Some qualities of a healthcare advertising agency are necessary: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that many agencies have–and try to persuade their customers are important–are meaningless and, actually, may lower the value of the work they deliver. When selecting a partner to help with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or any other forms of Hospital Advertising, four qualities are especially unimportant.
A “cool” office
Many ad agency principals love having a “cool” office. They view it as proof of their agency’s creativity. A couple of clients could even see it like that too.
By all means, an ad agency should provide a comfortable and stimulating atmosphere for their staff. But most clients know who’s spending money on the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, along with other amenities: the customers are. The cool office is protected 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 at all. Their overhead is low, their people don’t need to commute to function (and this alone generally means they are happier-and potentially more productive-compared to the average worker), as well as their clients acquire more for his or her money: more value, cheaper overhead.
A large staff
An agency’s biggest expense is its people. But a lot of agencies have way a lot of 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 just increase the costs; they can enhance the confusion.
If they’re lucky, a person will 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 own jobs from the agency). Another functions–consumer research, media planning, digital programming, print production, and so forth–are often shared across teams within an agency. So even when your agency has 500 staff members, you’ll likely work most often with no more than one half dozen. The secret is to keep up continuity in your team. A lot of agencies use a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. As being a client, that creates your advertising higher priced-your agency constantly must bring new staff approximately 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 often at odds with) the creatives in another department–is archaic.
In today’s environment, a great copywriter is yet 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 to the agency and agency requests to the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and employed in concert using the creatives in addition to with media, research, and other agency functions to create 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 concerning the agency’s cost structure and also 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 should be compensated accordingly. But take into account the consequences of the decision–compromising on the ahvowl from the branding and marketing of your healthcare service or product compromises its chances for success.
In looking for a healthcare advertising agency partner, put the greatest emphasis on those qualities you need most: strategic depth, creative talent, and good chemistry. De-emphasize the four least important qualities: a cool office, a huge staff, a “classic” structure, and also the lowest rates. Choosing an agency is a major decision. Make sure that, for all the right reasons, you choose the right healthcare advertising agency.