Whether you’re a hospital, diagnostic centre, clinic, pathology lab, or online health service provider, there comes the point when you need to scale your business but fall short of resources. That’s when you start looking for a healthcare marketing agency. And even if you’re not at that stage yet, you must start thinking in that direction.
Since the ‘Mad Men’ era, I’ve been helping healthcare businesses and continue to do so. In this blog post, I will share a checklist to help you find the right healthcare growth marketing agency. The headings might not seem like anything you don’t know, but the devil is going to be in detail. So, make sure to read it thoroughly.
First Things First: Why Do You Want to Hire a Healthcare Marketing Agency?
You must have a one-word answer to this question, and it’s “marketing.” Let me tell you; it’s not a good answer as it means that you don’t have clarity regarding the goals you want to achieve. That’s why the first thing I suggest is to have a bit of clarity about it. You don’t need to have an Ethan Hunt-esque plan but have at least three to five SMART goals.
Having a clear idea of objectives will help you ask the right questions and look for the right signs in this quest to find the best healthcare marketing agencies. Thus, discuss it with your team and come up with it before you start looking for ‘the one.’
No-Miss Checklist to Find the Right Healthcare Marketing Agency
Now that you (hopefully) know what you want to achieve, it’s time to learn what makes an ideal digital marketing partner for your healthcare business. Let’s get started!
- Experienced & Skilled Workforce: Be it a marketing agency or any other, it is as good as the people it has. Thus, it should be the first thing you study when looking for a healthcare digital marketing agency.
Here are some questions to help you steer your search in the right direction:
- Do the agency founders have proven marketing experience?
- Does the company have enough skilled full-time people to cater to your requirements?
- Do their team members have enough skills?
- Are they growing in terms of the number of employees?
How do you get all this information? Well, you can simply ask them for it and verify it through LinkedIn. If possible, try to meet them at their office to get an idea of their work environment.
Additional Tip: The most notable sign of a successful digital marketing agency is the growing client list as referrals account for more than 50% of their new business.
- Diverse Specialization:
Did you know?: Almost 25% of digital marketing agencies describe themselves as a full-service agency
You might not be aware, but there are many types of marketing agencies out there. The most notable include SEO agencies, design agencies, branding agencies, advertising agencies, and social media agencies.
Most healthcare businesses need to focus on diverse marketing channels as you will need to utilize your website, SEO, social media, traditional advertising, etc., to drive the results. Hence, I suggest you find an agency that is an expert in cross-channel marketing.
Now here’s a catch: most digital or growth marketing companies would pose themselves as your ‘all-in-one’ agencies, but in reality, many of them have one or two core expertise. Your job is to look under the hood of these agencies, ask the right questions and know if they can genuinely help you with multi-channel marketing.
- Relevant Industry Experience: Every industry is different, but healthcare takes it to a whole new level. Doctors, hospitals, labs, and everyone must adhere to high standards and regulations. Even the slightest of misinformation could be a PR disaster for you.
In addition to these standards and norms, the agency must know the nuts and bolts of the healthcare industry as innovations have become the norm. You must go through their list of past and present clients, then check their clients’ websites and social media pages to see the quality of work. Plus, you can ask for relevant case studies to understand their approach and results.
The flipside to this is to hire a digital marketing agency with a proven track record in other industries. They might not have experience in the healthcare industry, but they can bring these industry best practices to the table. Thus, you must see this from a broader perspective rather than the ones that most companies choose.
Did you know?: 37% of all marketing agencies analyzed were between 10-19 years old.
- Credibility & Compliance: Healthcare digital marketing agencies can throw money to hire skills, but they cannot buy credibility and trust. It comes from the quality of work, and you must ensure that the company is trustworthy. You can do it by looking at them online.
Here’s what you check to see whether an agency is credible or not:
- Client testimonials (on Yelp and other such platforms)
- Awards, certifications, and recognitions
- Mentions by authoritative publications or news sites
- Social media activity and reviews
- HIPAA Compliance
- Creativity and Style:
With many other companies circling for business, you must stand out to create inbound leads. That can only happen if your content is creative. Thus, making sure that a company is creative enough to match your requirements is one of the most important prerequisites.
