How to Choose the Best Medical Marketing Agency for Your Practice

September 10, 2020 Pepper Gang Medical Marketing Team

Your practice has reached that critical inflection point when doing it all yourself: seeing patients, managing staff, competing up with all the paperwork, and, of course, marketing. Every task you keep on your plate must be weighed against the cost of your time, your staff’s time, and the effectiveness with which you can possibly hope to complete every task.

So, you decide that for your business to continue to grow and stay healthy, you will need the support of a medical marketing agency. This business decision is an important step for your practice, so here is a checklist of some of the points you need to consider before signing the contract.

Make Sure Your Goals are Aligned

If this is not at the top of your list, it should be. Your practice was built by you according to your values and with specific goals in mind. The long-term goal of a medical marketing agency is to support your core values and provide you with detailed, measurable strategies for reaching or exceeding your goals.

Ask them directly how they plan to help you achieve your goals? What is their process for quantifying results, measuring impact, and delivering a return on investment that makes sense for your business plan? If you are not satisfied with the answers you hear, the agency is likely not a good fit for your practice.

Experience Counts

Regardless of what many agencies tell you, not all marketing is created equal. Your needs and audience are far different from those of a shoe company or pet food supplier, and the agency you hire needs to reflect this specialization. A medical marketing agency does what its name says: it specializes in supporting medical practices or enterprises specifically. This expertise means that it understands that you answer to a unique code of ethics and comply with higher regulatory standards than many other businesses. You deal with complex medical and health-related issues that require a medical marketing agency that can communicate clearly, concisely, and with the compassion expected of a healthcare professional. Ask to see case studies of work they have done with practices like yours.

Digital Experiences Counts, Too

To say that digital marketing is here to stay is an understatement. So, make sure your medical marketing agency as the online and digital capabilities that will provide your practice with the online presence it deserves. Ask about their experience in search engine optimization (SEO) and mobile site requirements. Have them set some firm targets for things like total organic clicks, open rates, bounce rates, and user experience metrics.

Ask About Trends and Strategies

A medical marketing agency with experience will know the current trends and how they might (or might not) work for your practice. If you are going to be the first practice in your area to engage a new strategy, what are the risks and benefits that they can foresee?

Be sure to ask, too, about their understanding of such things as:

  • their understanding of the big-picture issues related to your practice
  • how they analyze referral patterns
  • your current or future relationship with professional health organizations
  • whether or not they will manage your online health directories and citations.

Each of these knowledge sets adds value to your practice and helps separate an elite medical marketing agency from a merely good one.

Evaluate Strengths

Unfortunately, anyone doing anything can use the word “agency,” so make sure your medical marketing agency has a core competency in medical marketing. Are you dealing with a graphic design firm or website programmer looking to pivot or expand into a new client base? Is this agency more about public relations than marketing?

Understand the Pricing Model

There is nothing worse than getting your first invoice and finding some costly surprises. An experienced medical marketing agency will explain in detail their rates, fees, retainers, and definition of “extra” charges. You should also ensure you have a mutually explicit understanding of change orders, approvals, and the like. The more time you spend on this conversation early in your relationship, the less time you will spend on it later.

Look at Their Portfolio

Every medical marketing agency will have a portfolio they are proud to show off. It should include website designs, print, and digital ads, logos, brochures, sales collateral, and even television ads. But do not just settle for the sizzle, ask about the substance. How did each campaign work in terms of outcomes and performance metrics? What was the impact of a particular digital ad or print ad? What was the return on investment of a campaign?

The portfolio of any medical marketing agency will also tell you a lot about the style and personality of the agency. Their personality is reflected in the culture of the workplace, the creative processes they use, and how they manage client relationships. Ensuring that their personality aligns with yours is also an essential consideration before entering into a formal relationship.

Meet the Family

Ideally, you learn a bit more about the personality of the medical marketing agency you choose by visiting their workspace. Meet the people who will be working on your marketing. Ask them questions about their background and experience. Find out how the team will establish lines of communication once they take on your portfolio. Who will be your lead contact? How will communication be managed: by phone or email?

Doing Your Homework Pays Off

Choosing a medical marketing agency can be a daunting task but taking the time to do your homework before signing a contract and committing to a plan. At Up Patients, we specialize in providing a one-stop marketing solution for doctors and private practices, helping you gain a higher number of quality leads and grow your practice at a faster rate than your competitors. With over 20 years of experience and a deep understanding of patient’s behavior, we develop a strategy that aligns with your goals, supports your core values, and captures the personality of your practice effectively and seamlessly.