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How To Select A Digital Marketing Agency For Your Healthcare Organization

How To Select Digital Marketing Agency For Your Healthcare Organization | Digital Marketing Company in Malaysia - MYSense

A four-step guide to help healthcare marketers ensure that the next agency they bring on has some serious staying power.

Digital marketing agencies are like a box of chocolates. Only you have some control over what you get. All you need is a more complete understanding of the types of digital marketing agencies that exist, how they work, and which ones best suit your particular needs. Trust us: it doesn’t always fit, and that’s okay! 
However, in the spirit of finding a good fit, we’ve put together a little guide to ensure that the next digital marketing agency you decide to work with is truly effective. We have adapted this guide to the needs of particular healthcare organizations.

Questions we aim to answer for you:

  • How do I pick the best digital marketing agency?
  • What makes one agency better than another?
  • How to ensure my next digital marketing agency isn’t a dud?
  • What are common warning signs of a bad agency?
  • How do I know that I’ll work with the best in the industry?
  • What questions should I ask to understand an agency’s working relationship?

Step 1: Be Clear About Your Own Goals

As rudimentary as “knowing yourself” is, this is also one of the most overlooked –  at least underrated – aspects of finding the right digital marketing agency. This is especially true in the healthcare sector, where business goals depend not only on the size of an organization but also on its vertical, competition, and market. 


The first step is much more specific than “we need SEO” or “we need digital advertising”. What results do you want to achieve with these specific activities? The goal is to limit the focus as much as possible, for example:

  • We want more leads, but can’t exceed a specific cost-per-acquisition
  • To launch a PR, marketing, and digital advertising campaign to support the launch of a new service offering to generate awareness
  • Need a specific volume of new leads/patients for our multi-location dental group to be profitable
  • A full overhaul of our website and digital listings to align new acquisitions with our parent company while using SEO best practices that will increase our brand’s search visibility

Chances are you’ve tried to achieve these goals before, with your internal team or with another agency. Ask yourself why you need the help of a new digital agency. What (and how) will a digital agency help you solve, for example:


Not getting expected results from the internal team (what are the results you were hoping for?

  • Do not have in-house expertise for a specific tactic
  • Scaling and need more horsepower
  • Need to refine marketing execution / take it to the next level

Bring in internal stakeholders to talk through this first step and, most importantly, memorialize what you come up with. That document can serve as a kind of RFP that helps focus your search for the right agency.


Step 2: Determine if You Need a Full-Service or Specialized Marketing Agency

An important part of finding the right fit is determining whether you need a full service or a specialized agency. Both have their pros and cons, and both can deliver strong results under the right circumstances. Which one you choose for your healthcare organization will largely depend on the size of the organization, existing internal skills, and budget.

What is a full-service agency and who’s it for?

As the name suggests, a full-service agency is equipped with the staff, technical expertise, tools, and infrastructure to manage all aspects of a traditional in-house marketing program. . Go this route if you want to hand over the keys to your marketing to a trusted partner who can guide and execute on your behalf.


Typically, full-service agents are integrated into your organization, either entirely or in conjunction with existing internal staff. They need to be able to plan, strategize, create, execute, and report on everything from high-level branding to your website, social media, and SEO.



  • Comprehensive, consistent, and convenient
  • One point of contact
  • Deep industry expertise
  • Can replace an in-house team and act as your main marketing engine


  • Usually more expensive than specialized services
  • Longer onboarding time and orientation
  • A longer-term commitment that sometimes includes upselling

What is a specialized agency and who’s it for?

Sometimes, you just need help with one particular deficiency or marketing goal. When you don’t need a full set of tools and doodles, it may make more sense to find a specialist agency that focuses only on the area of ​​digital marketing that you need.


Today you can find agents for many marketing specialties, including:

  • Graphic and web design
  • Web development and website building
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Display advertising
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Social media management
  • Content writing and ad copywriting
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
  • Email marketing
  • Video


  • More agile and flexible
  • Can get up and running quickly
  • Often less expensive than a full-service contract
  • Dedicated to performance and specifically demonstrating investment ROI
  • Deep expertise in a given specialty area, including the latest marketing innovations


  • Lack of cohesion with other marketing ops
  • Multiple points of contacts if you work with several agencies

Step 3: Understand How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency For Your Healthcare Organization

There are many healthcare-specific marketers out there today (including us). This means that your phone might be ringing with suitors soon. 


Here are some pointers to help you separate the wheat from the husk:


Experience in healthcare. Why not narrow your focus to only agencies with a track record of meeting the unique considerations of healthcare marketing? Do they understand regulatory requirements for advertising, HIPAA regulations, patient review generation, etc.? Do they have a solid understanding of the patient journey? Bonus points if you can find agents that specialize in your healthcare area (plastic surgery, dentistry, etc.). 


Case studies. Can the agency provide recent case studies that demonstrate their track record of success in your healthcare space? A good agency must be able to demonstrate how they have helped organizations like yours overcome similar marketing challenges.


Experienced team. Browse the site bios and LinkedIn pages. What is the team experience? Ask about average customer length. You’re looking for team members that fit your specific needs. 


Results-driven approach. It’s easy to make promises to the world, especially in the world of healthcare marketing. Avoid getting sold an invoice by asking your agent to share how they measure, track, and report on progress. Learn about health metrics, such as patient acquisition cost (PAC). Finally, have a good understanding of their reporting process. 


Focus on Value, Not Price. It’s true: good marketing pays off. When you focus on finding the cheapest agent, you can set yourself up for disappointments and a low return on your investment. Typically, cutting agents are underperforming, inexperienced, and don’t prioritize or take your business seriously. Look at the value an agency can bring you – is the higher agency retainer worth it because this partner is focused on leads & patients instead of impressions & clicks?

Step 4: Know the 5 Warning Signs of a Bad Marketing Agency

If you’ve ever been burned by an all-squeeze, no-juice agency in the past, these five warning signs probably sound familiar:

  • They overpromise.  Anyone who promises overnight results (you know, “Top of Google for a month”) is probably amused. Most good marketing programs take time, effort, and tinkering to be successful. 
  • They can’t provide case studies that relate to what you need. With so many choices, why risk an agent with no experience in your field? The agency’s portfolio speaks volumes. 
  • They’re vague about how they measure, report, and communicate marketing results. Pin your agent on it. Choose agencies that prioritize transparency and accountability. 
  • They can’t provide insight into their strategic approach. When resources are limited and dollars are at stake, you don’t want a dealer to stand on his own two feet. You want a structure and a formalized strategy that is clearly laid out, documented, and easy to understand. 
  • They don’t give you access or keep you out of your own accounts. Some agents, under the guise of “let us do it, you’ll just screw something up”, won’t give you access to marketing accounts. Besides being wholly untransparent, it runs afoul of best practices. What happens if the relationship sours or the agency ghosts you? You’ll have a headache on your hands trying to regain access. Run from those shops as quickly as possible.

Getting it Right Means Knowing What to Look For

We have given you the warning signs and also have broken down the different solutions available to healthcare organizations. Beside that, we start everything with the age-old principle which is know yourself. Ultimately, the right agent will invest a lot of time in getting to know you, your business, consumers, and specific goals. They will set goals, monitor, and report. Also will help you integrate new technologies and software. They’ll build solid campaigns and strategies from the start. When you find an agency that can do all of this – and that promotes accountability and transparency everywhere – you are in great shape.

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