
However, there are many moving parts in a successful paid ad campaign.
Just like you need to get all of the right digits in the right order to successfully place a phone call, so, too, you need to get all the ad elements right to see a return on your investment.
You need the right ad copy and the right offer and the right images to see a ROI for your ad investment.
This does not happen by accident and it rarely happens on the first try.
Most financial advisors NEVER get a single client from an ad. Their return on the investment is ZERO.
The typical ad delivers the message, “Here’s who I am and what I do.” The advisors put themselves in the limelight.
However, ads that work put the prospect in the limelight. Your ad could say, “Doctor, have you ever wondered…? Get our free special report.” In other words, the ad promotes the value you’re sharing.
One of my clients—let’s call him Jim— paid for a banner ad in a weekly email a medical association distributes to its 4000 doctor members. Jim offered a free digital download of my book The 9 Money Mistakes Doctors Make.
Then Jim forwarded the association’s email with his first ad. The banner was about a third of the size as all the other ads in the email. You practically needed a microscope to read the copy.
I told Jim I would be surprised if ANY doctors signed up for the digital download. Unfortunately, four days after this email was sent, it looks like I'm right.
Then I made suggestions for how he could tweak the ad given the size of the banner. The president of the association is his client. I recommended that he ask her, “Hey what do you think about the 9 Money Mistakes book?” Most doctors say something like, “It’s great! EVERY DOCTOR should read this book!”
I said, ”Jim, imagine a banner in which there’s a picture of the president, her quote, “EVERY DOCTOR should read this book!” An orange button could say, “Click Here to Get Your Complimentary Copy.”
Before investing in an ad, optimize all of the elements. Gather evidence that you have an offer that works.
What else could you do with a marketing budget of $2400?
There are may ways to generate more revenue.
The highest ROI campaigns involve sidestepping the high cost of client acquisition. You can deliver more value to your existing clients and enjoy higher fees.
The most effective way to generate doctor leads is to inspire doctors who know, like and trust you to talk about you.
Here are some concrete ways to invest a $2400 marketing budget.
Send thoughtful gifts. Yes, many advisors send holiday gifts. However a gift given on any random Tuesday has an even higher perceived value.
Launch a conspiracy of service and distribute physical copies of The 9 Money Mistakes book.
Create a doctor advisory board.
Ask doctors you know, “How can we serve more doctors?
Do more of what’s already proven to work in your hands.
It may well be possible that placing this ad is a great choice. However, ad campaigns can and should be integrated into a more strategic practice-building plan.
1. Before investing in ads, find out who the target reader is. Is this your ideal client?
2. Call others who have advertised and ask them what kinds of results they got.
3. Don’t give into a false sense of urgency. Take your time to make a good choice for you.
As a financial services professional, you have a chance to help physicians take control of their financial destiny. You can enjoy many rewards when you help doctors make their dreams come true.
I'm here to support you if you do!