A patient’s healthcare experience doesn’t begin the moment they enter a provider’s facility; it starts online. A whopping 94% of patients use online reviews to evaluate providers, and the patients who book appointments tend to conduct 3x more online searches compared to those who do not. Other trends suggest that patients want more interaction with providers between appointments. They prefer automated communication and self-serve options, such as online bill pay, patient portals, and downloadable form repositories. This explains why an increasing number of organizations outsource marketing to a specialized healthcare marketing agency. But how do you know if you’re hiring the real deal or a wolf in sheep's clothing? Don't just settle for anyone. Use these three authenticators to make sure you find "the one".
1. Validate the Agency’s Industry Expertise
Asking an agency if they have experience in healthcare marketing is like asking a kid if they like candy. An excited, “Yes!” isn’t enough. Here’s what we suggest:
2. Helpful Resources Specific to Healthcare
Has anyone ever told you to never be the smartest person in the room? This saying is especially true when sitting across the table from a healthcare marketing agency. Take your search a step further and look for long-form content resources like guides or eBooks that illustrate the agency’s in-depth understanding of healthcare marketing strategy — for example, our guide on Wellness Marketing: How to Build A Content Marketing Strategy.
If the agency’s resource taught you something new or changed your perspective on a particular trend or challenge, then you’re in good company. If the information was a regurgitation of everything you already know — keep looking.
3. Ask for Tangible Proof Specific to Healthcare
Saying and doing are two very different things. If the agency is a healthcare marketing expert, it will undoubtedly have a portfolio of healthcare clients and case studies galore. Review a couple of studies to qualify that the agency has the technologies, strategies and resources to deliver on promises. Look for hard-hitting statistics, such as a 221% increase in Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) or 1,100% increase in customer acquisition.
(No smoke-blowing, here. We hit these numbers recently for a valued client in the medical device manufacturing industry. See for yourself!)
The internet is brimming with service providers that claim to be everything you need. Many of them are, but just as many are not. Skip the small talk and go straight for the cold, hard evidence. Healthcare client reviews, case studies and thought-provoking resources are not easy to fake. Once you narrow your list of prospective companies down to those who possess the skills and expertise, you can move into Phase 2 of your vetting process — compatibility.