Planning a publication-based ad campaign to promote your conference, course, job opportunity or other resources of interest to the epidemiology community? Asking yourself the following key questions will help set you up for success.
Q. How do I get started?
A. Establish a marketing strategy, define your goals and know your budget:
- Determine your unique value proposition—what makes your conference, course, or job opportunity attractive to epidemiologists—and how that sets you apart from your competition. Let’s say you’re holding a conference about the epidemiology of smoking. The conference will feature topics that relate to the health impact of continued tobacco use on the US population—despite its decline in recent years—and the benefits of cessation. There may be similar events being held by other advertisers, so what will make an epidemiologist choose your conference? Maybe it’s the world-renown key-note speakers you’ve lined up or a scheduled discussion around a recent report that just dropped on the subject.
- Define your goals now so you’ll know how to measure and learn from the success of your campaign. In the above example, your goal is an increase in attendees. A more specific goal may be that you need to fill at least 40 more seats. In thinking through your expectations, you’ll define a key piece of information that can help you strategize how much exposure you’ll need in the form of ad impressions, for example, in order to best position you to achieve that goal.
- Now that you know how you’d like to position yourself and what your goals are, come up with a budget. This should be a range you are comfortable with that will allow you to realistically get results.
Q. What should my ad content focus on/How do I determine messaging?
A. Know an epidemiologist’s core competencies, pain points of the job and current trends that interest them.
- Feature key terms related to epidemiology. Consider terminology that speaks to core competencies of the job. Many epidemiologists are commonly tasked with designing studies to address a health problem, interpreting those studies using statistical software to analyze and characterize epidemiologic data and providing the foundation for directing appropriate public health action based on this science and causal reasoning. Include relevant terms like “population risk,” and “emerging infectious diseases,” which are part of an epidemiologist’s language.
- Stay up-to-date on newly-developed methodology and concepts. Look for articles that showcase advancements in the field, like the development of improved surveillance systems to assess health problems or trends in a particular area of study like bioterrorism/emergency preparedness and response (BT/ER).
- Scan the news for breaking developments on epidemics like the Coronavirus—of special interest to epidemiologists. Understand how they characterize epidemiological events like this using the “Five W’s of Epidemiology.” These are similar to the 5 W’s—what, who, where and when—used in other fields like journalism. Epidemiologists often use synonyms for the 5 W’s, however: diagnosis/health event (what), person (who), place (where), time (when), and causes, risk factors, and modes of transmission (why/how). Being familiar with concepts like this shows an understanding of how your target audience thinks and allows you to craft your message accordingly.
- If your ad campaign is product or service-oriented, what industry-specific pain points do epidemiologists face and how can your business address them? One challenge epidemiologists encounter is in changing human behavior, such as convincing the public of the importance of hand-washing in preventing spread of a virus. Think about how your ad can show that you identify with their position or ease their struggle in some way.
Q. How do I choose which publication to run my ad campaign in?
A. Look for a publication that ranks well in both industry-specific metrics and general marketing metrics. Remember the metrics that matter most to you will correlate with your goals. These will ultimately be the same measurements by which you gauge your success:
Epidemiology Industry-specific metrics:
- Impact factor*: this reflects the number of citations a typical article in a journal receives as a measure of the influence of the journal content. As an advertiser, this helps you see the relevancy of the publication you choose within the field of epidemiology
- Ranking*: this provides an indication of the place of a journal within its field. For epidemiology, you’re looking for the ranking within Science: Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
- Affiliation: Look for recognizable names that validate the publication as a trusted source to your audience. A good example of a strong affiliation is the Society for Epidemiologic Research
General marketing metrics:
- Target audience: this goes without saying, but make sure the publication considers epidemiologists to be its main subscriber base
- Impressions: number of times your ad is displayed
- Reach: number of unique people who will see your ad
- Print Circulation
- Web Traffic
Looking for help navigating this part of the process? You don’t have to go it alone—an experienced media partner like the KERH Group can match you with top brands in the field of Epidemiology.
Q. Now that I know what to look for, how do I select the advertising package or bundle that best fits my needs?
A. This is where you’ll be so glad you took the time to plan your strategy, goals and budget upfront. Now you’ll be able to work with an experienced media company who can help pair those goals with the options afforded you.
- Say one of your primary goals is brand awareness. The media group may recommend that you take advantage of “special positions” offered within the publication for maximum exposure, like the cover.
- This is where your recommendation may include a strategic mix of print and digital opportunities so your spend is diversified and you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. They may help you take advantage of other options on the table like targeting by keyword, advertising in new issue alerts and recruitment advertising.
Having thought through these questions, you’re well-versed on how to go about campaign planning. Working with an experienced media partner like the KERH Group can give you access to the publications most respected in your field and help you determine how to get the most out of your investment. Contact us today for more information on targeting epidemiologists: