Some qualities of a healthcare advertising agency are essential: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that numerous agencies have–and try to persuade their customers are important–are meaningless and, in fact, may lower the value of the work they deliver. When selecting an associate to help with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or any other types of Healthcare Advertising, four qualities are particularly unimportant.
A “cool” office
Many ad agency principals love using a “cool” office. They see it as evidence of their agency’s creativity. Several clients could even view it that way too.
By all means, an advert agency must provide an appropriate and stimulating atmosphere for their staff. But most clients know who’s investing in the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, as well as other amenities: the customers are. The cool office is included within 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 in any way. Their overhead is low, their people don’t must commute to function (which alone generally makes them happier-and potentially more productive-compared to average worker), along with their clients get more for their money: more value, more affordable overhead.
A big staff
An agency’s biggest expense is its people. But a lot of agencies have way a lot of people. It is very important maintain the critical mass required to meet clients’ needs. But layers and layers of staff-account supervisors, account executives, account coordinators-not just enhance the costs; they can increase 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 jobs from the agency). The other functions–market research, media planning, digital programming, print production, and so on–are frequently shared across teams inside an agency. So even though your agency has 500 employees, you’ll likely work most frequently with not more than a half dozen. The bottom line is to keep up continuity in your team. Way too many agencies use a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. As a client, that makes your advertising more costly-your agency constantly has to bring new team members up to speed.
A “traditional” structure
Mad Menis swell, but it’s a period piece. The previous-fashioned agency structure–account service in a single department distinct from (and in most cases at odds with) the creatives in another department–is archaic.
In today’s environment, a good copywriter is yet another good strategist and it is regulatory-savvy. Likewise a good art director. And the account executive is greater than a “messenger” ferrying client requests towards the agency and agency requests to the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and employed in concert with the creatives in addition to with media, research, as well as other agency functions to generate the most efficient communication solutions possible.
The cheapest rates
Choosing an agency for the reason that their rates would be the lowest can be a costly mistake. Instead, ask for references. Then ask the references about the agency’s cost structure and the value they deliver–satisfied clients will probably 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 think about the consequences of your own decision–compromising on the ahvowl from the branding and marketing of the healthcare product or service compromises its chances for achievement.
In looking for a healthcare advertising agency partner, place the greatest emphasis on those qualities you will need most: strategic depth, creative talent, and good chemistry. De-emphasize the four least important qualities: an excellent office, a big staff, a “classic” structure, as well as the lowest rates. Choosing an agency is a huge decision. Make sure that, for all the right reasons, you choose the right healthcare advertising agency.