Some qualities of a healthcare advertising agency are essential: strategic depth, conceptual creativity, experienced medical copywriting, excellent design, great chemistry. But other qualities that many agencies have–and try to persuade their clients are important–are meaningless and, in fact, may lower the value of the work they deliver. When choosing a partner to help with pharmaceutical advertising, medical device advertising, hospital advertising, or other forms of medical marketing communications, four qualities are especially unimportant.
A “cool” office
Many ad agency principals love having a “cool” office. They see it as evidence of their agency’s creativity. A few clients may even see it that way too.
By all means, an ad agency should provide a comfortable and stimulating atmosphere for their staff. But most clients know who’s paying for the agency’s ping-pong tables, stocked refrigerator, and other amenities: the clients are. The cool office is covered in the agency fees.
Don’t get hung up on the “edifice complex”–many outstanding agencies have very modest offices. Some excellent “virtual” agencies have no office at all. Their overhead is low, their people don’t have to commute to work (and that alone generally makes them happier-and potentially more productive-than the average worker), and their clients get more for their money: more value, less expensive overhead.
A large staff le. But too many agencies have way too many people. It is essential to maintain the critical mass necessary to meet clients’ needs. But layers and layers of staff-account supervisors, account executives, account coordinators-not only add to the costs; they can add to the confusion.
If they’re lucky, a client will work closely and consistently with one agency team fulfilling the core functions: account service, copywriting, art direction, and traffic management (overseeing the scheduling and flow of your jobs through the agency). The other functions–market research, media planning, digital programming, print production, and so on–are often shared across teams within an agency. So even if your agency has 500 staff members, you’ll likely work most frequently with no more than a half dozen. The key is to maintain continuity in your team. Too many agencies have a “revolving door,” with personnel frequently coming and going. As a client, that makes your advertising more expensive-your agency constantly has to bring new team members up to speed.
A “traditional” structure best pay per install network
Mad Menis swell, but it’s a period piece. The old-fashioned agency structure–account service in one department distinct from (and usually at odds with) the creatives in another department–is archaic.
In today’s environment, a good copywriter is also a good strategist and is regulatory-savvy. Likewise a good art director. And the account executive is more than a “messenger” ferrying client requests to the agency and agency requests to the client-the AE is strategic-minded, tactical-minded, and working in concert with the creatives as well as with media, research, and other agency functions to produce the most effective communication solutions possible