Posted By WebMD Ignite on 03/19/2024

3 Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Advertising Spend in 2024: Part 2

3 Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Advertising Spend in 2024: Part 2

Editor's Note: This article is the second in a three-part series looking at how healthcare marketers can strategically use their advertising spend amid some unique challenges in 2024.

3 tips for getting the most out of your advertising spend in 2024: Part 1

3 tips for getting the most out of your advertising spend in 2024: Part 3


Media planning always requires strategic thinking, but in an election year, things can get challenging pretty quickly. What’s a savvy marketer to do? Choose your messaging carefully and look for common ground. 

A snapshot of election year spending 

As highlighted in part 1 of our three-part series, political ad spending is expected to reach a record $17B this year. According to Reuters, the lion’s share (almost 72%) of political media dollars will be going to traditional media in 2024.1 Media that typically enables broad reach at low costs will simply be much less affordable this year than usual. 

“So if you haven’t already pulled your dollars away from traditional channels, do it now,” says Matt Klein, MBA, VP, Marketing Solutions Strategy & Consulting at WebMD Ignite. “And if you’re still considering advertising on broadcast or radio, you’ll have to be highly selective.” 

But even with digital, expect a spillover effect from all those incremental ad dollars. Although traditional media will be a top destination for political ads, digital channels are expected to see a spike of 156% from the previous election year.1 

To gauge just how expensive the digital environment might get, we took a look back at the cost per lead (CPL) during the midterm congressional election of 2022. Since Florida has historically had tight electoral margins2 and significant political spending, we chose to zoom in on clients with target audiences in these markets. When comparing the average CPL in 2022 to 2023 (a non-election year), search, social, and display media costs were 21% higher in 2022 (a truly significant amount), simply because of the elections. And this was just for midterms. You can bet your media budget that number will be even higher in 2024 for advertisers who don’t adapt their planning in creative ways. 

2024 Marketing election year impact graph

Tip #2: Shop around, and leverage media and digital sites that just say no 

So what can you do to minimize the impact of higher rates? Start by searching for those media outlets that don’t accept political advertising. 

In addition to the cost benefits, brands must also carefully navigate politics to avoid being associated with divisive political content, which can be challenging during the heightened political atmosphere of an election. Women’s health issues (reproductive rights) and Medicare are just two issues that may become lightning rods with unintended consequences for healthcare marketers. While it may be tempting to wade into the conversation, 70% of US adults feel that brands should limit or completely restrict their involvement with political issues.3 

Digital platforms and cable networks don’t have the same rules as broadcast stations, which are required by law to accept ads from any legally qualified candidate.4 Since they have a choice, that means you do, too. 

“The good news is that there are many websites, mobile apps, and channels that are focused on consumers and healthcare professionals — but limit or exclude political ads, messaging, and editorial content, like WebMD,” adds Klein. Not only may that be more appropriate for your target audience and messaging, but their exclusion of political ads should mean they’ll be charging only their standard rates. 

A final thought (for now) 

Seek out outlets that don’t make changes to their rate card during an election year or when other unusual media events take place. It is possible to avoid the political mudslinging, find your customers in a contextually relevant moment, and not have to pay extra for the privilege. With a little digging, they might be easier to find than you think. 

Ready to start from the beginning? Remember to focus on your audience.



1 Reuters, US political ad spending to soar in 2024 with TV media the biggest winner - report, 

2 USAFacts. What are the current swing states, and how have they changed over time? 

3 eMarketer Insider Intelligence. What Values-Driven Consumers Really Want: Brands Should Skip the Gimmicks and Focus on Authenticity. 

4 Kare11, Here’s why TV stations can’t censor or refuse political ads,

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