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The 5 Most Common Mistakes Medical Practices Make When Hiring a Marketing Agency

Choosing the right healthcare marketing firm can significantly impact your practice’s ROI. Unfortunately, many practices make the same mistakes when hiring a digital healthcare marketing agency. Those mistakes can leave healthcare practices struggling to meet their marketing goals.

Are you making these errors in hiring a marketing agency?

1. Misalignment of Goals and Metrics

One of the biggest mistakes we see as a healthcare digital marketing agency is a misalignment between your marketing goals and your metrics.

First, it’s important to be specific about your marketing goals. For example, “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.” If you’ve set a realistic goal, a good agency can develop a strategy, game plan, and budget to make that happen and offer the appropriate metrics to track progress toward those goals. If your goal isn’t realistic based on your target market or available resources, your agency should give you a better idea of what is realistic.

Bad healthcare marketing agencies often pick metrics that may not directly impact your business. For example, they only report on CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate) or impressions, known as “vanity metrics.” A good agency will offer real-time reporting around CPL, or cost per lead, broken down by channel and campaign. In addition, they’ll give you vital insights into the COA (cost of acquisition) for your customers.

2. Hiring a Marketing Generalist Versus a Healthcare Specialist

Every industry is different, with its own set of concerns and considerations. For healthcare marketing, your agency must understand important guidelines like ADA compliance and HIPAA compliance. Furthermore, the agency must understand the hyper-local nature of medical practices and how to best market to your unique audience.

If you hire a generalist or a Jack-of-All-Trades marketer, they may have to scramble to catch up on the knowledge needed to create a successful healthcare campaign. That’s why hiring a healthcare-specific digital marketing agency would be most beneficial.

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 marketing budget, especially with all the other demands on your business. However, good marketing should get results that pay for themselves. In our experience, 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 focus on finding the cheapest agency. As a result, you’ll generally end up with one of two outcomes. They might walk away from the partnership if you’re dealing with a top-tier healthcare marketing firm. They’re looking for a relationship built on mutual respect and long-term investment. On the other hand, if you choose a low-cost agency, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Low-cost agencies tend to deliver poor ROI, cannot scale your marketing efforts, and have a host of other problems, generally due to lacking experience, organization, and skills.

4. Insisting on Hiring a Local Agency

There are instances when it makes sense to insist on hiring locally: when looking for a babysitter or a landscaper, for example. However, when searching for a digital marketing company, hiring based on proximity may not make much sense.

Marketing is increasingly online. In 2022, digital ads accounted for 66.4% of total ad spend across industries. Consider this with the post-COVID boom of remote work, which has caused businesses to optimize online communication. Now more than ever, it is sensible to select a healthcare marketing agency solely based on them providing the skills and talent you need, a proven approach, and a history of results. That healthcare marketing firm down the street may not have those necessities.

5. Failing to Check References

“Trust, but verify,” Ronald Reagan often said–and with good reason. Too often, healthcare practices will trust the claims made by healthcare marketing companies without verifying 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 readily posted on their site. They will also offer access to clients willing to talk to you so you can determine if they are the right digital marketing company for you.

As you look for a marketing agency or consider whether you have found the right one, make sure you avoid these 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 what to expect.

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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