Survey Results: Marketing Agency Performance and Reviews

Assessing your healthcare marketing agency performance

In what areas could your marketing agency partners improve?

It’s always interesting to check the health of client-agency relationships during our annual Healthcare Marketing Survey. This question helps us judge how marketing firms are responding to healthcare organizations’ changing needs, and identifies which strengths and weaknesses carry the greatest weight for clients.

Here are this year’s top five areas that marketing partners could improve:

1. They could bring new ideas to the table more often
2. They could track and report results to justify their cost
3. None. They’re perfect in every way.
4. It would be nice if they were experts in healthcare marketing
5. They could lead more, instead of just taking orders

Almost a quarter of respondents are very happy with their agencies (22% for response #3), however a full 78% see room for improvement. These answers suggest healthcare marketing organizations are looking for fresh ideas, expertise and leadership, as well as reassurance that their partners are delivering value.


When do you expect to review your relationship with your marketing agency?

While the previous question shows there is dissatisfaction with marketing agencies, these results suggest that only about a third of the respondents are dissatisfied enough to make a change within the next year. Almost two thirds of respondents – 63% – are not currently planning to make a change with their marketing agency. Our take on this statistic is that hospitals would rather deal with agencies that are familiar, rather than take a chance on an unknown firm. What’s that old saying? “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t?”


In summary…

Our 2013 Healthcare Marketing Survey results revealed these trends:

  • For most healthcare marketers, budgets remained the same or increased over the prior year.
  • The biggest marketing challenges reported were measuring ROI, implementing social media strategies and communicating a consistent brand image.
  • There’s clearly opportunity to better utilize owned media, especially low cost options such as online videos, blogs and exam room marketing.
  • There’s also an opportunity to refocus paid media; moving away from channels that are no longer effective (newspapers, radio and direct mail) and toward channels that do a lot of heavy lifting (such as ads on social networks, paid search and mobile).
  • 78% of respondents reported dissatisfaction with their marketing agencies, yet only 37% are planning to make an agency change within one year.

So, how does your organization compare with your competition?