Insights on switching your healthcare marketing agency
If you are reevaluating your marketing or advertising agency, you aren’t alone.
The process of hiring and firing of agencies is an ongoing aspect of a brand marketer’s world. Nearly half of all companies with 500+ employees use 2 to 3 agencies to support their marketing and advertising efforts, according to research by Statista. In April 2021, one third of brands surveyed were considering a change of agency, according to Setup’s annual Marketing Relationship Survey™.
So why all the switching?
More budget for digital marketing in healthcare
Some companies simply have more budget. The recently published MM+M Healthcare Marketers Trend Report 2022 suggests 23.5% of marketers surveyed increased their use of consultancies due to an increase in available budget/resources for outside partners.
Setup’s 2021 study suggests this opening of budgets leans heavily into the digital space. They reported that brand marketers were increasing spending by 50% in 5 areas, from 2020 to 2021. Those trending areas included “content marketing, video, digital media, website/UX, and social media/influencer marketing.”
The 2022 MM+M study confirms this as an ongoing shift. They state “40% of respondents are funneling more money into nonpersonal promotion, splitting funds more or less equally on different ways to help sales reps and boosting non-rep-delivered digital tactics.”
“The increase in digital tactics isn’t exactly surprising, especially coming out of a global pandemic, states Clay Daniells, CEO of QooQoo. “What is surprising, however, is the number of new clients coming to us specifically for micro-targeted digital campaigns.”
Beyond available budget and digital capabilities, there are other considerations marketers have when they are selecting a new agency.
The 3C’s criteria: what companies want from healthcare advertising agencies
In addition to an increasing need for digital capabilities, it seems there are some other top considerations for agency switch. Today marketers are looking for the 3Cs: Creativity, Chemistry, and Cost.
Brands continue to look to outside agency partners to spur creative disruption within their teams and their market. Along that line, 41.2% of marketers increased their use of consultancies due to a “desire to shake up existing thinking/teams” per the recent MM+M report.
“Chemistry is the indescribable but very real connection you get when brand and agency teams just click,” say Daniells. “QooQoo is constantly moving toward higher levels of transparency and collaboration; seeking innovative ways for our teams and our clients to set each other up for success.”
While chemistry and creative are on the rise, it’s interesting to note what considerations no longer mean as much to marketers. Research shows seniority of team, client experience, agency awards/recognition, and specialized capabilities declined in importance from 2018 to 2020. In a post-COVID world, it’s easy to speculate that location is no longer a deal breaker either.
Clay Daniells, CEO of QooQoo
QooQoo also encourages marketers to consider brand team productivity as a less obvious, but important cost consideration. “At QooQoo, we believe a healthy agency partnership should streamline our client team’s work flow, lessen their burden, and improve overall productivity,” says Daniells. “If your current agency isn’t doing that for your side of the fence, it may be time to consider a switch.”
The cost of switching agencies: Is it worth it?
As Setup’s study summary so poignantly stated, “Nobody has time to invest in a relationship that isn’t moving in the right direction or taking care of necessary business.” If there’s no value to your agency, you cut them loose, right? Well, here’s where the “but is it worth it?” question kicks in.
An article titled When Marketing Fails: The Real Costs of Switching Agencies, which interviewed over 100 marketing professionals, suggests that there are four top costs of switching agencies
Four top costs of switching agencies:
Within the money cost category, they identify 3 financial pain points:
The moment of truth: When you’re ready
Only you and your team can decide whether an agency switch makes sense for your business. There is some consolation in knowing that switching to a healthcare marketing agency that meets the 3C criteria (Creativity, Chemistry, and Cost) while minimizing disruption to results might indeed be worth every penny.
As far as when to switch, it’s prudent to look for windows of opportunity that minimize disruption to budget or workflow. Keep your eye out for the time of year your team starts whispering about annual brand planning and fiscal year budgeting.
QooQoo is an independent, full-service agency dedicated to healthcare marketing.
We invite you to evaluate where you are now, where you want to be, and who you need with you along the way. Contact your QooQoo healthcare marketing agency here.