Marketing budgets are hard to come by…
Especially for healthcare organizations who often debate the benefits of using in-house resources vs. outside vendors. The reality is, going the agency route will save you money, grant you access to a team of experts, and provide you with metrics so you can measure results. Want to invest in marketing products that deliver? Go the agency route.
First, let’s dispel some marketing agency myths…
1. Marketing agencies are expensive
On the contrary, an annual marketing budget of $75,000 gets you a team of experts (project managers, designers, writers, marketing strategists, analysts, etc.) who will work on your project every day for the life of the project. Good luck finding an in-house marketing manager who has that much knowledge and then expecting them to manage multiple marketing campaigns simultaneously (with the latest technology and tools) for $100,000.
2. Marketing agencies don’t know me
Not true! Agencies make a point to allocate their talent and resources so they are experts in multiple industries. That means that when you’re ready to sit down for an introductory meeting, you’re going to sit across from a marketing team who has been working with your competitors for years, is fresh off a project just like yours, and already knows the challenges your industry faces. And, not only do agencies know you, they care about your patient populations just as much as you do.
3. Marketing agencies can’t manage secure data
In today’s marketplace? You bet they can. Today, many agencies are HIPAA/HITECH compliant with secure facilities. This includes physical and informational security policies and procedures as well as disaster recovery plans. So, if you’re worried about the breach, don’t be. Your PHI is secure.
Now, let’s discuss marketing products that deliver. If you’re going to dip your toes in the agency pool, here are some great marketing products you should consider.
Consider hiring an agency to design an integrated marketing strategy for your healthcare organization. An agency can design a strategy specific to your goals, make use of the latest marketing trends, integrate with your existing technology and staffing needs, and include measurable tactics so you know it’s working.
Whether you’re launching a new service line or going public with a merger, the message you communicate to your members and the world needs to catapult your brand. An agency can conduct a SWOT analysis of your brand, lead focus groups, analyze your competitors, and make informed recommendations for your brand’s message. This includes messaging for each of your audiences and a polished mission statement, positioning statement, and talking points for your stakeholders.
Branding matters. The McDonald’s arches, Facebook blue, ESPN ticker update sound effect, etc. are essential to these brands and memorable to users. Your brand should carry the same clout. An agency can design a powerful logo, color palette, icon series, and branding guide for digital and print mediums. These resources will form the roadmap for your marketing to follow. Check out this post on how brand colors affect the human brain.
Web Design and Development
Do you love your organization’s website? Odds are there are a few things you would change. Imagine how your members feel? An agency can conduct a usability research study to determine the optimal site design and architecture for your audience. From there, developers, designers, and editors will build a beautiful, intuitive, user-friendly experience that works well across screen sizes and is discoverable online. Throw in some SEO, SEM, and Google Analytics (all managed by the agency) and your online traffic will explode. Imagine the cost savings when the agency connects your site to your patient portal and databases? Say goodbye to paper forms and department duplication.
The best way to measure success is with clear goals and metrics. An agency will use the latest technology to monitor and evaluate your marketing and communication efforts to make sure you’re spending resources wisely. An agency will even provide you with regular reports and recommendations so you can evolve your strategy as you need to and keep earning strong results. Wait until you hear what agencies are doing with predictive analytics. Check out how Graphcom helped one healthcare company increase completion rates by 75 percent.