Some qualities of a healthcare advertising agency are essential: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that lots of agencies have–and try to persuade their clients are important–are meaningless and, in reality, may lower the value of the work they deliver. When selecting an associate to aid with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or other kinds of Healthcare Marketing Agency, four qualities are specifically unimportant.
A “cool” office
Many ad agency principals love having a “cool” office. They view it as proof their agency’s creativity. A couple of clients may even look at it that way too.
By all means, an ad agency must provide a comfortable and stimulating atmosphere for their staff. But many clients know who’s paying for the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, along with other amenities: the clients are. The cool office is included in the agency fees.
Don’t get hung up on the “edifice complex”–many outstanding agencies have very modest offices. Some excellent “virtual” agencies have no office at all. Their overhead is low, their people don’t have to commute to operate (which alone generally ensures they are happier-and potentially more productive-compared to the average worker), along with their clients get more for their money: more value, less expensive overhead.
A large staff
An agency’s biggest expense is its people. But way too many agencies have way too many people. It is essential to maintain the critical mass essential to meet clients’ needs. But layers and layers of staff-account supervisors, account executives, account coordinators-not only enhance the costs; they are able to add to the confusion.
If they’re lucky, a person 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 your jobs through the agency). The other functions–consumer research, media planning, digital programming, print production, etc–tend to be shared across teams within an agency. So even if your agency has 500 personnel, you’ll likely work most frequently with no more than a half dozen. The secret is to keep up continuity inside your team. Way too many agencies use a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. As a client, which makes your advertising more expensive-your agency constantly needs to bring new associates up to speed.
A “traditional” structure
Mad Menis swell, but it’s a period of time piece. The old-fashioned agency structure–account service in one department distinct from (and in most cases at odds with) the creatives in another department–is archaic.
In today’s environment, an excellent copywriter is another good strategist and is also regulatory-savvy. Likewise an excellent art director. And also the account executive is over a “messenger” ferrying client requests for the agency and agency requests towards the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and doing work in concert using the creatives in addition to with media, research, as well as other agency functions to create the most efficient communication solutions possible.
The best rates
Choosing an agency for the reason that their rates would be the lowest could be a costly mistake. Instead, request references. Then ask the references regarding 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 caliber of your agency’s work. Advertising agencies aren’t cheap–good, experienced talent must be compensated accordingly. But take into account the consequences of the decision–compromising on the ahvowl of the branding and marketing of your own healthcare services or products compromises its chances for fulfillment.
In hunting 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 four least important qualities: a cool office, a big staff, a “classic” structure, and also the lowest rates. Choosing an agency is a huge decision. Be sure that, for all of the right reasons, you choose the right healthcare advertising agency.