Want More Bang for Your Hospital’s Advertising Bucks? CoxHealth Found Cost Effectiveness with Real Market Impact (Hello, Radio!)

March 26, 2021

// By Peter Hochstein //

A radio-focused advertising campaign enabled this regional hospital system to significantly increase its telehealth and urgent-care traffic, with relatively low media and production costs. But a caveat: Radio works best when the message is simple.

Peter Hochstein

What’s radio for? Largely it’s there these days to keep you company while you drive the car or paint the house or wash the dishes or sort your socks.

Have you noticed something here? Radio tends to be a medium that reaches people while their minds are on something else. There are exceptions, of course. You might actually focus on your radio when listening to a ball game or a traffic report. But for the most part, radio is part of life’s background sound.

Afterthought? Or Powerful Engagement and Awareness Engine?

Stacy Fender, associate marketing director at CoxHealth

Stacy Fender, associate marketing director, CoxHealth

Little wonder radio is sometimes an afterthought in advertising plans, whether the advertising is for hospitals, home insurance, or hot dogs. Television and print give you visuals to fasten on. They reach you while your rear end is anchored in a seat and your eyeballs are on the picture. But used properly, radio can also be a powerful engine for building awareness and listener engagement at reasonable cost.

A case in point is what happened when CoxHealth made radio the centerpiece of a multichannel advertising campaign that talked mainly about telehealth and reservations for urgent care. CoxHealth has six hospitals; 1,014 beds; and almost 1.5 million outpatient visits a year to its more than 80 clinics in southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. (While radio was the campaign’s linchpin, the campaign also included some print, out-of-home, and internet advertising.)

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