Working with an experienced agency can make a tremendous difference to your healthcare marketing program. As with everything in life, however, it takes two to tango.
These tips will help you get the most out of the agreement and forge a strong business relationship with your marketing partner that benefits your company where you need it—your bottom line.
Tip 1: Clearly agree on the scope of the work.
“Scope creep” is not a myth. Let’s repeat that—scope creep is NOT a myth! Contracts have lived and died on the discrepancies between what the agency thought it was handling and what the client thought it was. An agreement for an agency to “manage the marketing” is simply not detailed enough.
Make sure you specify what aspects of marketing the agency is responsible for, such as editorial schedules and media buying, and the areas the company will handle—such as information vital for developing buyer personas.
Tip 2: Develop detailed short-term action plans with dates.
Ad hoc planning doesn’t cut it. You need to know what you (and the agency) are delivering and when. If the content marketing part of your agreement requires weekly blog posts, for example, your short-term plan should include topics, keywords and dates for delivery, approval and publication; otherwise, you’ll end up backdating posts in August that should have been published by July 1st. That might still work for your SEO, but timely posting will enable you to build thought leadership in your industry.
Tip 3: Appoint a specific person as the main liaison.
Appoint a specific individual to handle first-level communications, establish preferred contact channels and make sure everyone knows what they are. Nothing makes it harder for agency personnel to get things done on time than waiting for feedback from the client, who hasn’t checked email in days.
Set up approval protocols including timelines, so both parties know how long it will take to get the go-ahead on time-sensitive materials, without needing “special arrangements” each time.
Tip 4: Keep your side of the deal.
You’re busy. We get it. That’s one reason why working with a marketing agency is so beneficial, but the best agency in the world can’t act without your engagement. Communication is key, and it’s frustrating for anyone in a partnership like this to have to “chase” the other party for a response, so it’s important to keep your side of the agreement for the agency to perform at its best.
For more information on healthcare marketing and to learn about working with a marketing agency, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit waxcom.com.
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