From Ads to Action: Using Advertising to Improve Lives

At Hager Sharp, we’ve dedicated the last 50 years to creating communications and marketing strategies to help people live healthier, smarter, and safer lives. Paid advertising is one way we ensure the right people are reached with the right messages. Advertising is a critical tool for being heard in today’s crowded media landscape. It provides the greatest ability to reach specific target audiences, whether very broad or very narrow, with a controlled message. And it enables us to do so while providing real-time data that can be used to optimize message performance.

Advertising for our clients—who are frequently trying to drive behavior change (like getting vaccinated)—has unique considerations. Additionally, measuring the success of a behavior change campaign via media spend can be challenging as there aren’t easily accessible metrics to track impact, like donations or sales.

Fortunately, through our decades of experience in working with mission-driven clients, Hager Sharp has developed a suite of solutions that help us best achieve our clients’ objectives while accounting for their unique challenges. Here are just a few:

  • Audience research to better understand where to advertise. We use audience data to understand what channels and outlets our target audiences use. We also analyze how audiences use these channels to understand how we might best engage them.
  • Advertising that reaches audience members across different levels of readiness to change. Not everyone is ready to immediately act when they see an ad. We consider how advertising can support moving people from not considering action, to considering taking an action, to taking that action. This might look like a combination of ads on broad channels to garner awareness among a wide audience mixed with ads that target people closer to taking action to direct them to tools that will help them be successful.
  • Using multiple media tactics and targeting to reach audiences in different ways. We use a mix of media tactics (e.g., social media, programmatic display and video, and radio) and targeting tactics (e.g., behavioral, demographic, and contextual) to ensure that we reach and engage the right people in multiple ways.
  • Ongoing optimizations to maximize impact and improve reach and engagement among target audiences. Because our staff includes experts in creative development and digital strategy, we look beyond the media publishing data to identify potential improvements in all areas of media campaigns, helping our clients achieve stronger performance.
  • Strong coordination between our staff handling the media buy and the program evaluation. Our team will determine the best way to evaluate a program in light of the media spend by crafting an evaluation plan that considers when the media was live, where, and who it reached. This helps us understand how the audience is changing its behaviors, which usually can’t be measured directly through media results. When a full program evaluation isn’t possible, we measure the effectiveness of the advertising in getting people to consider a behavior change, through methods like surveys or in-market A/B testing.

These efforts are all focused on maximizing our clients’ return on their investment—whether that be a few a hundred dollars or a few hundred thousand dollars. These strategies have led to remarkable successes for our clients.

Media buying is one of Hager Sharp’s core digital capabilities, which also include:

  • Digital planning and engagement. We conduct audience research that allows us to build digital programs that cut through the clutter to reach and engage priority audiences.
  • Analytics. We use data to discover insights that allow for better digital planning, ongoing campaign adjustments, and post-campaign debriefs to deliver the greatest impact.
  • Website and digital product development. We build engaging, easy-to-use websites and digital products based in audience needs to help ensure our clients achieve their objectives.

Read more about our work in our paid media, digital engagement, and website development case studies. Interested in working with us? Send us a note.

Emily Zeigenfuse, MPH
Senior Vice President, Director of Digital Strategy