Healthcare marketing is a unique beast, especially when you consider niche specialties like radiology marketing, advertising surgical procedures or improving the online reputation of a specific physician. The reality is that hospitals can pretty much have their pick, with big budgets they can afford to work with large agencies who charge an arm and a leg and a few ribs while they’re at it. There are tons of amazing healthcare marketing agencies to choose from, so how do you find the one that is best for you, especially as a smaller healthcare organization?
First, your organization’s leaders need to sit down and have an honest to goodness conversation with one another about specific goals they want to achieve. If your company is so small that YOU alone are the decision-maker, you still have to vocalize your goals. You may feel silly saying them aloud, so a good old-fashioned list works just fine.
There are many healthcare marketing firms offering huge suites of services and every one delivers in different ways. Some companies offer all their services as a package deal while others can provide services a la carte, depending on your needs and goals, questions like this are important to ask. Maybe you have a few great people on your team that can handle the social media or blogging in house, but you need extra support when it comes to SEO or media relations. So what questions should you ask a potential healthcare marketing agency before you start working with them?
- How do your services work? Can we pick and choose which services we use or is it all or nothing?
- How many people are on the team that will be dedicated to working on our account and will we have a specific person we work with directly?
- Our medical specialty requires in-depth knowledge when it comes to marketing our services, how much of a learning curve are you anticipating?
- Will we have the chance to approve all content before it’s posted on our website, blog or social media sites?
- How will you execute healthcare digital marketing; are you limited to just Google Adwords or are you also experienced in other forms such as social media advertising?
- Do you rely on us to help you come up with a content calendar or will you be handling that on your own?
- What additional costs outside of your monthly fee will we be responsible for?
- Are you considered a full-service agency or do you have to out-source any of your work?
- Have you already developed any unique plans for our organization? If so, how will you plan to execute them?
- How soon until we can expect to see results?
- Can you please provide at least two references from previous clients?
- Approximately how many hours of work does this agreement cover?
- Which marketing tools will you be using? Ex: Hubspot, Cision etc.
- What actually sets you apart from other marketing agencies; is it your unique take on marketing materials, your team, your background knowledge?
- How will you be evaluating your team’s success and how will you be showcasing the results to us?
Sometimes asking the right questions isn't even enough. Be aware of these warning signs of sh*tty healthcare marketing companies so you can run away before partering with the wrong firm.