Technology-enabled collaboration borrows from examples of collaboration in nature. The structure and hierarchy of the beehive results in honey. Ants working together as a colony delivers food.
Technology collaboration is making us all smarter… and enabling us to do things easier. Wikipedia gathers the facts from the hive of the human brain. Airbnb pools living spaces to make travel easier. WordPress, the platform operating this very website, is an open-source collaboration of software engineers.
So, how do you best collaborate with a marketing agency? How do you do it smart? How can working with a marketing agency make things easier for your business?
About This Show:
Sam Stern, founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic, an mHealth marketing and brand development firm reveals his winning Mobile, Digital and healthcare IT marketing strategies, shares real life Mobile Health marketing success stories, and offers breakthrough marketing tips and tactics so you can lead the field with your Mobile Health and healthcare IT solutions.
Discover how to craft compelling stories to open doors with key health care system decision makers. Understand how an agile marketing mindset and approach positions you to create a profitable, sustainable business.
Gain insights into Mobile Health and healthcare IT marketing strategy, how to tell your unique mHealth and healthcare IT marketing story, creating your mHealth buyer personas, how to integrate an agile marketing process, mobile health and digital health brand development and market positioning, and learn what really works in attracting and landing mobile health and healthcare IT clients.
Work Smart and Making Marketing Easier with a Marketing Agency
Just like the worker bee or the little ant, you realize doing it alone isn’t the path to survival and success. The smart choice and the way to making things easier is to get help.
So how exactly can you work smart with a marketing agency?
Here are 7 things to do or keep in mind to get the most value out of working with a marketing agency.
1. Know your Goals and Objectives- Think through what you want to accomplish in your business. Know what you MUST accomplish as a minimum. Examine and understand your business and capabilities to determine what is realistic. Imagine what is possible if everything falls into place.
Be prepared to share these goals and the rationale behind your thinking with your marketing agency. This enables the agency to understand what you want to accomplish and sets the levels of expectation for the relationship.
2. Research the Agency- Invest time reading the agency’s website materials. Download any white papers or case studies. Read through the blog posts. Follow the agency on social media.Get input from the agency’s clients.
This homework gives you a sense of how the agency thinks, what they believe, and how they work.
If one of your first questions to a marketing agency is “Tell me about your firm and the client’s you work with.”, most top agencies sense this as a red flag. They will dismiss you as unqualified.
3. Be Prepared to Do Work- The question I hear most often boils down to: “What should I do to market my digital health business and what does it cost?”
This is strategic planning- and yes, it takes work. Now, if you’ve done the work and have a plan, and you want a marketing agency to execute it, you can probably get an estimated scope of work and a price.
But developing a strategic plan is collaborative between the marketing agency and client. It takes time, research, thinking, and creativity. It needs budgetary and timeline realities.
Developing a strategic plan requires you to do some work. And, yes, you will pay an agency to help you do this work along with you.
Too many businesses believe they can put together an RFP for marketing services and get this done without an investment and minimal work. The best marketing agencies are simply too busy and too smart to play this game.
4. Deliver Information When Requested- A good marketing agency is going to ask you tons of questions and request information from you. If you delay providing the answers or delivering the information, you self-sabotage the timeline realities you established in the strategic plan.
5. Provide Constructive Feedback- When providing feedback and criticisms of the marketing plan and execution, keep the goals and objectives in mind. Yes, your marketing agency is human. They will make mistakes. Blowing a spelling or grammar error the marketing agency commits on a blog post out of proportion doesn’t lead to healthy collaboration.
6. Commit to Open Communication- Conversely, do not hesitate to share when things are going off the rails in the relationship. If the marketing strategy and the execution aren’t delivering the results in line with your goals, an open, honest dialogue, without pointing fingers, usually puts things back on the right track.
7. Practice Patience- Many businesses have a misunderstanding and misconception of what marketing is, what it can do, and how fast it works.
Any marketing strategy and execution takes time to work. It’s part art and part science. Some things you do will instantly connect. Other approaches seem a complete waste. Many, in fact most of the little and even big things, take time to deliver. In reality, it’s consistency and persistence that typically wins. The big instant hits are the exceptions.
Top marketing agencies aren’t interested in being a “vendor”. They seek long-term, mutually beneficial, relationships where they can add real value and make an impact on the client’s business.
To find a strategic marketing partner and to get the most out of working with a marketing agency, be prepared to share your business goals, do your homework, commit to open, honest communication, and have realistic expectations.
It’s a process and it will take time. It may also require you to change some of your notions of working with an agency. The top agencies are busy and in high demand. Expect to pay a fee to get their diagnosis and best thinking up-front about your marketing challenges.
In the next episode, we’ll talk about how to choose the RIGHT marketing agency for your digital health firm.
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