Are we seeing the end of newspapers as we know it? Hasn’t the internet pushed the newspapers out of business? Should you even spend money putting ads in your local paper?
Since releasing my Ultimate Chiropractic Ads in January of this year, occasionally I get asked the above questions. So I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of the answers on the blog.
First let’s address the question…”Are newspapers disappearing?”
Before I answer this question, let’s look at a couple of other industries going through tough times. GM and Chrysler are getting bailed out and on the verge of bankruptcy. Yet, new cars are still being sold and, my guess is, will continue to be built for years into the future. In the past year, hundreds of banks have folded and been bailed out by the government. But, I predict banks will be around for a long time. My bank just built a whole new wing for “wealth management”.
What do these businesses have in common? They made bad decisions for years and are now paying the consequences during a recession. The same goes for large newspaper companies. The newspaper corporations grew large and wasteful. They disconnected with their readership and begin to twist stories into one-sided arguments. Plus, they designed and encouraged the use of poor ads for their clients. When the economy took a dip, these same clients were not willing to pay for advertising that couldn’t bring in a return on investment.
So the answer is yes, some newspapers have gone out of business. But, does this really mean anything? Businesses disappear everyday. A few that have folded: The Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Examine, Kentucky Post, and the Cincinnati Post. However, the important point here is that newspapers didn’t disappear into thin air in these cities. Someone is still printing papers and making money. For example, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Baltimore Sun, etc.
A recent MarketWatch.com (owned by the Wall Street Journal) report shows newspaper readership down 7% in the last six months. Not surprising, since the economy itself is down more than that. Spending is down. The stock market is down. My retirement account is down 40 %! So, in the big scheme of things, a 7% decline is rather healthy.
Does newspaper advertising still work? Yes, of course it does. (If a chiropractic office closes it’s doors because of poor marketing, does this mean chiropractic itself no longer works?) But the key is running the right kind of ad.
Here are a few examples of it working in chiropractic offices for 2009…
Dr. Beck, Just an update on the ads I’ve run . On Feb. 10, I ran the “Could One Hour With This Doctor…” half page ad and got 13 patients to come in . We closed 10 of those for a total of $18,885 already collected. We paid $1134 for the ad. That’s a 16:1 ROI !!
On March 24, we ran the same half page ad and 10 patients have come in. We converted 6 of those so far and have 1 more coming in today for ROF. We have collected $14,,066 so far. That’s a 12:1 ROI !!
I just ran the “Herniated Disc” ad yesterday. We are scheduling patients as we speak.
Denton James, DC
P.S. I ran 2 other ads from another source on 1/21/09 and 3/3/09. The ROI is about 5:1, which isn’t bad, but your ads get us 3 times the ROI !!
Here’s another email I received from a doctor running a full page ad (which is not required with my ads, but he did so to get a bigger ROI)…
Just wanted to let you know how great the ads are working for me. We ran the \”Are you living with sciatica or back pain\” ad on March 30, 2009 which is a Monday. It was $2950 for a full page ad. We had 8 new patients scheduled before lunch on Monday. For the week we ended up with 14 new patients. We have had 3 referrals so far this week. (the week after running the ad). We have a case $ average of around $1500, so we are figuring about $26000 in income. I couldn’t be happier with the ads so far. We are looking forward to running another ad in the very near future. – Dr. Chad Keeney
But aren’t online news sites competing with newspapers? Yes, but there’s still a lot of money to be made with print newspapers ads. Many newspapers realize they need an online presence, and are now creating hybrid type papers that are in print and online. Some papers have shut down their print editions, but publish regular online newspapers.
This is why you should be in both places. Never focus on one source of new patients too much. Better to diversify. This is very easy to do on the internet. This is why I spend quite a bit of time teaching about internet marketing in my ChiroMarketing Academy.
No one can say if and when newspapers will become obsolete. If you’re concerned about it, my advice is to stop trying to predict the future and focus on what is working now. The Ultimate Chiropractic Ads are bringing in new patients for chiropractors in 2009.
My final recommendation today is this: Keep running effective print ads for all their worth, while putting more and more empahasis on internet marketing strategies.