One of the easiest ways to check an agency’s creativity is to see the kind of content they produce. This includes ad copies, videos, social media posts, newsletters, blogs, etc.
In addition to the creativity, you should check the style and personality of the company. Marketing agencies that target the younger population are trendy and have a bit of an aura around them. On the other hand, agencies that provide B2B marketing or target the elderly population tend to be less in that regard. You must choose the kind of agency that would understand your primary target audience.
- Results and Data-Driven Approach: A super-creative healthcare marketing agency with less ROI than a traditional one is of no use. That’s because marketing is supposed to generate business and not just impress people. The best marketing agencies combine them both.
While discussing marketing ideas with you, they must also give equal importance to the returns. You should ask them to create a proposal that will outline a detailed plan to achieve your expected goals. Moreover, you need to check if they have a system to measure and report the results.
The days when marketing could be done by “gut decisions” are gone. Unfortunately, many digital marketing agencies still operate the same way and disappoint their clients. A skilled creative agency with a data-driven approach will thrive in 2022.
- Support & Infrastructure:
I’ve seen communication and coordination becoming significant headaches when working with an outside agency. You cannot altogether remove it, but you can indeed reduce it by hiring an agency that provides quality support backed by well-developed processes and infrastructure. Note that I’m not telling you to hire big agencies. Small agencies often provide better support and flexibility. Having said that, they must provide dedicated support no matter how big or small.
The second aspect of proper customer support is engagement and reporting. An excellent digital marketing agency will update you on developments and results. You might not have the technical knowledge, but they will help you understand it. In short, they
- Pricing: Pricing will be one of the most critical factors in your decision-making process, and understandably so. However, I’ve ranked it last as it often clouds your judgment. Many business owners don’t even look at a company if the pricing is out of their reach. They fail to realize that it’s not a price; it’s an investment. Thus, your decision must be made based on the ROI you will get and not by the amount you will have to spend.
Before finalizing an agency, you must discuss rates, payment preferences, retainers, extra charges, etc. Also, understand their processes of change orders, approvals, and authorizations. To put it in simple words, there shouldn’t be a single element of surprise once you start working, as it is often the #1 factor in deterring relationships.
As far as the pricing is concerned, you must seek to hire a company that balances cost and quality.
Most Common Mistakes While Hiring a Healthcare Digital Marketing Agency
Let’s see some of the most common mistakes healthcare businesses make while hiring growth marketing agencies:
- Hire the one that talks the most: If a company seems too confident and promises excellent results in a short time, it’s a red flag. The best marketers I know are realists, not optimists or pessimists.
- Get impressed by creative portfolio: Portfolio reflects their creative abilities but says a little about how much business they’ve generated. Always remember, it’s a numbers game!
- Trying to find local agencies: If you think you should hire agencies from your locality, then think again! It opens up access to the global talent pool. With the ease of digital communication, your focus must be on hiring the best service providers.
- Too diverse or specialized services: You sometimes need to hire agencies specializing in specific marketing channels, while sometimes you need generalists. You should map out your goals and hire agencies accordingly.
- Not doing RFP/RFI: Hiring an agency based on its reputation or impressive clientele sets the ground for mismatch in expectations, and it sours the relationship later on. Thus, doing RFP or RFI is a must.
LeanSummits: A Leading Healthcare Growth Marketing Agency
At LeanSummit Solutions, we collaborate with business leaders to help them address their most pressing business needs and seize the most promising business solutions. LSS is the innovator in business strategy and believes in personalized approaches.
As a proud partner to many healthcare businesses, we provide the following services:
- Search engine marketing and Search engine optimization
- Online reputation management and reviews-based marketing
- CRM based marketing
- Readmission marketing
- Cross practice marketing
Connecting Pre-Care, During-Care, and Post-Care is what we do at Leansummit Solutions. Our technology platform is HIPAA compliant and resolves Medical Doctors’ primary need of providing comprehensive care to their patients.
Our business model is based on your success rather than your budget. LSS’s objective is to grow your business by providing you with the right tools. We do not want to sell you anything that will not generate a return as all of our initiatives are ROI-based.
Schedule a free consultation today!