Some qualities of medical practice marketing are very important: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that many agencies have–and strive to persuade their customers are very important–are meaningless and, in reality, may lower the value of the task they deliver. In choosing a partner to help with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or other types of medical marketing communications, four qualities are specifically unimportant.
Many ad agency principals love using a “cool” office. They view it as proof of their agency’s creativity. A couple of clients might even look at it doing this too.
By all means, an advert agency should provide a comfy and stimulating atmosphere for his or her staff. But many clients know who’s purchasing the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, and other amenities: the customers are. The cool office is covered from the agency fees.
Don’t get hung up on the “edifice complex”–many outstanding agencies have very modest offices. Some excellent “virtual” agencies have zero office whatsoever. Their overhead is low, their people don’t must commute to operate (and this alone generally ensures they are happier-and potentially more productive-than the average worker), along with their clients have more for his or her money: more value, less expensive overhead.
An agency’s biggest expense is its people. But lots of agencies have way a lot of people. It is essential to keep up with the critical mass necessary to meet clients’ needs. But layers and layers of staff-account supervisors, account executives, account coordinators-not merely improve the costs; they may improve the confusion.
If they’re lucky, a person works closely and consistently with one agency team fulfilling the core functions: account service, copywriting, art direction, and traffic management (overseeing the scheduling and flow of the jobs through the agency). One other functions–market research, media planning, digital programming, print production, and so forth–tend to be shared across teams in a agency. So even when your agency has 500 employees, you’ll likely work most healtthcare with a maximum of one half dozen. The key is to preserve continuity inside your team. Way too many agencies have a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. As a client, that creates your advertising more costly-your agency constantly needs to bring new staff up to speed.
Mad Menis swell, but it’s a period piece. That old-fashioned agency structure–account service in one department distinct from (in most cases at odds with) the creatives in another department–is archaic.
In today’s environment, an effective copywriter is also a good strategist which is regulatory-savvy. Likewise an excellent art director. As well as the account executive is more than a “messenger” ferrying client requests on the agency and agency requests to the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and employed in concert using the creatives along with with media, research, and other agency functions to generate the most beneficial communication solutions possible.
Choosing an agency for the reason that their rates would be the lowest might be a costly mistake. Instead, demand references. Then ask the references in regards to the agency’s cost structure as well as the value they deliver–satisfied clients will likely say, “They’re not cheap, but they’re worth it!”
Pinching pennies compromises the grade of your agency’s work. Advertising agencies aren’t cheap–good, experienced talent must be compensated accordingly. But take into account the consequences of your own decision–compromising on the caliber of the branding and marketing of your respective healthcare services or products compromises its chances for achievement.