11 Advantages of Hiring a Healthcare Digital Marketing Agency

by | Jul 22, 2021 | Digital Strategy | 0 comments

Here are the top 11 advantages of hiring a healthcare digital marketing agency compared to bringing a full-time equivalent (FTE) employee on board or using freelance resources.

The insourc­ing vs. out­sourc­ing dilem­ma is among the most com­mon deci­sions a health­care mar­keter faces. With increas­ing cost and com­pet­i­tive pres­sures, com­bined with evolv­ing dig­i­tal plat­forms and the lev­el of exper­tise need­ed to be effec­tive, hir­ing an expe­ri­enced part­ner is often the best path to suc­cess. Here’s an overview of the finan­cial, strate­gic and “jobs to be done” advan­tages of hir­ing a health­care dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency com­pared to bring­ing an FTE on board or using free­lance resources.

Hav­ing part­nered with hun­dreds of hos­pi­tals and health sys­tems of all sizes and types, our team ful­ly under­stands the pros and cons of out­sourc­ing mar­ket­ing ser­vices. We even have sev­er­al for­mer hos­pi­tal and health sys­tem mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als on staff who have worked on both sides of the agency/partner equation.

Hav­ing an in-house team of strate­gists, project man­agers, media buy­ers and cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als makes sense for larg­er sys­tems. How­ev­er, it often comes at a price—both in terms of eco­nom­ics and strate­gic expertise—that isn’t palat­able to most organizations.

Plus, in this post-pan­dem­ic envi­ron­ment, the job mar­ket is intense. Strong dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tal­ent is hard to find and even more dif­fi­cult to keep.

The Advantages of Hiring a Healthcare Digital Marketing Agency

To guide your deci­sions, here are our top 11 advan­tages of hir­ing a health­care dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency:

Depth of knowledge

By work­ing with mul­ti­ple clients in diverse mar­kets, agen­cies have devel­oped best prac­tices that are applied to each client’s cam­paign. From tar­get­ing and bud­get to under­em­pha­sized cre­ative ele­ments like fre­quen­cy and for­mat, a health­care dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency can draw from prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence to make crit­i­cal deci­sions that make or break success.

Real-time pivots as platforms evolve

In dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, the only con­stant is change. Agen­cies are heav­i­ly invest­ed in keep­ing up with must-know dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing trends to sur­vive and thrive. This includes updates to search and social algo­rithms, pri­va­cy poli­cies and oth­er issues that often go live with­out notice.

Rather than hav­ing to research and imple­ment these changes on your own, an agency part­ner will proac­tive­ly alert you to updates and guide you through the process of opti­miz­ing dig­i­tal con­tent and cam­paigns based on hands-on experience.

Continuous improvement at scale

There’s no guar­an­tee that every dig­i­tal ini­tia­tive will deliv­er on the desired out­comes. Agen­cies can apply learn­ings from less effec­tive cam­paigns to future cam­paign work. By test­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing the levers that influ­ence per­for­mance and opti­miz­ing them for future cam­paigns, an agency part­ner can wring the most val­ue out of your investment.

Growth mindset

Agen­cies have to earn each client’s busi­ness every day; oth­er­wise, con­tracts aren’t renewed and refer­rals (a sig­nif­i­cant source of new busi­ness) are nonex­is­tent. Mov­ing the nee­dle on per­for­mance met­rics is imper­a­tive for client reten­tion and advo­ca­cy. This is espe­cial­ly crit­i­cal now with patient acqui­si­tion the man­date for health­care mar­keters, and gen­er­at­ing ser­vice line rev­enue a require­ment for mod­ern health­care mar­ket­ing teams.

Subject matter expertise in multiple disciplines

From strat­e­gy and ana­lyt­ics to copy­writ­ing and design, the right health­care dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency will bring a turnkey approach and Swiss-army knife of tools to the table for your cam­paigns. This is a dis­tinct advan­tage as most health­care mar­ket­ing bud­gets can sup­port entry-lev­el tal­ent across the board or sea­soned vet­er­ans in spe­cif­ic areas, while agen­cies must invest in proven expe­ri­ence with­in mul­ti­ple func­tions to effec­tive­ly guide clients. 

Zero-waste media buying

Hos­pi­tals and health sys­tems can no longer afford to invest mar­ket­ing dol­lars into cam­paigns that aren’t gen­er­at­ing results (or worse, aren’t mea­sured at all). A health­care dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency with proven expe­ri­ence under­stands how to opti­mize the audi­ence, bud­get, copy and oth­er cam­paign ele­ments to out­smart the com­pe­ti­tion with lim­it­ed resources in a com­pet­i­tive market.

Martech matchmaking

No two health­care orga­ni­za­tions are exact­ly the same. The band­width, bud­get and lev­el of sophis­ti­ca­tion can be dras­ti­cal­ly dif­fer­ent across an agency’s client base. This real­i­ty results in part­ners who know how to eval­u­ate, imple­ment and inte­grate the right tools based on each client’s goals, tar­get price point and exist­ing IT infrastructure.

Speaking C‑suite

Hav­ing per­fect­ed the “art of the pitch,” an agency part­ner can guide your efforts to share mar­ket­ing plans, per­for­mance reports and oth­er key mes­sages to your exec­u­tive team. Speak­ing the lan­guage of lead­er­ship requires a strate­gic mind­set and a clear, direct approach to com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Agen­cies can demon­strate best prac­tices and access third-par­ty data that visu­al­ly and suc­cinct­ly presents ideas and rec­om­men­da­tions to an often-skep­ti­cal audience.

Connectivity and continuity

While this used to be a dis­ad­van­tage to work­ing with a dig­i­tal agency instead of in-house resources, remote work and vir­tu­al meet­ings are now nor­mal. We’re more con­nect­ed with our clients and col­leagues than ever. A good agency should “meet” with part­ners week­ly and con­duct month­ly report­ing calls based on the client’s desired cadence. This approach leads to high sat­is­fac­tion and long-term rela­tion­ships. In fact, our aver­age client tenure is more than six years. We’re build­ing rela­tion­ships that often span a decade or more.

Professional and network development

By design, agen­cies usu­al­ly hire for cul­ture along with strate­gic fit. That means they’re filled with warm, friend­ly peo­ple eager to solve clients’ prob­lems. These rela­tion­ships can go beyond the work­place. On sev­er­al occa­sions, we’ve intro­duced two clients who even­tu­al­ly became close friends and col­leagues. These added ben­e­fits don’t fac­tor into an RFP, but they cer­tain­ly add val­ue to the investment.

Relative value

Com­pared with the salary and ben­e­fits pack­age of an FTE, part­ner­ing with a health­care dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency yields the high­est value—especially in the cur­rent cli­mate as health­care orga­ni­za­tions rebound from the pandemic’s finan­cial impact.

Get More Insights to Guide Your Strategy

Check out our lat­est white papers, pod­cast inter­views, pub­li­ca­tion archives and more in the Resources sec­tion of our website. 

Ready to Compare an Agency vs Alternatives?

Con­nect with a True North dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strate­gist to learn how these advan­tages can be applied to your organization. 

Sign up for updates!

Sign up for updates!

Get marketing tips delivered straight to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!