It seems counterintuitive that a healthcare marketing agency (or any business, for that matter) would want to save you money. In fact, we encounter prospective clients all the time who see agencies as meandering sharks, seizing every opportunity to make an extra buck. I know, I was once on the client side and had a similar thought process.
Let me challenge that assumption by saying simply this: A good agency wants to make the best use of your marketing budget. It’s good for us and, most importantly, it’s good for you.
So, how can you get the most out of your time with an agency? These are my top five tips.
1. Present your healthcare marketing agency with challenges, not solutions.
Think you need Facebook page? A billboard? A brochure? You may, but any good agency will seek to understand your challenge instead of filling an order. Once this happens, we are often able to recommend a less expensive solution that has a greater impact (efficiency!). That makes us rock stars in our client’s minds. And, clients who think we’re rock stars will continue to work with us.
Understanding challenge → More efficient solution → Rock-star status → Future work
2. Set your healthcare marketing agency up for success.
Every company has its own nuances. I once worked with a popular vacation destination that forbade the word, “enjoy” in any press materials or collateral. Another client winces at the color green. So, can you imagine what would happen if we were to present a campaign concept featuring Kermit the Frog? Lots of lost hours and even more wasted money.
You and your agency are on the same team. Do what you can to help prevent your agency from stepping into landmines. Equip them with things like historical backgrounds, knowledge of company politics and your own personal preferences. We want to get it right the first time, every time.
3. Assign one cook for every meal.
Budgets have the tendency to explode when more than one person touches a project. Here’s what happens:
4. Agree to a project scope and budget before beginning work. Stick to it.
Any credible agency will work to provide you with a statement of work or project brief outlining the exact work that needs to be done. This should be accompanied by an estimate detailing how many rounds of revisions are included and other details that are relevant to the budget. If the scope changes, the budget could increase. Yep, that’s why you need to stick to the project scope.
5. Be honest with your healthcare marketing agency about deadlines.
Choose two of the following three priorities when working with any agency: cheap, good, fast. If you really want a fully integrated campaign designed to reach the world’s 7 trillion people by Friday, your agency will likely need to work with outside resources to deliver, and these resources come at a premium. Is Friday a solid deadline or is it flexible? Respect your agency’s time and they, in turn, will be kind with your budget.