If you are deciding on enlisting the help of a marketing company, what should the pharmaceutical marketer be looking for when selecting a marketing company? This post outlines a few basic points that may be worth bearing in mind when selecting a pharmaceutical company.
It’s an obvious one, but ask yourself does the marketing company have a proven track record in the industry? Have they worked on multi-layered campaigns for a variety of clients and in different verticals in the pharma industry? Have they got pedigree and background? Looking for this experience and asking the marketing company to prove this is crucial.
There are possibly thousands of media buying and marketing companies. Many of them choose to concentrate on a particular sector such as pharmaceutical or banking, finance, consumer, retail, etc. Establishing their experience in your sector is a fundamental first step in the selection process. If they don’t have the experience or their team members don’t have previous industry experience, then you may be taking a risk.
Following on from experience… always find out if the pharmaceutical marketing company has the knowledge. Ours is a very knowledge-intense industry, and having this is critical for marketing departments to plan a detailed and successful campaign. The marketing company will need to have an equally detailed understanding of the industry. You can find this out by reading their output, such as blog posts or LinkedIn updates. Check them out and see what they have written. Do they contribute? How many followers do they have? All good questions to ask.
What are the backgrounds of the individuals and the account managers you will be working with? Do they understand the market and are they well versed in the fundamentals of pharmaceutical marketing?
Understanding all of this provides a picture of what the pharmaceutical marketing company knows. Asking for a previous sample of work (Portfolio) is the best way of selecting any marketing company. If you like the vibe you are getting, they will likely do a good job for you.
Can the pharmaceutical marketing company think creatively? Are they going to bring new ideas to the table, or will they just put on the table a plan that lacks any lateral thinking? A good look through the portfolio section of their website is a good start. Ask for case studies from the company. Although they will not give you a full campaign in the pitch (that’s giving away their edge), they should be able to provide you with an outline of ideas that you may not have tried before.
Understanding the process which the marketing company will go through to develop your campaign is critical. It’s a great question to ask of them. How exactly will they work with you to put the campaigns together? What information are they going to need from you? What commitments are they going to need to ask you to sign up for?
Knowing the process and agreeing what that process works for you is critical. Some companies want to get involved truly little and let the company run the entire campaign for them. Some clients want much more handholding, daily calls and so forth, they are happy to put the effort into creating content and organising interview or thought leadership pieces etc. Which of these approaches suits you? Whatever it is ensure that the marketing company approach matches yours.
Crucial again. Are they flexible? How does there billing work? Is there a model that suits you best? All crucial questions for the pharmaceutical marketing company to go through with you.
It could be a good idea to ask for a submission of hours monthly and with regular adjustments in the retain. Bear in mind though that these fees may go up as well as down.