It’s one of the biggest concerns of healthcare marketers and for good reason. If the people handling your account don’t have the knowledge and experience you need, you’re in for a rough ride to say the least.

In our Survey of 47 Healthcare Marketers, “Insufficient Knowledge” was a major pain point.

“The agency doesn’t know my business or my competitors.”

“They don’t understand the brand.”

“They struggle with the science.”

And the cherry on top? Marketers said some agencies “don’t fully understand the medical/legal/regulatory review process.” Hard to believe, but the feedback was consistent from everyone in our survey.

So how can you make sure your agency has what it takes to deliver real results? Here are 5 things you should insist on:

1. Therapeutic category and competitor knowledge

The people working on your business should operate with a strong and consistent understanding of the therapeutic category relevant to your brand. They should also know your competition inside and out. While your agency team may not know your category and competition as well as you do, they should be operating with a working knowledge that is almost as strong as yours. You shouldn’t have to teach your team how to do their jobs.

2. Your strategy and objectives

Ideally, your agency will be involved in the creation/refinement of your strategies and objectives during brand planning. Even if they aren’t, their performance should be grounded in a knowledge of your brand strategy, rationale, and objectives. Moreover, your agency team should display a working knowledge of key themes and drivers affecting Rx sales performance. They should also be able to articulate and understand the patient and provider journeys.

3. Your preferences

Creative work is highly subjective, and at the start, it’s impossible for your agency to know what you like and what you don’t. While they should be following any brand guidance you’ve provided, anything beyond that will be subject to the opinions and biases of the people seeing the work. Provide clarity about your preferences along with the “why” behind those preferences. This can help to inform agency deliverables that best align with your expectations.

It’s important that your agency learns your preferences quickly—you don’t want to keep seeing circles if you’ve told them you prefer squares. If you are prone to changing your mind a lot (it’s OK, it’s your budget!), think about showing the agency a little grace. It’s not easy to hit a moving target.

4. MLR expectactions

If your review team said it, your agency should remember it. Period.

5. Retaining knowledge

You shouldn’t have to keep repeating yourself. Your agency should have systems in place to capture and convey past feedback to avoid repetitive guidance. This will never be perfect, because people aren’t perfect, and you shouldn’t expect them to be. That said, the agency should be able to consistently demonstrate that they can maintain and apply continuity of knowledge, to maintain a smooth operation.

If your agency is having trouble with 1 through 5, here's one more number to remember.

At The DEFY Collective, you’ll find a team that has the knowledge and the experience you need to get the results you want.

Our people are healthcare marketing veterans with experience on the client side as
well as the agency side.

We know the science, we know strategy, and we know how to deliver on-time and on-budget. At DEFY, we’re reinventing the healthcare marketing agency model for the better. Give us a call and see for yourself.

Contact DEFY—All of the agency. None of the aggravation.

Look out for more of our blogs full of experience and advice!
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