Some qualities of healthcare advertising are necessary: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that lots of agencies have–and then try to persuade the clientele are very important–are meaningless and, in fact, may lower the price of the work they deliver. In choosing somebody to help you with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or any other kinds of medical marketing communications, four qualities are especially unimportant.
Many ad agency principals love using a “cool” office. They view it as evidence of their agency’s creativity. A number of clients may even view it doing this too.
Go ahead and, an ad agency should provide an appropriate and stimulating atmosphere with regard to their staff. But most clients know who’s purchasing the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, and other amenities: the clients are. The cool office is included inside the agency fees.
Don’t get hung high on the “edifice complex”–many outstanding agencies have very modest offices. Some excellent “virtual” agencies have zero office in any way. Their overhead is low, their people don’t need to commute to work (and that alone generally means they are happier-and potentially more productive-in comparison to the average worker), in addition to their clients acquire more for their money: more value, cheaper overhead.
An agency’s biggest expense is its people. But a lot of agencies have way a lot of people. It is important to retain the critical mass required to meet clients’ needs. But layers and layers of staff-account supervisors, account executives, account coordinators-not merely enhance the costs; they could enhance 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 from the agency). One other functions–market research, media planning, digital programming, print production, etc–are usually shared across teams in a agency. So even when your agency has 500 personnel, you’ll likely work most healtthcare with not more than one half dozen. The trick is to preserve continuity in your team. A lot of agencies use a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. As a client, that makes your advertising more pricey-your agency constantly must bring new staff as much as speed.
Mad Menis swell, but it’s a period piece. The 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 excellent copywriter is another good strategist and is also regulatory-savvy. Likewise a great art director. Along with the account executive is greater than a “messenger” ferrying client requests to the agency and agency requests for the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and operating in concert together with the creatives in addition to with media, research, as well as other agency functions to create the most beneficial communication solutions possible.
Choosing an agency simply because their rates would be the lowest might be a costly mistake. Instead, require 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 worthwhile!”
Pinching pennies compromises the standard of your agency’s work. Advertising agencies aren’t cheap–good, experienced talent should be compensated accordingly. But look at the consequences of the decision–compromising on the grade of the branding and marketing of your healthcare service or product compromises its chances for fulfillment.