ADVERTISING EVALUATION FOR AN OPHTHALMOLOGY PRACTICE

We need to determine which advertising mediums have the most reach and greatest influence on a targeted consumer group. How can ARI help us find the answers to these questions?

Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is an elective medical procedure that uses a surgical instrument and a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye so that patients can improve their vision without corrective lenses. A consortium of savvy ophthalmologists contacted ARI because they wanted to determine which advertising mediums offer the best return on investment.

The research objectives for this project are clearly defined in the previous paragraph. ARI recommended an online survey for gathering the data needed for the research objective because of the logical assumption that most LASIK patients are connected to the Internet and/or have access to a personal computer. Online surveys are also more efficient and they offer better response rates compared to conventional surveys sent through the mail.

Since motivation is a fundamental advertising objective ARI developed a specific survey question to measure this. i.e. Has the 20/20 LASIK advertising campaign motivated you to schedule an appointment with our office? 1=Yes; 2=No. The reach of selected advertising mediums was also measured with a simple yes or no question. i.e. Have you seen the 20/20 LASIK commercial on television? 1=Yes; 2=No. Have you heard the 20/20 LASIK advertisement on the radio? 1=Yes; 2=No. Have you seen the 20/20 LASIK advertisement in the newspaper? 1=Yes; 2=No.

For this project the relevant population was defined as LASIK patients from the 20/20 Eye Center so ARI assisted the marketing coordinator in drafting a survey invitation on the office letterhead. Patients were offered an incentive to participate with the assurance that their identity would not be disclosed to the eye center. Survey participation for any project is essential for the marketing research profession, therefore a participant’s anonymity and privacy must be protected. The survey invitation directed participants to the ARI website and offered them contact information in case they had any questions or concerns.

Sample size has a significant impact on the cost of any project, therefore ARI used a proven statistical formula to calculate the correct sample size based on estimated variance, the ophthalmologist’s desired accuracy and the level of confidence needed for an estimate of the true population value. Variance and accuracy are estimated with a percentage and the level of confidence is a value used to estimate the distribution characteristics of the sample. These values enable us to scientifically determine the correct sample size for a survey. For this project the correct net sample size was calculated to be 384 total participants with an accuracy level of ± 5%.

The selection method is a very important component of the research project because the selection technique, not the size of the sample, determines a sample’s representativeness. In other words, all of the LASIK patients should have an equal probability of being selected into the sample, therefore a random sampling procedure was used to draw the survey participants from the 20/20 Eye Center’s computerized database. This sampling technique ensures an unbiased estimate of the true population value. In spite of the best incentives, many people simply refuse to participate in surveys. This situation is always an issue so the total sample size was proportionally increased to 2,560 because of the anticipated nonresponse.

A total of 2,560 survey invitations were mailed to the LASIK patients from the 20/20 Eye Center. An average response rate of 15% yielded 384 completed surveys within ten days. Data analysis was performed with advanced statistical software to obtain the information needed for the project’s research objectives. (1) Measure the reach of specific advertising mediums and (2) Determine if there is an association between motivation and advertising. The second research objective is an example of a marketing hypothesis. In order to test this hypothesis a cross-tabulation with a chi square analysis was performed. A cross-tabulation simply describes two or more variables simultaneously. i.e. motivation and the reach of print advertising. The results of this project are shown below.

RESULTS:

Has the 20/20 LASIK advertising campaign motivated you to schedule an appointment with our office?*
Have you heard any of the 20/20 LASIK commercials on the radio? Crosstabulation

Has the 20/20 LASIK advertising campaign motivated you to schedule an appointment with our office?*
Have you seen any of the 20/20 LASIK commercials on television? Crosstabulation

Has the 20/20 LASIK advertising campaign motivated you to schedule an appointment with our office?*
Have you seen any of the 20/20 LASIK advertisements in the newspaper? Crosstabulation

The percentages shown in the cross-tabulations are cumbersome to interpret so focus your attention on the bottom row of each table. The number in these cells represents the reach of selected advertising mediums. The 20/20 television commercial had the highest reach followed by radio and newspaper advertising. Could there be an association between patient motivation and advertising? If there is an association is it statistically significant? And which advertising medium has the strongest effect on motivation?

Once again a statistical procedure is needed to reveal the answers to these questions. The chi-square statistic was used to determine if there was a systematic association between motivation and the reach of specific advertising mediums. The chi-square values shown in the table below indicate a significant association between motivation and the 20/20 advertisements broadcast on radio and television but not newspaper. Sig. values of 0.000 indicate statistical significance. The phi coefficient, which is shown in the fourth column, was used to measure the strength of the individual associations. When variables are perfectly associated, phi assumes a value of 1. The results of this project suggest that meaningful performance differences do not exist between radio and television advertising even though they have a significant effect on motivation.


RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Use television to promote the 20/20 Eye Center advertising message.

  • Use radio to promote the 20/20 Eye Center advertising message.

  • Discontinue 20/20 Eye Center advertising in the newspaper.

  • Use insight from a focus group to evaluate 20/20 Eye Center advertising messages-especially newspaper.

 

What you have just read is a brief example of applied marketing research. Survey data and the name of the eye center is fictitious. ARI will never reveal the identity of a client or the actual results of a project under any circumstances without a client’s consent. This example was developed to help potential clients fathom applications of marketing research which might be useful to their profession.  




       

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