Some qualities of a healthcare advertising agency are crucial: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that lots of agencies have–and try to persuade their clientele are very important–are meaningless and, in reality, may lower the value of the work they deliver. In choosing an associate to aid with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or some other types of Healthcare Marketing Agencies, four qualities are specifically unimportant.
A “cool” office
Many ad agency principals love having a “cool” office. They see it as evidence of their agency’s creativity. Several clients might even look at it like that too.
By all means, an advertisement agency must provide an appropriate and stimulating atmosphere for his or her staff. But a majority of clients know who’s investing in the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, and other amenities: the customers are. The cool office is covered inside 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 have to commute to operate (which alone generally makes them happier-and potentially more productive-than the average worker), and their clients get more for their money: more value, cheaper overhead.
A big staff
An agency’s biggest expense is its people. But way too many agencies have way too many people. It is important 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 only add to the costs; they are able to increase the confusion.
If they’re lucky, a customer will continue to work 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). Another functions–consumer research, media planning, digital programming, print production, and so forth–tend to be shared across teams in a agency. So even if your agency has 500 employees, you’ll likely work most often with a maximum of one half dozen. The bottom line is to keep continuity in your team. Too many agencies possess a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. Being a client, that makes your advertising higher priced-your agency constantly must bring new team members as much as speed.
A “traditional” structure
Mad Menis swell, but it’s a period of time piece. The existing-fashioned agency structure–account service in just one department distinct from (and often at odds with) the creatives in another department–is archaic.
In today’s environment, a good copywriter is another good strategist and is regulatory-savvy. Likewise an excellent art director. And also the account executive is more than a “messenger” ferrying client requests towards the agency and agency requests towards the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and doing work in concert with the creatives as well as with media, research, along with other agency functions to generate the most efficient communication solutions possible.
The lowest rates
Choosing an agency mainly because their rates would be the lowest can be quite a costly mistake. Instead, demand references. Then ask the references regarding the agency’s cost structure and the value they deliver–satisfied clients are likely to say, “They’re not cheap, but they’re worth the cost!”
Pinching pennies compromises the quality of your agency’s work. Advertising agencies aren’t cheap–good, experienced talent must be compensated accordingly. But consider the consequences of the decision–compromising on the ahvowl in the branding and marketing of the healthcare product or service compromises its chances for achievement.
In looking for a healthcare advertising agency partner, put the greatest focus on those qualities you require most: strategic depth, creative talent, and good chemistry. De-emphasize the 4 least important qualities: an awesome office, a big staff, a “classic” structure, and the lowest rates. Choosing an agency is a big decision. Ensure that, for all of the right reasons, you select the right healthcare advertising agency.