Choosing the right healthcare marketing firm for your practice can make a huge difference in the ROI you get from your marketing efforts. Unfortunately, many practices end up making the same mistakes when they hire a digital healthcare marketing agency. Those mistakes can decrease overall ROI or leave healthcare practices struggling to meet their marketing goals.

Are you making these errors in hiring a marketing agency?

1. Misalignment of Metrics and Goals

The misalignment of your actual marketing goals and the metrics you’re using to measure that performance is one of the biggest mistakes we see as a healthcare marketing agency. If you aren’t crystal clear with your healthcare marketing firm about the goals you’d like to achieve, you’re setting both sides up for failure.

The key is to be very specific: “We want our new location to see 100 new patients a month by X date,” or “We want to see an increase of 50 patients per month coming through our doors.” Assuming that you have set a realistic goal, a good agency should be able to develop a strategy, game plan, and budget to help make that happen as well as offer the appropriate metrics to track progress toward those business goals. If your goal isn’t realistic based on your target market or your available resources, your agency should be able to provide you with a better idea of what is realistic and what you should expect.

Many times, bad healthcare marketing agencies will pick metrics that may not directly impact your business. For example, if they only report on CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate) or impressions, known as “vanity metrics,” you may have a big problem. A good agency will offer real-time reporting around CPL, or cost per lead, broken down by channel and campaign. In addition, they will let you have vital insights into the Cost of Acquisition for your customers.

2. Hiring a Marketing Generalist Versus a Healthcare Specialist

Every industry is unique, with its own set of concerns that must be taken into consideration during the marketing process. Healthcare marketing, however, is particularly complex. It is, therefore, incredibly important that you have a digital marketing agency that specializes in the needs of healthcare practices. That may mean that the agency understands important things like ADA compliance and HIPAA compliance, as well as data security. Furthermore, the agency may need to understand the hyper-local nature of medical practices and how to best market to that unique audience.

If you hire a generalist, they may understand the basics of marketing, but their Jack-of-All-Marketing-Trades approach may leave them scrambling to catch up on the knowledge you really need from your healthcare marketing agency. Instead, focus on a digital marketing company that specializes in marketing for healthcare practices.

3. Focusing on Price Instead of Value

It’s easy to get caught up on the price of your healthcare marketing efforts. After all, you may have a limited budget to spend on marketing, especially with all the other demands on your business. However, good marketing should get results that pay for themselves and then some. High-performing healthcare marketing programs generate an average of 7-10x ROI within the first 90 days, making it well worth the investment.

Unfortunately, many healthcare practices still choose to try to focus on finding the cheapest agency available. As a result, you’ll generally end up with one of two outcomes. If you’re dealing with a top-tier healthcare marketing firm, they may choose to walk away from the partnership. They’re looking for a partnership built on mutual respect and a long-term investment. If you aren’t interested in that partnership, they may not feel that you’re a good fit for them.

If you’re choosing a low-cost agency, on the other hand, you may find yourself set up for poor ROI, an inability to scale your marketing efforts, and a host of other problems. Cut-rate agencies generally lack the experience, organization, and skills necessary to market your healthcare practice as well as you might have hoped, which may mean that you’re setting yourself up for failure from the beginning.

4. Insisting on Hiring a Local Agency

There are a lot of times when it makes sense to hire local: buying produce or meat, for example, or picking up products from the location nearest you instead of going halfway across the country. When it comes to hiring a digital marketing company, however, it may not make as much sense as you might think to focus on hiring someone local to you.

Marketing has grown incredibly complex. Digital ads now account for more than half of total ad spend, both across industries and with healthcare specifically. You need a healthcare marketing agency that can provide you with the specific skills and talent you need, a proven approach, and a history of results. That healthcare marketing firm down the street may not have those tools. Instead, make sure you focus on hiring a healthcare-specific agency that will deliver the results you need.

5. Failing to Check References

“Trust, but verify,” Ronald Reagan noted–and with good reason. All too often, healthcare practices will trust the claims made by healthcare marketing companies without taking the time to verify them.

Look at reviews, both those posted on the website and those you can find online. Review case studies. The best healthcare marketing firms will have those clearly posted where you can review their real-world results and see what impact they might be able to offer your practice. They will also offer you access to clients that are willing to talk to you and who can shed light on your working style and cultural fit so you can determine whether you have really chosen the right digital marketing company for your needs.

As you consider whether you have found the right healthcare marketing agency, make sure you’re avoiding these key mistakes. You need a marketing company that focuses on healthcare, understands your unique needs, and will provide you with access to references so that you know exactly what you’re getting into. Ready to get started? Contact us at Evolve Healthcare Marketing today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your healthcare marketing goals.

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