Will pharma let agencies do great work?

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Agencies, when given the chance, can do great work in DTC marketing, but too often pharma clients cut their budgets to ensure that they barely have enough to “get the job done”.  Today that’s not good enough.

Every so often our group is called in to listen to ag3ency pitches for new marketing initiatives to give feedback.  I have seen some very good ideas presented, but all too often they require a good budget to ensure success.  W[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]hen you hire an agency to do good work it doesn’t make sense to restrict their tools [/inlinetweet]to build, for example, a great website.

Last winter I was consulted to evaluate a pharma product website for a pharma company in Boston.  The metrics weren’t good, even though they were spending a lot of money on paid media.  A deeper evaluation led me to the agency they hired out of the Midwest.  Their Power Point decks were spot on for developing a great online brand experience, but sure enough their processes were cut short because of budgetary concerns.  Gone were important things like qual research and usability studies replaced by an IT driven template (wireframe) and research that didn’t include online health seekers.  When we delivered our assessment as to why the project failed our first slide showed a giant pair of handcuffs with the caption “restricting implementation”..  The result? Back to square one which now costs 70% more because of wasted money on the first site.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]If you hire an agency don’t micromanage them[/inlinetweet] and let them do the good work they were hired for.  If you’re worried about results hold them accountable, but don’t take away their tools to do great work.